Written by Mark Chesnick, Real Estate Professional
Above everything else, please remember, there is no magic wand to sell your home in a day. It is going to take time, effort and perseverance by you and your Realtor®. The real key question is, how is your house going to stand out compared to all of the others in the same price range and location? Here are 10 steps to help you find a buyer for your home and potentially sell it for the most money possible.
•1) First and foremost, make sure your home has curb appeal. That first impression, when a potential buyer pulls up to your home for the first time is huge. I kind of compare it to going on a first date. Does that person you are meeting look clean and groomed? Are they wearing old, torn cloths? Do they smell good? Can you see yourself going on a second date? You get the picture. You never get a second chance of impressing an individual. It has to be the same way with your home. Once you get that look going with the mowed lawn and the trimmed hedges, please keep it that way. All too often, after a month, the seller will get complacent and start slacking off. Remember, first impressions are forever.
•2) Next, walk into your home with the eyes of a first time home buyer. What do you see? Is there clutter? Do the rooms look inviting or cramped? Is it easy to move from one room to the next? Are the carpets or floors dirty? Will the colors on the walls accommodate some one else's furniture? How does it smell when you walk in? When it comes to smells, clean always wins over candles and aroma scented sprays. Think clean, bright and welcoming as you go.
•3) Get rid of any toys or personal things that clutter shelves, walls desks and floors. Always keep in the back of your mind as you do this, the people looking at your home want to imagine their stuff there. The more you have of yours, the less likely they will be able to see theirs. It is not a bad idea to rent a storage unit to start this process. Out of sight with these items is always best in the long run. Do this in every room.
•4) Next, strange as it sounds, replace the toilet seats. It does make a difference.
•5) Ok, the house is clean, neat and smelling great. Congrats! Now is the time to go back outside and start looking for things that are broken or missing on the house. Start in the front and move to the back, then work your way through the interior of the house. By doing this, you overcome potential objections from a potential buyer well before they come up in the negotiations.
•6) When you have uncluttered, cleaned, mowed, trimmed and made the beds in all of the rooms, leave for a celebratory dinner for all of the hard work you have accomplished.
•7) When you come back, look hard at the home you pull up to. Look at it with a new buyer's eye. Can you honestly say this is the nicest house on the block, without reservation? If you say yes, you are half way to selling your home.
•8) Now comes the hard part, finding a Realtor® that you can put your confidence in. Whether buying or selling a home, there is always some degree of trepidation. To ease some of the worry, do some homework on who you would like to help you sell your home. Ask friends what experiences they had with their Realtor®, make phone calls and take notice as to how long it takes to return your call and how they answer it in the first place.
•9) Invite three Realtors® to do a listing presentation. How much do they listen to what you have to say and what your concerns are, as opposed to how smart they tell you they are? Find out what their background is. Experience in all aspects of real estate is important, that includes finance as well as marketing. Ask how they intend to market your home and in what manner. Hopefully it will include Open Houses, print advertising and internet marketing. Ask them how many Open Houses you can expect within a certain period and what web sites will be showcasing your home? The question of commission will also come up. Remember, you get what you pay for, in all cases.
•10) Last and most difficult is to keep everything in your home exactly as it was the day you came back from your celebratory dinner. Leave the rest to your Realtor®. You are in good hands. Good luck in a challenging market. Always remember, cream ALWAYS rises to the top. God Bless.