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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

Five Often Overlooked Steps Home Sellers Should Take

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 09 January 2019 18:35

You’ve made the decision to sell your home. Maybe you’re downsizing, relocating for a job or simply ready for a change. Regardless, you’re ready to move. Now what? You might be a seasoned seller who’s used to the process and knows what to expect around every turn. Or, you may be new to the entire journey and unsure what your next step should be. Most of us fall into the middle, with at least a little bit of knowledge around what goes on, but not quite enough to handle the entire process on our own.

 

That said, there are a few unspoken rules you should follow and steps you must take when you’re ready to list your home on the market. Many of these often go overlooked in the hurried hustle and bustle that accompanies this season. Still, understanding what’s expected of you at the beginning can help you avoid time-consuming setbacks that only serve to delay and derail any momentum. Today, we’re sharing these steps and how you can go about taking care of them.

 

1. Appealing to the Appropriate Market

Ask any real estate agent what the hot home buying demographic is today, and you’ll get the same answer from each: millennials. In fact, this group spent a collective $514 billion on the U.S. housing market in 2017 alone, making them the nation’s largest group of home buyers. As such, motivated sellers should find ways to appeal to these customers, defined as those aged between 18 and 24.

 

A few ways you can maximize your exposure to this demographic include posting your listing on key social media platforms including Pinterest and Instagram. As this group is increasingly going green and heralding the benefits of doing so, you should also highlight any smart home/eco-friendly technology your home is equipped with, as well as any upgrades you’ve performed to make it more energy-efficient, such as installing new EnergyStar-certified windows.

 

2. Take Care of Last-Minute Repairs

One way to help your home sell quicker and for more money is to go ahead and tackle some needed repairs on your own before putting it on the market. While you’ll need to weigh the costs and longevity of some repairs on your own, if you have the budget to handle minor plumbing, painting and patching problems on your own, you can help the next homeowner avoid having to discover these shortcomings down the road.

 

If you have the time, you may also consider hiring someone to pre-inspect your property before you even list it. That way, once you get the report back, you’ll know exactly which areas to target and focus on. Then, you can reveal to prospective buyers that all the issues have been addressed and the home is in move-in ready condition.

 

3. Make Open Houses a Breeze

Especially if you’re working in tandem with a trusted real estate agent, you might assume that he or she is taking care of all of the open house details and your participation will be minimal. However, that isn’t the case and there are a few things you can do on your end to help expedite the process and make your next showing as successful as possible.

 

To begin, make a clean sweep of your medicine cabinet. Not only does removing prescription drugs help conceal your identity, but it also helps prevent theft. It’s better to play on the safe side, here, so go ahead and relocate them to an out-of-sight area. While you’re at it, relocate all other valuables as well, including jewelry and pricey antiques.

 

Next, go room by room and remove any obvious clutter. This helps to depersonalize your home so buyers can see themselves in it, and also gives your home a neater, more organized appearance. You can also take down oversized family portraits to achieve the same neutral feel. If you have any window treatments, go ahead and open those too, allowing natural light to enter the home and give it a warm ambience.

 

Want to add that special touch that all interested buyers can’t help but adore? Bake a fresh tray of cookies and leave them sitting on the kitchen countertop. The scent alone will entice them, and who doesn’t love a warm treat while they’re browsing a new property?

 

4. Upgrade your photography.

Take a look at your property listing. Are the photographs grainy, too-small or taking forever to load? If so, it’s time to make an upgrade, stat. Studies reveal that most people are visual learners and retain more of what they see than what they read. To this end, your pictures must be as detailed and clear as possible.

 

This is the case whether you’re working with a real estate agent to sell your home via the traditional method, going the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) route, or considering a direct sale of your property. If it’s the latter you’re thinking of, this helpful guide can teach you the pros and cons of a direct sale approach and what to expect along the way.

 

As dynamic as your smartphone might be, this isn’t the place to play around with amaetur equipment. Unless you’re a professional photographer yourself, go ahead and hire one to take care of this step. You’ll be glad you did. Research shows professional pictures can earn you between $1,000 and $100,000 more on your home sale. That makes it more than worth the investment.

 

5. Remove evidence of pets.

As much as you love your furry companions, it’s important to be wise to the fact that not everyone will feel the same way about Fido or Fluffy that you do. To this end, it’s critical to remove all major pieces of evidence that your home is pet-friendly. Take a walkthrough of your yard remove any droppings. Then, spray an odor-eliminating, bacteria-eating solution around your home to remove any lingering scents of urine or fecal matter that might be embedded in your carpet and rugs. You might have become nose-blind to it, but if someone isn’t used to living there, the scent will hit them as soon as they walk in the door. Another way to help the smell and pick up loose fur is to vacuum your furniture and floors. If someone is allergic to dander, they could start having a reaction during the showing, and there’s no way to ruin a great walkthrough like an allergy attack right at your stoop.

 

Finally, walk through and pick up any pet toys, stray leashes, food bowls and other pet items that you have lying around. You don’t have to remove every single memento of your precious pup, but make sure the evidence isn’t too obvious.

 

Sell Your Home Quicker By Following These Steps

The first few weeks of selling your home can seem overwhelming at best and downright challenging at other times. Yet, when you know how to best approach the process, you’ll be in a more clear-headed and prepared state of mind when it’s finally time to get the ball rolling. While this list isn’t exclusive, it’s helpful to have a few tips in your back pocket to help you corner the market, best the competition and get the buyer of your dreams.

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