What's Next to List My House?
After your choose your Realtor, you need to get your home ready. When you are getting your home ready to sell, you need to look at how your home shows with "Buyer Eyes". Ask a relative or trusted friend to give you their opinion.
CURB APPEAL-Spruce up the outside. How does your home look from the outside? Drive up to your home as a buyer would. How does your home look from the outside? What is your first impression? If you don't sell the buyer on the outside of your home, they may never get the chance to ever to see the inside. You can't do much if your neighbor doesn't take care of their property, but be aware that a buyer will notice. Do the best to make your home as appealing as possible. When a Realtor is opening the lockbox to access the key, the buyers are standing at the front door. How does your porch look? How does your front door look? Is there peeling paint? Do repairs need to be done? Is the screen ripped? Is the door dirty?
CLUTTER-Just get rid of it. You are going to have to do something with your stuff eventually. Start sorting through things and either donate, throw out or pack it up. The buyer can't see your updates or features when all they are concentrating on is the clutter.
SMELLS-If you don't think your home smells, ask someone who doesn't live there to give it the "sniff test". If they are not honest with you, potential buyers will be! Pet smells, smoke smells and cooking smells are a big turn off. Strong candles, potpourri, plug ins and air fresheners don't work. The buyer will wonder what you are hiding. Get rid of the smells. Does your home need a good spring cleaning? If it smells, it won't sell. If you have a basement, you may want to do the "sniff test" heading down the stairs. Does your basement smell damp? Does it smell like water? Buyers will smell that too. Maybe invest in a dehumidifier or have someone check your basement for issues. Better to know now than have it come up as a result of a buyer's home inspection.
LIGHT-Having a lot of light will show the home better. Clean your windows and open the drapes/blinds before showings if you can. Make sure your lightbulbs work! Such an inexpensive fix that will go a long way.
FLEXIBILITY-Use a lockbox and try to accommodate showings. Putting restrictions on your showing times just allow them to cross off your home and look at others with no restrictions. There can be competition, and buyers will move onto another home. They may plan to reschedule, but in the meantime, they are looking at homes that are available to see and may never get back to yours.
CLEANLINESS-It doesn't have to be spotless, but try to keep the house clean. We know you still have to live your daily life in your home. Get in the daily habit of picking up before bedtime and making the beds in the morning. Sometimes showings are requested last minute or while you are away from your home. Having it ready to show every day will help. Hopefully you won't have to do it for very long. The kitchens and the bathrooms are the spots that sell. Impress them! Closets, cupboards and refrigerators will be opened. Try to keep them organized too. If you have children, maybe give them a reward for keeping their rooms cleaned or make it a game. The sooner you get an offer, the less inconvenient it will be. Keep in mind that it's ok to show a home if there are a few dishes in the sink that you didn't get to. Don't decline a showing just because of that.
PRICE-Price it right. You don't want your home sitting on the market forever. The goal is to sell it. You have to take the emotion out of the picture. It now becomes a house instead of your home. When a buyer sees a house that has been for sale for awhile, they will wonder what is wrong with it. An agent will know that it is either the condition or the price.
REPAIRS-You know those little repairs that you have been putting off? It might be time now to take care of those. Go through each room writing a checklist of things that need to be done. If you personally can't do them, hire a handyman to help. If buyers see all the things that they will have to repair, it may be a turn off or a reason for them to make a lower offer.
When your home is ready, we will sign all of the necessary paperwork. I will have photos taken and take measures of your rooms. We will discuss the showing procedures. I will need your mortgage information if applicable in order to get a payoff amount requested for closing. If your home is in an association, I will need the association contact information as well as bylaws and other associated information. Plan to have an extra key for me to put in the lockbox. The title company will be performing a title search on your property to confirm that you are the rightful owners. They will also research for any liens on your property that will need to be taken care of at closing. You need to offer "clear title" to the new homeowners.
Selling your home can be a lot of work and inconvenience. These steps will hopefully help to make it a little easier.