"Honey let's move", three simple words that can strike fear into the heart of almost anybody. Your mind will immediately flash images of strangers trampling through your house, packing boxes, loading the truck, breaking some odd lamp that will suddenly become a family heirloom; no wonder moving consistently makes the top ten list of the most stressful things a person can do.
After initially trying to justify that your current abode is perfect, you will resign yourself to the fact that there is a move in your future. What next?
Here is a top seven list of the things every seller needs to do before placing their house on the market.
7. Declutter - that junk drawer, closet, room may be ok for you but it will an immediate turn off to any prospective buyer. Go through the house and get rid of those things you don't really need, as a rule of thumb, if you haven't used it in two or three years, you aren't likely to use it again. Have a garage sale and schedule a pick up from Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Even if you decide not to move, you will feel better about yourself.
6. Repair and refresh - Every morning you look at that broken gutter and say "I gotta fix that", same goes for the leaky sink in the hall bath. While these little things are ok while you are living there, they are red flags to any buyer and you are probably going to have to fix them after the buyer' home inspection any way. Once you take an afternoon repairing these little things, get out the paint cans and paint anywhere it is needed, have the carpet professionally cleaned (or replaced if needed). It's a competitive market and your house needs to shine above all others.
Tip: Go all out and get a professional home inspection and address those items.
5. Research - I'm not talking about research into a pricing strategy that will come. I'm talking about real estate in general and research about the people that sell real estate in your area. Real estate is a constantly changing industry and is affected by many other factors such as mortgage rated, employment figures and even inventory. The simple act of listing your home for sale has changed dramatically in the past five years. Ask your friends about their experienced with Realtors, get the good and the bad. Make a list of the top three.
4. Amateur or Pro – Every seller has said to themselves, “This isn’t brain surgery, I know I can sell it on my own”, after all, who knows your house better than you do? It is true that many people sell on their own and do it successfully without a Realtor. However, most of them find that this is a full time job and they end up needing help along the way with all sorts of issues (pricing, buyer qualification, showing, appraisal issues and legal issues are a few of these). In the end, sellers that use a Realtor, make more and sell quicker than those that don’t.
3. Questions to Ask Yourself – You need to put yourself in the shoes of a buyer looking at your house. Most buyers have seen five to fifteen other houses before they visit yours, answering these simple questions will help your house stand out:
- If I was going to stay in this house another five years, what changes would I make?
- What are the best features of this house and its surroundings?
- What are the worst things about this house and its surroundings?
- What one thing would prompt a buyer to buy this house over all others on the market?
- What one thing would prompt a buyer to buy another house on the market over this one?
2. Who would buy your house? - The likely buyer of your house is somebody very similar to you when you bought it. Think back to those days when you were looking. Were you a first time buyer or move up buyer? What were the specific things you needed in a house? What sort of budget did you have? An essential part of marketing is knowing who you are marketing to, figure out the type of person that will buy your house and you will have half the job conquered.
1. Where are you going and why – You are moving for a reason, what is the primary reason? Are you experiencing a job transfer? If so, how long before you need to be in your new location? Has there been a change in your family that requires a different place to live? Has there been a change in your lifestyle that allows a different place to live? Have you found your dream home and don’t need two houses? The answers to these questions will give you a guide to the amount of time and the amount of money you will need to make the move.
Of course this is not the end all, be all of lists. We haven’t even begun to address items such as pricing strategy, contracts, staging, escrow and closing, appraisals, inspections and a myriad of other things that will affect the sale. A member of the Bo Evans Realty Team is ready to help you with your next move. Give us a call today at 334-361-4661 or email email@example.com