Sellers should have their homes pre-approved before agents start showing their home just like you would pre-approve a buyer before they can start shopping. The reasons being to make sure the home appeals to the “right” buyers, to discover issues with the home before it goes on the market, improve its marketability, to increase the negotiation position and to close quicker.
Before the sign goes in the yard, there are a few things that need to be done for the seller. First, understand that once you decide to sell, your home needs to appeal to the broadest base of buyers and that means depersonalizing your home.
When you sell your home, you will need to pack up your stuff. This is a way to start the process early. Get some moving boxes, decide what you intent to donate or throw out in every room and closet. Identify what you are keeping and pack those things up before your home goes on the market. This will be the first step toward making your home more marketable.
When your home hits the market, it needs to be a neutral commodity and not “your” home. Typically, you should remove items that involve religion, hunting and sports. That means packing away family photos or collections displayed in your rooms.
Second, remove items in each room that make too large a statement or take up a lot of room. A pool table looks great in a game room but not in a dining or living room.
Although you may be proud of your personal collections which took you years to accumulate, buyers will become distracted by looking at those instead of looking at the home. Buyers need to see the livability of your home. They need to be able to visualize themselves living in a property that will become “their” home.
The four most important rooms to address are the primary bedroom, kitchen, living room and dining room. These rooms have a major influence on buyers when determining whether “it is the right home.” Neutralize and bright colors, possibly used as accent walls.
After you have removed non-essential items that could make your rooms look smaller, you might consider a technique called “staging.” It basically takes furniture, either your own or rented, and rearranging it to make the room show to its best advantage. You can either use suggestions from your Realtor® for free or hire a professional stager.
Once your home is staged and depersonalized, you are ready to have a photographer take pictures to visually describe your home to potential buyers online before they show up. These photos will be used on the MLS, portal sites, websites and on social media. Make sure to hire a pro with the correct wide angle lens who understands lighting and has an “eye” for what makes a great picture. It is worth every dime you’ll spend.
Another thing you may want to do is to have your home inspected before you put it on the market. This may not replace the buyer’s inspections but it will let you know what you need to repair and you can have it done before it hits the market. This will save you money by fixing issues pre-contract and save time because if their inspector finds it, it may mean another round of negotiations.
To you benefit, if their inspector identifies an issue in an area that your inspector did not, it gives you a basis for legitimate disagreement that could be a difference of personal opinion and not “fact.”
While the process of depersonalizing should take part before you put the home on the market, you’ll want you have the benefit of my experience as a real estate agent to help you with the process. At age 18, a person can expect to move nine more times but by age 45, they may only expect to move another 2.7 times. My experience can be valuable not only in saving your time and money but actually, make the difference in a successful sale.
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