Selling Your Home
1. Hire Your Realtor®
Your first priority is to hire a knowledgeable, experienced real estate professional to list your home. Your agent should provide:
- A Trustworthy Home Consultation
- Step-by-Step Process for getting your home SOLD from contract to closing
- Comparable Market Analysis of active, pending and sold homes in your area
- Fair market value for the home and competitive listing price
- Comprehensive marketing plan with state-of-the-art technology
- Assistance in preparing your home for sale including uncluttering, staging and curb appeal
2. Take a Fresh Look at Your Home
Your home looks great to you, but a buyer wants to see it since he and his family will be living in it -- so take a fresh look at your dwelling. Walk the neighborhood/hop in your car and drive around the block. Then scrutinize your home as a prospective buyer will see it for the first time. First, consider what's called "street appeal;" does it need washing or painting? Does the façade/driveway need repair work? Is the landscaping in good shape? Remember, be very critical; your buyer will be.
Next, take a good hard look. Is the garden/yard neat and trimmed? What about the view from the front of the property? Then, walk inside and size up the interior as though seeing it for the first time. Take a tour and imagine what your real estate agent might say about each room, look into cabinets, open doors, check out the bathroom.
3. Clean Out the Clutter Before You Start to Sell
Before putting your home on the market, get rid of clutter in every area -- closets, attic storage, kitchen cabinets, drawers, bath vanities, and shelves -- everywhere. Remember, this is no time to be sentimental: if you don't use it, lose it. Potential buyers are seriously put off by clutter, and most of us drag a lot more things through life than we really need.
Also, don't forget the furniture and fixtures when getting rid of clutter -- most of us put too much in too little space, which makes a buying prospect, think your home is too small.
4. To Sell, Sell, Sell -- Clean, Clean, Clean
After you've cleared out the clutter, it's time to really clean. Have the carpets professionally cleaned, strip and polish the floors, scour the bathrooms, go over the laundry room, polish the furniture, scour out the cabinets, wash the windows and window coverings, and spiff up the ceiling fans and kitchen appliances. In short, clean everything.
5. Get More: Repairs Pay Off
After you've cleaned the place to within an inch of its life, the next project is making all the repairs necessary to attract a buyer.
So, patch up the roof, touch up all the paint, repair the screens, spruce up the porch framing, and make your entry area really shine. Don't forget to water the garden/lawn and landscape beds, and take the time to trim, mow, edge and get rid of sick or dying plants. Inside, fix the grout in the bathrooms and on tile floors, adjust any doors that need it, fix any scratches on the walls, cover any stains, and be sure to fix any plumbing problems. Remember, do what your home needs before the first buyer appears at your door.
Also, it's a good idea to get all this done before getting the real estate broker to make the listing -- a good agent will advise you on what needs to be done. Also, if you have friends willing to be brutally honest about what your home needs to sell, invite them to assess the fix-up needs.
6. Putting Your Home on the Market: Show It to Sell It
After you have cleaned, shined, mowed, and generally whipped your home into shape, it's time to attract a buyer.
7. Get a Sense of the Market
Before you put your home on the market, take a weekend day to check out the competition: homes with similar prices and in similar neighborhoods. Remember, you don't have to go out and buy new furniture just to look like that beautiful new model in the new development -- what you want is the feel of that new model -- clean, uncluttered, and fresh.