Most people call an agent or two, maybe even three. What they may not tell you is you should start planning your strategies long before you make that call. Here are some key points to selling your home.
1) Curb appeal.
If a buyer is not attracted to the exterior of the house, they may not even want to see the interior. Approach your house from the street, and look at it with fresh eyes. Does the exterior need painted? Is the yard and surrounding area of the house cluttered? Are there projects going on that need finished or put away? What about the landscaping? Is there any? Is it overgrown and hiding the house? Is it brown and scraggly? What about the ground itself? Is the pea rock full and clean? Is the grass growing well and even? Is there a defined parking area?
2) Declutter every room.
Why would you even think of packing & moving stuff that should be thrown out or donated? The longer we live in one place the more “stuff” we collect. The key here is do you really need it? Then, do you need it right now? If you need the item for the future but can live without it during the marketing of your property, pack It away. And again, if you don’t need it get rid of it.
3) Clean Clean Clean!
Everyone likes to visit a clean home. Take the time and energy to have a clean house. Remember how first impressions stick in your mind. If the first thing that enters a buyers mind is this house is dirty they will discount the property and move on.
If your house has an odor whether it is pet or smoke we have a saying, if it smells, it won’t sell. Again, this is something agents are uncomfortable to say to a potential customer. So they may never say it! If you smoke or have pets; be proactive, buyers buy with their senses, aroma whether good or bad is a big part of the five senses.
4) Room sizes
No, I am not suggesting you change the room size. I am suggesting you remove furniture that is too large or just too much so the rooms appear spacious and airy. Too much furniture can rest in a buyer’s mind as a very small room.
Again, appearance is everything. If your closets are crammed full of clothes, shoes and assorted “stuff” the buyer can walk out of the house thinking the closets are too small. Why not take the opportunity to clean the closets out, donate what you are not using and make them look spacious.
6) Kitchen & Baths
Clean off counters. A large workspace is something every buyer looks for. If your counters have clutter on them they will appear like there is no room to create. Whether the buyer is creating a gourmet meal in their mind or putting on their makeup for a big night out it has to be easy to imagine.
Picking your agent
Where do you start to look for your agent? If you have a trusted agent already in your life and you feel like they work hard and know the business by all means work with that person. If you don’t have that person already in your life, take some time and find the right person to work with you. I would ask you what your future plans are? What is your time line to sell? What is most important, return on your investment or time? Then after asking, I listen. What you tell me gives me a good starting point. I need to do my homework; this is no longer the market of comparing asking prices. We need to look at sold prices, what buyer’s were willing to pay. We compare your house to that house and see what the similarities are and give value to upgrades, size, location and other factors. The most important part of this process is pricing your property and working with someone that tells you their true opinion not just what they think you want to hear. Now, of course the actual list price is your choice but I need to offer you my true professional opinion.
On the market
So, you have signed the listing agreement, filled out the seller’s information sheet so I can best represent your house and we are ready to go. I will prepare brochures, enter the listing into the MLS, put up the sign, take photos, create a visual tour and send out a just listed notice to my database. What you need to do is BE READY! We have a big history of getting the call, showing the house immediately and getting an offer. Now, maybe it won’t go that quickly but you always have to be ready to show at a moment’s notice. It is so much to your advantage if you don’t need a large notice to show. We make these agreements on how you will be notified and how I will handle this at the time of listing. No surprises.
When I have an offer for you, I am going to prepare a work sheet showing you the expenses & payoffs with the offer price. This way, you will see your proceeds after all is said and done, this will help you decide how to respond to the offer. Typically here in the Keys, we use a FAR-BAR contract to purchase. Often sellers offer the home in as is condition. This means just that, it is as is, the buyer works within a specific amount of time, they will have a right to inspect and if they so desire, to cancel the contract and be fully refunded the deposit. The standard language in our contracts call for a first deposit, a second deposit, amount to be financed and a balance of cash to close. This gives you a good idea of what you are looking at, and if the buyer may be a good candidate at least on paper. The contract gives you a closing date, determines who pays for what and is very specific on the smallest of details.
I will keep you updated as the contract progresses. There are timelines for the buyer to make application for a loan, second deposit, the inspections, and of course the loan approval. Once we have all of the requirements filled, the ultimate goal is to have some time for you between loan approval & closing so you have ample time to pack and be ready for the walk through the day of closing.