1. Learn to Disassociate, De-Personalize and De-Clutter.
Make the mental decision to “let go” of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours. Picture yourself handing over the keys and envelopes containing appliance warranties to the new owners! Say goodbye to every room. Don’t look backwards — look toward the future.Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can’t see past personal artifacts, and you don’t want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can’t do that if yours are there! You don’t want to make any buyer ask, “I wonder what kind of people live in this home?” You want buyers to say, “I can see myself living here.” People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven’t used it in over a year, you probably don’t need it. Clean out the interior of the house, make sure any furniture that is not absolutely necessary gets cleared out leaving only the furniture necessary to establish the purpose of the room.
2. Beat the competition with condition. In many markets, much of the competition is low-priced foreclosures and short sales. As an individual homeowner, the way you can compete is on condition. Consider having a termite inspection in advance of listing your home, and get as many of the repairs done as you can – it’s a major selling point to be able to advertise a very low or non-existent pest repair bill. Also, make sure that the little nicks and scratches, doorknobs that don’t work, and wonky handles are all repaired before you start showing your home.
3. Stage the exterior of your home too. Stage the exterior with fresh paint, immaculate landscaping and even outdoor furniture to set up a Sunday brunch on the deck vignette. Buyers often fantasize about enjoying their backyards by entertaining and spending time outside.
4. Access is essential. Homes that don’t get shown don’t get sold. And many foreclosures and short sale listings are vacant, so they can be shown anytime. Don’t make it difficult for agents to get their clients into your home – if they have to make appointments way in advance, or can only show it during a very restrictive time frame, they will likely just cross your place off the list and go show the places that are easy to get into.
5. Get real about pricing. Today’s buyers are very educated about the comparable sales in the area, which heavily influence the fair market value of your home. And they also know that they’re in the driver’s seat. To make your home competitive, have your broker or agent get you the sales prices of the three most similar homes that have sold in your area in the last month or so, then try to go 10-15% below that when you set your home’s list price. The homes that look like a great deal are the ones that get the most visits from buyers and, on occasion even receive multiple offers. (Bidding wars do still exist!)
6. Get clued into your competition. Work with your broker or agent to get educated about the price, type of sale and condition of the other homes your home is up against. Attend some open houses in your area and do a real estate reality check: know that buyers that see your home will see those homes, too – make sure the real-time comparison will come out in your home’s favor by ensuring the condition of your home is up to par.
7. Check Curb Appeal.
If a buyer won’t get out of her agent’s car because she doesn’t like the exterior of your home, you’ll never get her inside.
Keep the sidewalks cleared. Mow the lawn. Paint faded window trim. Plant yellow flowers or group flower pots together. Yellow evokes a buying emotion. Marigolds are inexpensive.Trim your bushes. Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number.
8. Listen to your agent. If you find an experienced real estate agent to list your home, who has a successful track record of selling homes in your area, listen to their recommendations! Find an agent you trust and follow their advice as often as you can. We at Abner Realty have experience buying and selling properties in Miami, we are interested in being your trusted group of experts for all your real estate transactions.