Want the Most From your Home Sale? Here’s How
Every home seller wants to get the very most from the profits of their home although not every seller is willing to do what it takes in order to get those profits. In buyers markets, sellers are competing with foreclosures and short sales that may be drastically underpriced. Because of this, many sellers may find themselves underwater, meaning that they owe more on the home than they could sell it for. If you're on the fence wondering if you can get enough for your home there are some things to increase your chances on gaining more of a profit when it comes time to selling. Here are five ways to sell your property for a higher price than your competition.
#1. Correct anything that a buyer would address.
And you may not know exactly what these things are. The best way to know what you need to fix, repair or replace is either have your agent or a trusted friend walk through your home making notes, tips and suggestions. Living in a home for a long time can make us blind to defects and faults in the house. Simple items such as worn door frames, squeaky drawers and leaky faucets can often go overlooked. But, buyers will certainly pinpoint all of these issues and once everything is corrected and fixed, buyers will feel more comfortable purchasing a home at full price.
#2. Lived-in is not livable.
Buyers know that you live in the home but they don't want to see it. Now is the time to make it look less lived-in. Buyers want to start over in a new home and if they have to fix things, paint walls, replace items, or if the entire home looks too cluttered, buyers see nothing but work ahead of them. Buyers also cannot always see the potential of the house so you have to create the perfect setting for them. Perhaps your couch is old and tattered; maybe your coffee table has too many nicks or scratches in it, or you’re trying to hide that gouge out over in the wall; whatever it is, buyers cannot see past these items so it may be time to completely revamp your furniture and decor. If you can afford it it would be best to hire a stager during the time your home is on the market. Yes, this can get expensive but sellers can usually get several thousand dollars more out of the home simply by having it staged.
#3. Less is more.
Since you will be packing all of your items anyway, start now by getting rid of at least half of the items in closets, drawers, cupboards and pantries. Also, don't stack these items in boxes in the garage because buyers will figure out that all of these items came from the house. Rent a storage facility or a pod that can be moved to your new home. Buyers want to see plenty of space, open and free-flowing rooms, and a neat and orderly layout. Also, having less furniture means potential homebuyers have a clear pathway through the property.
#4. Smells can make or break a sale.
Just as we get immune to defects we can also get immune to smells. Our particular odor and smell in our house has become so accustomed to us that we can't smell it anymore, but, home buyers certainly can, especially if you have pets, you smoke, or the home has mildew or mold. This is where having a trusted friend or your agent will come in handy again. Listen to their honest advice about the smell of your home. If you have pets, make sure you remove the litter box and any evidence of cats or dogs during showings. Keep cages and litter boxes clean during the time your homes on the market. Be careful of what you cook the day of a showing. Many foods have very strong smells such as fried foods, eggs, and heavily spiced dishes. Good smell such as baking cookies or cake can add a pleasant smell to the home but make sure that it's not overpowering.
#5. Don't neglect to the outside.
Now that the inside smells amazing, everything is fixed, and the home is free and clear of any clutter, don't neglect the outside because this is usually the first impression buyers have about a home. Make sure the cross is nice and green by giving it a good dose of nitrogen, keep bushes and trees well trimmed and patios and stairs free and clear of any weeds or overgrowth. It might also be a good idea to hire a professional landscaper during the time the homes on the market just to keep the outside perfectly cared for.
It is possible to compete even in a buyers market when it comes to increasing the profit on your home sale but it does take work, perseverance and consistency, possibly over several months depending on the market. For more information on your specific home sale contact a real estate agent in your area that knows the market and what buyers are looking for.
Thank you to Don Payne with Vision Realty in Columbus for his guest post on selling your home. Don is an expert in short sales and helping first time home buyers find and purchase the right property.