Preparing to Sell Your Home
Are you preparing to sell your home?
While many of the factors that affect how well your home will perform on the market (size, location, timing, etc.) are beyond your control, there are things you can control. Take advantage of them, and you're more likely to ensure yourself a successful sale. Some steps are obvious. Like thorough preparation and a well-thought-out marketing plan. But there are little things you can do, too, that might make a big difference come closing time.
Put your emotions aside. Lived in your home for years? Raised children there? Maybe every floor, wall and ceiling is the product of your own blood, sweat and tears? It's natural to form a bond with your home. But buyers haven't shared your experience. So don't let feelings cloud your judgment when they don't compliment your decor or offer to empty their bank accounts for your house.
Help buyers fall in love. Un-clutter your house. Pack up things you don't need. Minimize the number of items you keep on bookcases, shelves, tables and countertops. Consider inexpensive upgrades. Paint and carpet cost little but dramatically improve a room's appearance. Make the entrance inviting. Open curtains. Turn on your lights. Bake some cookies. Put on a pot of coffee. Play some pleasant music on the stereo. See Seller Tips
Find a savvy agent. Any agent can sell your house. The right agent can make your house shine, lure in buyers, get you a good price and close quickly. Interview candidates. Check their track records. Inquire about the type of services they provide. And ask them to prepare a comparative marketing analysis on your home. Read some of Lauren's client's testimonials.
What price is right? The most eagerly anticipated, and often most debated, question home owners ask. Find out what other homes in your neighborhood have recently sold for. Determine whether you're in a hot, cold or normal market. And remember, a lower listing price can attract dueling bidders. While a higher price might keep your house on the market longer. Click on this link for a free online home value assessment. For more information on pricing your house right read The Costliest Mistake.
Marketing makes a difference. The best way to sell your house is to reach as many genuinely interested buyers as you can. How do you accomplish that? List your home on the Multiple Listing Service. Invite agents in to preview your home. Hold an open house. Leave flyers on the "For Sale" sign in front of your property. Advertise in the local papers and on the Internet. A good agent will employ all sorts of marketing tactics.
Stay open for business. Don't let agents barge in whenever they like, but do make your home accessible. Try to accommodate agents who call ahead. Also, it's a good idea to run errands or go see a movie when your house is being shown. Nothing makes a prospective buyer more uncomfortable than to have the homeowner present when they're nosing around.
Try to be a realist. Home sellers tend to fall into one of three categories. Dreamers, realists and worrywarts. Dreamers overprice their homes and wonder why buyers don't come marching in by the dozens with wheelbarrows full of cash. Worrywarts fret over every last detail, especially if the house hasn't sold in 24 hours. Realists price their property based on market conditions, exercise patience and recognize a good offer when it comes in.
Negotiate wisely. Unless you're receiving multiple bids, a buyer's first offer is rarely their best offer. Counter back, but don't concede much at first. Negotiate on terms, not just money. If they're not giving you your price, ask them to cover their own repairs or to chip in for closing costs. Answer their questions, but don't say more than you need to. The less they know about your situation, the less leverage they have in negotiations.
Seal the Deal. Deals do fall apart during escrow. So get issues resolved quickly. Don't let buyer's delay the removal of contingencies. Meanwhile, notify friends, family, banks, credit cards and other institutions of your new address. And don't forget to discontinue your utilities. At closing, check all the figures on the closing statements and don't leave without a copy of all the documents.
If you have any questions about selling real estate in the greater Santa Cruz area, contact Lauren Spencer, Coldwell Banker Realtor at 1-831-662-6522 or Toll Free: 1-800-226-4717.