06 Oct Ten Tips for Selling Your Home
By Jessica Rosato
Luxury Residential Specialist
Nestler Poletto Sotheby’s International Realty
There are many tricks of the trade that will help further along the sale of your home, but these are the most important tips that I feel will help sellers get their home sold quickly and for more money!
1. Pricing It Right! Be aggressive, be competitive. Pricing your home right can create multiple bids and likely drive the price of your home over what the home is worth or what you are listing it for. Remember, the market dictates what a home is worth, not a seller!
2. The Right Agent! There is nothing worse than an uninformed agent whose main focus is not to sell your home. You want to make sure that you shop around and find a real estate professional that you can work well with, who understands your needs and who respects your distinct style on approach and communication. A quality agent should be informed, attentive, technologically savvy, up to speed on new listings and comparables in your neighborhood, armed with an arsenal of marketing tools and opportunities to get your home in front of a large audience (locally, nationally and internationally) and who listens. Many buyers currently looking to purchase real estate in South Florida are foreign, and you need a company who has that global reach.
3. Light, Light, Light! Do whatever you need to do to let the sunshine in! Buyers love light and bright, not dark and drab. Take down drapes and curtains, clean windows, cut bushes, replace light bulbs, and of course, have all the lights on in every room with blinds up so that your home is ready to be shown before potential buyers arrive.
4. Show-Ready! Have your home neat and tidy at all times, not cluttered with personal items. De-personalize and de-clutter. Put unnecessary items in storage. Keep your space organized and crisp. This goes for your living room to your closets. Buyers are always looking for storage and having enough of it, accessible and organized, is key. Maximize the use of your space and the full potential of your home. Don’t think that buyers don’t snoop in closets and cabinets, and even your refrigerator, they do! Always be ready for a last minute showing.
5. Dog Be Gone! Most people have pets and love animals, but they don’t want to be bombarded with pet odors and food and toys, or the pet itself, when they enter the door. It makes them think that your house is not clean . . .and especially if you have carpets throughout your home, buyers will be thinking of the costs associated with replacing the carpet and not all the perks your home has to offer. Be really attentive to this! No one likes a stinky house, unless it smells like homemade chocolate chip cookies!
6. Your Kitchen! I can’t tell you how important a kitchen is to a buyer. An updated kitchen is CRITICAL! I’ve been with buyers who won’t even look at the rest of the house if the kitchen isn’t up to par, and I’ve had buyers who loved a house until they walked into the kitchen. Putting money into a kitchen always reaps rewards. It might cost you a few thousand dollars, but that’s far better than a buyer taking $10,000 off the asking price because the kitchen is outdated. Think about it! Stainless Steel appliances are key nowadays, and standard, as are granite countertops. Changing out countertops, cabinets, pulls — do it — it is well worth the investment.
7. Don’t Over Do It! A fresh coat of paint, yes—a huge renovation, no! Oh, and neutral paint that is, not fuscia or electric blue! Quick fixes do pay off and get you more money in the long run. Make minor repairs and see the value that comes from them.
8. Focus On The Details! The littlest thing can throw a buyer off. I’ve seen it time and time again. Just as an obvious pet presence can make a buyer think your home is dirty, an unmaintained home with unmaintained items could make buyers think that your home is in bad condition. And buyers do not want to come out of pocket with a lot of money to make costly repairs right off the bat. Once they notice one little thing, they start to notice every little defect, and before you know it, they are picking your house apart. Fix unhinged closet doors, clean grout in the bathrooms, fix leaky faucets, replace light bulbs, clean up the backyard, and clean the roof.
9. First Impression Is Key! Curb appeal matters. If your home is unappealing before they even get in the front door, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do, if you can at all. We’ve all been told a million times that it’s nearly impossible to make a second first impression. Everyone wants a nice street with a warm, welcoming home, so spruce it up! Exterior is key and often inexpensive to remedy with nice flowers and plants and keeping it well maintained. It’s terrible to show up to a home with a client and the first thing they notice are broken light fixtures, missing light bulbs or hanging wires. Misplaced items and an unmaintained lawn are not good indicators that the home inside is going to wow them. Pretend you are the buyer and scrutinize your home just as they will.
10. Remove Items You Will Take! If you don’t want to sell it with the house, then get rid of it—make it disappear. Out of sight, out of mind. If a buyer never sees it, they won’t ever want it. If you’re taking a chandelier, take it down, box it and replace it with another decent replacement. Deals have fallen through over simple items like a painting or a sconce, and no one wants that.