I am so fortunate to be working with the sellers of this home. They did everything right to sell their home in the least amount of time for the most amount of money. If you put the time in up front, you don’t have to go through the agony of keeping your house clean for weeks on end until you find the right buyer. The right buyer is out there right now. Like, right at this exact moment. I’m not kidding. There is someone who will buy your house within the first week of it being on the market. But you have to do at least these three simple steps.
1. Clean, declutter and depersonalize
I asked the sellers to scrub their home as hard as they could – everywhere they could. Every nook and cranny was to be clean, clean, clean. I’d say clean enough to eat off of the floor but I wanted it to be clean enough to eat off of any surface in the home. The more a home looks like new, the better a buyer will feel about living in it. We also staged the home with a few decorative accents. Most of the staging work was actually in removing items from the home. When the sellers asked me what to do with the thing we were removing, I told them to pack them up. They’re going to a new house and hopefully some time soon!
Cleaning up the home means the yard too. Lawn should be mowed, weeds pulled and curb appeal boosted with a few colorful flowers.
Below are some “after” pictures of the kitchen. So fresh and so clean, clean! I think a bowl of fake lemons on the counter is always a nice touch. I also try to use subliminal cues like the towel. You can’t read it in the photo but it says, “This is where the magic happens”. It is though, right? Let’s make sure those buyers know it!
2. Hire the right REALTOR
For these sellers, this was their first step but you can hire a REALTOR after you’ve prepped your home for sale. If you’ve already prepped the home, then you’ve made your REALTOR’S job easy. If not, go through the home with them and go over the list of things you want to fix and do. With these sellers the list was pretty long. They were surprised at how many things on that list I told them NOT to do. A lot of the home improvement projects you want to do are for you. When you’re selling a home, you need to look at it differently. You need to think, would a potential buyer see value in the improvement? A lot of times, the answer is no. For example, they wanted to replace their current back splash with a higher end one. At the end of the day, a back splash is a back splash. Unless something is terribly wrong with the one you have, there is no need to update it. Why spend your money on the buyer? Save it for the new house. You’ll have projects there too – I promise.
Make sure your REALTOR has a stand out marketing plan for your home. Many REALTORS just put the listing into the MLS and pray. My marketing plan includes the standards like entering it into the MLS, a yard sign and open houses. But it also includes a personalized website just for your home, professional photography, a creative description, social media marketing on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram, premium positions on top home search sites, and more. I also help stage the home. You can see some of my handy work in the photos of the living room and dining room below.
3. Price it right
I cannot stress this one enough. Maybe I should have put it first because even if you can have the cleanest and best marketed home no one (and I mean no one) will buy it if it is over priced. First of all, they can’t unless they’re a cash buyer. For all mortgaged homes, they have to appraise or the bank will not give out the loan. The only time a bank will give a loan for a house that doesn’t appraise is if the buyer can come up with the difference between the purchase price and the appraised price. That is extremely rare as most buyers are purchasing at the top of their budget and have already planned on getting a loan at the max value leaving no extra dollars for a home that doesn’t appraise. Also, why would a buyer want a house that doesn’t appraise? If the appraiser, someone who works in the industry every day, doesn’t think it’s worth the purchase price then why move forward with the sale? Someone just told you you’re making a bad investment at as the buyer.
Unless you live in an extremely volatile market, home values typically remain fairly consistent over 3 month periods, which is the time frame most people want to sell their home in. I say get the right price on the first day and forget about the hassle and worry of letting it linger on the market. The only time we showed this home was during the open house the day after it was put on the market. The seller never had to leave the home for any other showings. And we had two offers to choose from. Talk about convenient!