Seller Tips

Selling Advice

Your home is more than an architectural structure. Often, it’s an extension of who you are – your personality, style and values. That’s why selling it can be an emotional experience. But it can also be exciting and rewarding. This section provides some simple home selling tips that can help lead you to a successful, timely sale.

Home Selling Tips & Advice

Once you’ve made up your mind to sell your home, you need to do your “homework” – my website is a great place to start!

A real estate professional can provide the experience and local knowledge to guide you through the entire process, and selling your home within the ideal time frame and at the most effective price point. As the representative of your best interests, I can help you determine what improvements will make the biggest difference.

Much of what needs to be done before the closing is coordinating the responsibility of appraisers, loan processors, escrow officers, and inspectors. My role also includes coordinating those responsibilities, helping to ensure that others do their jobs promptly and correctly.

Let’s Get Started

Real estate marketing involves so much more than a sign in the yard or a web posting. Much of my work is quiet, behind the scenes – and important. Promoting your home involves several outreach efforts, including scheduling, marketing and hosting open houses, following up with open house visitors, having conversations with ad respondents, and posting photos and virtual tours on the web. Being your guide and confidant is part of the process as well.

 Once your home is listed, it will be quickly entered into the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), displayed on my website and distributed to over 500 national and local real estate websites, where most buyers begin their search for a new home.

Adding Value to Your Home

Following these tips will help to add value to your home and increase your chances of a sale.

Tips to Add Value to Your Home

1. Clean, organize, and neutralize your space: Unclutter your house to make it look bigger and cleaner. Fresh paint and new carpet goes a long way in adding value to your home. Buyers need to be able to envision their own belongings in the home so avoid using bright colors and too many personal affects.

2. Spruce up your landscaping.  Curb appeal is very important for a first impression.

3. Update kitchen appliances. The kitchen is often the room that buyers gravitate towards first, and an updated kitchen can help sell your home. You don’t have to remodel your kitchen to give it a new look. Updating your appliances to the current standard and replacing cabinet doors and hardware can make a big impact at a relatively low cost.

4. Update bathroom fixtures.  A little change can go a long way when it comes to the look of your bathroom. Updating simple fixtures such as your sink and faucet can give any outdated bathroom style.

5. Store and organize. Ample storage space is a plus, especially when it comes to garages and closets. Efficient closet structures can help keep your clothes organized and can save space.

Setting the Right Price for Your Home

A key part of your marketing plan is setting the list price. Quite simply, if a home is priced too low, you miss out on potential profit. If a home is priced too high, qualified buyers will look elsewhere.

To determine the best asking price, review the prices of recently sold, comparable homes in the area; evaluate the competition, and study marketplace trends. As a real estate professional I have ready access to this information, and can provide the big picture to help you determine the right asking price.

Other terms and conditions can be included in the sale of the home to make it more attractive to potential buyers. For example, an owner can offer to pay points or complete a major repair – such as a new roof – to make the deal more appealing to a qualified buyer. A home warranty is another useful marketing tool, providing protection if an appliance or other covered item fails after closing. Other factors to consider:

  • Real estate is local. I can explain current market factors in your community, including what’s selling, what isn’t selling, and why. This information is critical to setting an optimal price and terms.
  • If your house is located in a desirable area you will be able to get a higher price than you can for the same house in a less desirable area.
  • If a house has amenities that are currently popular in the marketplace, it will bring a higher price. I can help identify top trends.
  • A house that has been better maintained and “shows” better will always sell for more than one that has had deferred (neglected) maintenance and needs work.
  • Buyers expect everything to work. It’s an important trust factor, and worth the time and expense to make basic repairs.
  • Markets differ by location and time. When interest rates are low and the local job base is growing, it’s great to be a seller. But when times are slack and mortgage rates are rising, homes also sell. The trick is to be realistic, to get as much as market conditions will allow.

Showing Your Home

You want potential buyers to feel at home from the minute they walk up the driveway.

Start with a good cleaning, eliminate clutter, put away the knickknacks and add fresh coats of a neutral-colored paint to brighten rooms. Oh, and tidy up the yard. As your real estate professional, I can give you all sorts of tips to help boost your home’s curb appeal and impress potential buyers once they’re inside. Here are a few basics:

  • If the weather permits, open the windows (if there is too much noise outside, close them). If it’s cold enough to wear a sweater to stay warm, turn on the heat. You want the temperature inside to be comfortable and to give the buyer more of a reason to linger, especially on hot or cold days!
  • Light a fire in the fireplace, have chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven, or use lightly scented aromatherapy – such as lavender – to set the scene for a tranquil home.
  • Open all the window coverings to let in light. If a particular window overlooks undesirable scenery or obstructed views, keep the blinds partially closed.
  • Turn on every light in the house, including appliance lights and closet lights. Brighten dark rooms with few windows by placing spotlights on the floor behind furniture.
  • Play soft background music.

Move your cars to an alternate location, and allow your real estate agent to conduct the tour: potential buyers usually feel more comfortable – and less pressured – when the owners are not present.

Negotiating the Real Estate Deal

Successful negotiating encompasses the acquired ability to use certain skills and techniques to bring about coveted win-win results. I can help you stay focused, objective, and not let your emotions rule.

  1. Start with a thoroughly researched, fair price.
  2. Respect the other side’s priorities. For example, a buyer with an urgent move-in date might be willing to pay a higher portion of the transaction costs or forgo some major repairs. Or, they may prefer to push out the closing date, in order to be more confident that there will be no unanticipated additional expenses.
  3. In any case, be prepared to compromise: “win-win” doesn’t mean both the buyer and the seller will get everything they want. It means both sides will win some and give some.

Real Estate Closing

In general, the closing process begins with the acceptance of an offer. Prior to closing, all conditions of sale (also known as contingencies) must be met. The most common – and obvious! – is the buyer’s ability to secure a new mortgage.

An escrow company coordinates all the factors between the parties and the lender, A title company will conduct a search for any recorded documents that affect the deed to the property. Examples include easements, liens, tax assessments, covenants, conditions and restrictions, and homeowner association bylaws.

Once the conditions of sale have been met and the preliminary title report has been approved, all parties will agree to sign closing documents. The preliminary title report then becomes the final title report, on which any applicable title insurance is based. After the documents have been signed, notarized copies will be forwarded to the lender, funds will be released, and the sale will be recorded at the local recorder’s office..

Tips for Your Move

Whether you have moved once or a dozen times, it never seems to get any easier. Here are some hints that we hope you will find helpful as you prepare for moving day.

  • Make agreements with buyers about possession of the home and moving date.
  • Start planning early. From the moment you decide to put your home up for sale, start sorting through your current possessions. Toss (or give away, sell at a yard sale or online) anything that you don’t want to take with you.
  • Make a list of important items you will need to buy for your new house, such as drapes, blinds, shower curtains, etc. Having these things with you on the day you move helps you settle in more comfortably.

Start packing early. Anything that you are sure you will not be using before moving day should get boxed.

 

Juanita Bischoff, CRS
Juanita Bischoff, CRS
Broker-Salesperson