Selling Your Home? Follow These Tips
As we move into the spring selling season here in San Antonio, it’s time to start thinking about how your home appears to potential buyers. Making your home stand out with some of these simple tips for selling your home will help attract more buyers and keep them from crossing your home off their list of potential houses. Remember, first impressions are the most important – so make sure your home impresses from the moment the buyers get out of their car and head inside.
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- Clean it up – While this may seem overly obvious, you’d be shocked at the number of homes we have seen with our own eyes that didn’t follow this, the “Cardinal Rule” of home selling. Things to look out for? Kids clothes, shoes, tracked in dirt, dusty vents, and toilet seats in the open position (no one wants to look at your toilet bowl, no matter how clean it may be). If you’re going to follow any of our tips for selling your home, make it this one.
- Update it – While most home sellers aren’t looking to spend a fortune to ready their home, there are a few quick fixes you can do. Touch up/re-paint worn surfaces, replace old faucets, add a few inexpensive curtains to replace metal blinds, change lighting fixtures (old brass and gold make your home look dated in today’s market), and re-stain or re-paint the front door and add new hardware. None of these will cost a fortune, but they can change the age of your home in an instant.
- Curb appeal – You’ve heard this phrase a lot since HGTV came along. Overgrown trees, bushes, and grass are the first things that should be fixed. Plant some flowers, rake those leaves, clean those gutters! Buyers are known to pull up in front of a house with their agent and say “no thank you” without ever stepping foot inside. Don’t let your house become the scene of a drive-by.
- Organize and remove – You’re moving anyway, right? Why not remove some of the junk from your closets, pack away the winter clothes, give the old toys to Goodwill (it’s tax deductible) – cleaning out the extras make your home appear neat and clean. If you want cash for your junk car click here to learn more. Buyers tend to think if your home is organized you’re more likely to have taken good care of the home while you lived there.
- Lighting – In addition to changing out some of the old fixtures, be sure that all the lights have working bulbs in them. Check out big family here. Clean the shades and glass covers and make the light shine through. Raise the blinds, throw open the curtains, and let the sun shine in. A little sunshine spells a lot of happy faces. Turn on all the lights before a showing – don’t leave the buyer in a dark corner of the house. If there are damages on your lighting fixture or wiring, you may need professional lighting repair services.
- Smell – One of the stronger senses in the human body, smell can sell. You don’t have to make it smell like fresh baked apple pie, just don’t make it stink. Avoid cooking foods with strong odors, open windows as often as possible for fresh air, use candles or air fresheners to scent the home, and please, please please…clean the cat box!
- Price – In any market (especially the current one), price is king. Price will determine whether a home is seen or not seen. The laws of supply and demand determine how buyers will react to your price. If you’re overpriced, forget it. If you’re priced right, your home will get noticed. Talk to your Realtor and review a CMA (comparative market analysis) with them.
- Showing availability – If you put a million conditions on how and when your home can be shown, you’re risking losing potential buyers. You want (and need) your home to be seen for it to be sold. Having stringent rules about viewing times, advance notice, or denial of appointments can all lead to buyers looking at another house in the neighborhood. Have your agent use a lockbox and a showing service (we use Centralized Showing Service here in San Antonio) and let other agents show your home whenever possible.
- Marketing – Today, many buyers are using the internet to find a home before ever contacting an agent. We shop for homes in our pajamas, then hit the streets to look at them. Most agents have some form of internet marketing, but look for one who makes a bigger effort than most. Although agents will tell you they can email your listing to 10,000 people, most of it winds up in spam folders. A blind email to a random stranger probably won’t sell your house. Getting in front of home buyers through the big real estate sites along with blogs, social media, and visual media sites will help buyers find your home. Making sure your agent uses all available photos (25 in San Antonio’s MLS) and media will help get more buyers to take a look at your home.
- Extras – Offering any incentives or extra inclusions can help sell your home. Don’t want to move the stainless steel refrigerator? Tell the buyers they can have it. Don’t need a riding mower where you’re heading? Make sure the agent includes it in the listing. Residential service contracts (also known as home warranties) are also a great part of any listing. Most buyers ask for one in their offer, so why not attract them with an offer of one yourself?
These tips for selling your home can help you save time and sell home for cash. Always think like a buyer when you list your home and know what they’re looking for so you can make sure you highlight those things in your home. Remember, you want to create a positive impression with the buyers that will last long after they’ve walked out the door. Make them want your house more than any other and they will bring you an offer.
photo courtesy of striatic
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