10 Inconvenient Facts When Selling a Home
Honesty might be the best policy when helping a home owner get ready to sell their home. The following facts might not be what you want to hear when considering selling your home, but should be considered in order to get you the best price. So here goes.
- A clean staged home sells – If your home is cleaned, updated and staged well you could make thousands more when you sell. Take the time to prepare your home for sale and use your agent as a resource. If you have a larger home, or one that is dated consider hiring a professional home stager and get insights on where to focus your time and money while preparing your home.
- You should have your home inspected – Almost all buyers will have a home inspection contingency as part of their offer. Get a professional report prior to selling to avoid costly inspection item negotiations during a sale. Items repaired upfront will add value to your home. Providing a perspective buyer with an inspection report can ease their decision making process and result in a higher sale price. Negotiating items found on a buyers inspection with an inspection deadline approaching results in over-payment for the buyer’s future repairs. Unfortunately buyers love to renegotiate home prices after the home inspection so don’t give them the opportunity. Getting an inspection and allowing time to repair any items up front provides you with the opportunity to get multiple bids for repairs and secure the most economical repair.
- Selling your home is going to be a lot of work – Putting your house on the market is a lot of work. You will need to clean and declutter your home, fix any minor repairs, repair any deferred maintenance, and then get your home on the market. Completing the steps to effectively marketing your home is best handled by an experienced agent, but all the rest is typically up to you. The work does not end when the house is listed. In a busy sellers’ market you may be inconvenienced with multiple showings a day for the first week or two and then more sporadically after that. Keeping your house clean and vacating the property is time consuming. Have a plan and be ready!
- You have to remove what makes your home yours – Buyers will need to envision themselves living in your home. Remove personal items, family photos, replace odd sized furniture, hide everyday clutter, and pack away all unused items in closets. Your home should look like a minimalist lives there. Nothing is more distracting than a buyer looking at your wedding photos instead of the new kitchen counters you just installed. Removing clutter makes a house feel open and spacious. Closets with available space show that you have plenty of storage room.
- Buyers are turned off by odors – Don’t lose money because you have gotten use to your home’s smell. Odors as simple as cooking can be unpleasant to some buyer’s noses. Try to avoid cooking meals at home prior to showings and especially open houses. Everyone loves puppies and kittens but most do not appreciate the smell. Removing pet smells may be a simple freshening up of the home and deep cleaning. Worst case scenario some carpets and flooring may need to be replaced prior to selling. If you smoke in your home you have your work cut out for you. Plan on doing whatever is necessary to remove the odor. This may include items such as carpet, cleaning all fabrics, painting, and deep cleaning all surfaces. Houses that smell like smoke are really hard to sell and require a much lower price vs their similar competition. Never try to cover up an unpleasant aroma with air fresheners. The resulting mix of aromas scares buyers away faster than the smell itself.
- The internet drives traffic – Hiring an agent that will effectively market your home on the internet is key to a successful sale and a higher sale price. Almost every buyer starts looking for a home online. Professional photos, a video tour, and proper online marketing plan is a must. In the past a buyer would read through the specifications of a property and then go look at it to see if they liked the home. Today the opposite is true. Buyers look at photos first and if you have low quality photos, lack of photos, or a bad visual representation of a property online, your house will be passed over.
- You have to be honest – Be open and honest with your agent, the buyers, and the buyer’s agent. Disclose all you know about your home upfront. If there are things that don’t work, need repair, or are missing note them in your seller’s disclosure paperwork. This is not the time to cover up issues and hope buyers don’t notice. They will be living in the home and find them eventually. You never want to be contacted by a buyer or their lawyer after the closing.
- Houses priced right sell – Your house needs to be priced right when it hits the market. You only get one shot to make a first impression. Getting the price right along with a clean decluttered home will present a value to buyers that are waiting for homes to come on the market. If it’s priced right they will know and so will there agent. A sense of urgency will be created by the value and the buyer and agent will want to look at it right away. If you price it to high it may sit on the market and become stale. After the first few weeks of a listing showings drop dramatically. The longer a house sits on the market the more it could become negatively stigmatized. Buyers will either think something is wrong with the house or be looking to get a deal since it has been on the market for a long time. Price your house right when you first list and you will have the best opportunity to get the highest sale price.
- Don’t ignore small repairs – A well maintained home shows well and sells for more. If small items such as paint touch ups, squeaking doors, sticky windows, loose door knobs, floor squeaks, etcetera are ignored your house will sell for less. When a buyer enters your home for a showing and finds some minor items they may start looking for what else is wrong. The more they find the more they look for them. If your home is well maintained a showing is far more relaxing and buyers will focus more on your house and what it has to over rather than what they need to fix. Buyers will pay more for a home that is well maintained and requires less work in the future.
- Communication is very important – Always communicate information in a sale as accurately and quickly as possible. If a buyer or another agent has questions answer them as quickly as possible. Buyers may think that a delay means your hiding something. You are trying to build trust with the buyer and vice versa. Effective timely communication at the time of showing and right after can result in a better initial offer price. Quick communication after an accepted offer is just as important. Many deadlines and contingencies remain and any delay in communications from either side can make both parties feel uneasy. Transactions that run smooth result in both parties seeking a win-win situation to any remaining negotiations.
I hope the above helped you look at your home in a different way. Your main goal when selling should be to put your best foot forward and sell for as much as possible. If you would like more information feel free to contact me.Tyler Rufenacht