This Realtor Savvy Scoop is brought to you by Real Estate on Heels (you know Scoop loves a great name) Keller Williams realtor Tatyana Ladd-Thomas. More on Tatyana after the post. Enjoy these savvy tips for selling your house.
Price it right.Find out what your home is worth, and then reduce 5 to 10 percent off the price. You’ll be stampeded by buyers with multiple bids — even in the worst markets — and they’ll bid up the price over what it’s worth. It takes real courage and most sellers just don’t want to risk it, but it’s the single best strategy to sell a home in today’s market.
Half-empty closets.Storage is something every buyer is looking for and can never have enough of. Take half the stuff out of your closets then neatly organize what’s left in there. Buyers will snoop, so be sure to keep all your closets and cabinets clean and tidy.
Take your home out of your house.One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to de-personalize it. The more personal stuff in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. Get rid of a third of your stuff – put it in storage. This includes family photos, memorabilia collections and personal keepsakes. Staging simply means arranging your furniture to best showcase the floor plan and maximize the use of space.
The kitchen comes first. You’re not actually selling your house; you’re selling your kitchen – that’s how important it is. The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless, and the best part of it is that you’ll probably get 85% of your money back. It may be a few thousand dollars to replace counter tops where a buyer may knock $10,000 off the asking price if your kitchen looks dated. The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware. Use neutral-color paint so you can present buyers with a blank canvas where they can start envisioning their own style.
Always be ready to show. Your house needs to be “show-ready” at all times – you never know when your buyer is going to walk through the door. You have to be available whenever they want to come see the place and it has to be in tip-top shape. Don’t leave dishes in the sink, keep the dishwasher cleaned out, the bathrooms sparkling and make sure there are no dust bunnies in the corners. It’s a little inconvenient, but it will get your house sold.
Light it up. Maximize the light in your home. After location, good light is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. Do what you have to do make your house bright and cheery – it will make it more sell-able.
Don’t over-upgrade. Quick fixes before selling always will pay off. You probably won’t get your money back if you do a huge improvement project before you put your house on the market. Instead, do updates that will pay off and get you top dollar. Get a new fresh coat of paint on the walls. Clean the curtains or go buy some inexpensive new ones. Replace door handles, cabinet hardware, make sure closet doors are on track, fix leaky faucets and clean the grout.
The first impression is the only impression. No matter how good the interior of your home looks, buyers have already judged your home before they walk through the door. You never have a second chance to make a first impression. It’s important to make people feel warm, welcome and safe as they approach the house. Spruce up your home’s exterior with inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers. You can typically get a 100-percent return on the money you put into your home’s curb appeal. Entryways are also important. You use it as a utility space for your coat and keys. But, when you’re selling, make it welcoming by putting in a small bench, a vase of fresh-cut flowers or even some cookies.
Write a love letter about your home. When bidding wars abound, it becomes common for buyers to write what I like to call “love letters” to sellers, counting the ways they love the home (Shakespeare-style) and trying to woo them into letting the buyer become its next owner. But sellers whose homes aren’t moving would do well to channel the Bard themselves. Buyers appreciate a home that has been cherished, and like to hear the lore of lovely family memories a seller had in the place. I’ve actually witnessed firsthand a buyer walk through a home, deem it “cute” with nonchalance, then warm to the property as they come across a binder full of a seller’s notes about the place, the neighborhood and even local vendors and parks, from the rosy viewpoint of someone who loves them.
Find the right agent. A secret sale killer is hiring the wrong broker. Make sure you have a broker who is totally informed. They must constantly monitor the multiple listing service (MLS), know what properties are going on the market and know the comps in your neighborhood. Find a broker who embraces technology – a tech-savvy one has many tools to get your house sold.
Tatyana Ladd-Thomas is Lithuanian born graduate of Vilnius University Law School. As a Realtor at Keller Williams with her Real Estate on Heels website, she brings her marketing and networking skills and some European style and fashion to help her clients find the perfect lifestyle. Her Real Estate team is multilingual. Since becoming an American citizen, Tatyana has been a Commercial and Mortgage leader at Bank of America, a licensed Financial Advisor and founder of The George Commerce Club. She is also the owner of marketing agency Mike’s Ad Shop.
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