WAITING TOO LONG. Buying a house is one of the biggest financial investments a person can make. This will be your home for the next five years or for the rest of your life, so of course you
Getting Your House Ready To SELL
You’re considering selling or ready to sell your house but aren’t sure what the next steps are. Here are a few helpful tips for getting your house ready to sell!
1. Put your emotions aside and disassociate yourself from your home. It’s important to sell your house with reason, rather than emotion. You may have lived in your home for years and witnessed your children growing up, a place where you’ve started and kept traditions, and other great memories. Now it’s time to see your home as a house for sale and to look at it as a product to be marketed.
If you’ve lived in your house for only a few years, this may be easier for you – but maybe not. The next step, which is to de-personalize, may help with the process of disassociating yourself from the house.
2. De-clutter and de-personalize. It’s time to put away the photographs and knick-knacks. You want potential buyers to see this house as their new home, and they may not be able to do this when looking at your family’s last cruise photo or with the collection of roosters on the counter.
Declutter and get rid of anything you don’t need, whether it’s to throw it in the trash, sell it, or donate it. Also consider renting a storage space to put extra furniture or other things that are taking up too much space in the house.
3. Organize. Buyers will open closet doors, kitchen drawers, bathroom cabinets, and the pantry. Take everything off the bathroom counters, except soap and other essentials (no toothbrushes, toothpaste, makeup, hair products, etc.). Remove magnets and pictures from the refrigerator and clear off the kitchen counters (you can leave your daily necessities such as the coffee maker or toaster – keep them clean though). Make sure to organize everything so it has a nice appeal to it. Again, your point is to make your house the home that buyers can see themselves living in.
4. Make minor repairs. Yes, anyone can paint, but that means so can you. Colorful walls are unattractive, versus neutral colors such as light greys, beige, or light brown. This can go a long way when selling, just by attracting more people to the pictures online. Painting is the easiest and most effective way to increase the value of your home.
Replace burned-out light bulbs, and fix any door, drawer, or cabinet that doesn’t shut property, repair the cracked tiles, and replace the leaky faucets.
5. Figure out what major repairs need to be made. Most likely the buyer will pay for an inspection of the house and figure out what issues there are anyways, but it may be a good idea to get an idea before – and maybe even repair those issues before they come up in discussion. Many properties do sell “as is” which can work out, but if that’s not the case, you’d probably want to know if you’re expecting to pay for a new HVAC system or a new roof.
Make sure there are no current leaks and to clear up of any past leaks. If there is a damp patch or damage from a leak on the ceiling or the walls, this may repel buyers.
6. Clean up. Wash the walls, clean the appliances, mop, vacuum, sweep, dust, etc. Make your house look squeaky clean and beautiful! Get rid of any odors, whether it's from pets or smoking or anything else. This can be a huge turn off for buyers when entering a house. Clean the carpet or the rugs, clean your windows inside and out, and make sure to scrub toilets and bathtubs/showers.
Vacuum and sweep daily to keep up with the cleanliness of the house.
7. Work on the outside – AKA: Curb appeal. Pressure wash the outside of your house and get that dirt off the siding, deck, and driveway. Mow the grass, especially right before an open house or showing. Trim the bushes and tree branches from the house (if necessary). A lot of buyers won’t get out of their cars if the outside of the house is not appealing to them.
What else can you do to make the outside of your house look more attractive? Replace or paint an old mailbox, plant pretty flowers (don’t plant too many different colors – this may be overwhelming), lay fresh mulch, etc.
8. Look at your house from different perspectives. Imagine that you are the buyer walking into this house. Is it welcoming, does it smell nice, could you see yourself living here, etc. You may love your house the way it is, but it doesn’t mean everyone else will. This is why it’s so important to remove your emotions from the sale. This is another reason it’s great to have a realtor handle selling your house for you.
9. Consider hiring a home stager. If your house is empty or even if you just want help getting your house ready to show, a stager is a professional who can help with that. A home stager is a designer whose goal and job it is to make the house look inviting and attract buyers using furniture, accessories, and art.
10. Hire a realtor! Hire a realtor to help you set the price of your house (houses listed with realtors make more of a profit on average than a house listed by owners). You don’t want to overprice your house – potential buyers won’t ever see or consider it. You also don’t want to underprice your house – potential buyers may think something is wrong with it. Your realtor finds the value of your house based on comparables in the area. The value of your house can be based on square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, updates, and more. Hire a realtor to negotiate for you (did you know that in a real estate transaction, you negotiate more than just the price of the house? You negotiate who pays for what, – the appraisal, CL-100, home warranty, closing costs, etc. - who repairs what, what happens when the appraisal comes back too low, and more. Hire a realtor for their marketing. A realtor’s online marketing, open houses, and yard signs increase your chances of selling QUICKLY, again rather than just listing for sale by owner on Zillow. Yes, you have to pay the realtor fees, BUT in the end, it is worth it. They will make the selling process quicker, less stressful, and more profitable for you.
Most of the time your realtor will also hire a professional photographer to capture the best parts of your house, which is essential to attract buyers. Some studies show that 92% of homebuyers use the internet for their home search, meaning the clarity and quality of the listing photos are critical – it’s the first impression, and we all know that first impressions matter. The quality of the pictures can definitely determine the length of time that it takes for the house to sell, but also the price of the house. So, when talking to your realtor, check to see if this is included or an option for you.
If you’re in the Upstate of South Carolina and want to sell, or are considering selling, call/text/email Enna Salihbasic with La Rosa Realty whenever you’re ready! Whether it’s to get a CMA (comparative market analysis) to see roughly what your house is worth, or just to ask questions, she is available to answer today.