1. MEET WITH A LOCAL REAL ESTATE AGENT! This may sound obvious but it is so important to find a real estate agent who is going to be a good fit for you. A few things to keep in mind when looking for your real estate agent are: their communication style, their social media savviness, and their negotiating techniques. Designations and sales rankings are great but that isn’t going to directly reflect HOW they do business. You want someone who will work well with other agents, who has the heart of a teacher and will be honest with you about their recommendations for pricing and staging. Please Note: I meet with sellers as early as 6 months prior to listing their home for sale. I’ll tour your house, make recommendations for how to optimize certain spaces, provide you with simple staging techniques and talk with you about your timeframe and your goals. I’ll ask things such as when do you need to sell by, what your ideal sales price would be, how quickly you want your home to sell and more. From there, I’ll create a customized strategy for your needs!
2. DE-CLUTTER EVERYTHING! Big surprise here! I’m sure you’ve heard this one but it’s important. Prospective buyers want to see how much SPACE you have, not how much STUFF you have. Clean out closets and cabinets. Remove items you don’t use every day to give the appearance of more space. Fold towels, sheets, and blankets neatly so that your space appears organized. This also applies to storage spaces, refrigerator, shelves, you name it. Clear up cluttered bookshelves and countertops. Take out half of what is in your closet and store it in bins. You want to give buyers the idea that they can have an organized space and easy living if they purchase your home.
3. TIME FOR A HOME REFRESH! Does the front door need a fresh coat of paint? Do windows need washing or do you have torn window screens? Is the carpeting in shabby shape? Could the kitchen use a mini makeover with new cabinet hardware or upgraded appliances? There are plenty of inexpensive ways to refresh your home to look more appealing. Take care of these minor things prior to listing your home for sale. Your REALTOR® can help you to determine which items will get you the most ROI.
4. CHECK YOUR LIGHTING! The lighter and brighter your home, the better! Your home will show best with lots of light. Are your light fixtures looking outdated? Maybe it’s time to swap out some of those brass fixtures for something more modern to update the look of a space. Install smart bulbs that can be controlled through an app. These are getting really popular along with many other “smart home” features and will give your home that modern twist! A bonus tip for increasing natural light is to remove your window screens.
5. DE-PERSONALIZE! Buyers want to imagine themselves living in the home. If your home is covered with photos of your family, kid’s trophies, sports memorabilia and artwork, it will be harder for buyers to imagine it as a home for their own family. Leaving one or two pictures up is okay but keep most of the home neutral and free from family photos.
6. GET YOUR CURB APPEAL ON POINT! Clean up weeds, put out a new welcome mat, add potted flowers to your front step, and retouch the paint on your shutters. The exterior is going to be the buyer’s first impression, make sure it’s a good one.
7. HAVE A PLAN FOR WHEN YOUR HOUSE SELLS ? If you are going to be buying a new home when yours sells, make sure you talk with a lender so you know your options. Do you need your house to sell in order to buy the new house? Is there a timeframe that you’ll have to stick to? Make sure you have all of these answers and share them with your real estate agent before listing your home for sale.
8. RELAX! NUMBER 10 IS MOST IMPORTANT! The last thing you want to feel is stressed. Take one step at a time, pour yourself a big mug of hot coffee (or whatever your drink of choice may be) and take a deep breath. Following this list and choosing the right Real Estate Agent will set you up for a smooth and less stressful transaction before the for sale sign ever goes up!