Selling your home can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! Just like so many other things in life, making good choices is key! The following are some decisions you will have to make, so if you’re considering selling, think of these as your action items.
1) Interview Agents
2) Begin to look around your home and try to view it from a buyer’s perspective. For example, the next time you drive up to your home, try to notice everything about it as if you’ve never seen it before. How’s the curb appeal, does the landscaping look orderly and well-kept? Is there anything particularly inviting, like maybe a pot of bright fresh flowers welcoming you to the front door?
3) Complete all your ‘deferred maintenance’ items. All those little ‘honey-dos’ need to become ‘honey-dids’. Old wallpaper may need to be textured and painted. Room colors may need to be neutralized. Rotting boards on the fence may need to be replaced.
4) A good agent (like myself) will require that your home is professionally staged prior to putting it on the market. This shortens market time and enhances buyers response to your home. However, you can begin this process by yourself. Remove your personal pictures and replace with something more nondescript. Psychologically, when a buyer is falling in love with your home, they begin to imagine that it’s their home. They have visions of kids doing homework at the kitchen table, or relaxing with a good book in the sunroom. When they look in that area and see photos of your children, that visual stops, or at the very least is extremely hampered. You want to keep that visual flowing.
5) Ask to see the numbers. Work with your agent to familiarize yourself with what’s been happening with real estate in your neighborhood. Most importantly, be realistic. I cannot emphasize this enough. Of course you love your home. It’s probably where you brought your children home from the hospital, or celebrated numerous special occasions. But you really have to take all that emotion out of the equation. To a prospective buyer, it is one of many, and an over-inflated price will just cause it to languish on the market.
6) Think of some ‘showing retreat’ ideas. Once your home is on the market, the showings will potentially be the most aggravating part. Invariably, some agent will show up for their 3:00-4:00 showing window at 4:07. It happens. Have some ideas of what you will do when it is time for you to vacate the home. I do recommend that you vacate the home while it is being shown. In my experience as a buyer’s agent, the buyer is much less likely to get comfortable in your home if you’re there! Anyway, if you have small children, maybe plan to picnic in the park, or go to the tree at the mall, or go to The Children’s Museum. Just think about it ahead of time so when you get those showing calls, you have some idea of what to do.
7) Relax! It always works out exactly as it is supposed to. With a good agent as your advocate, you are in good hands. You’ll be onto your next life adventure in no time!