Here are four steps to selling success:
1. Make Exterior Improvements
- Rake leaves, mow lawn and keep edges neat. Lawns and flowers should be weeded regularly. Trees and shrubs should be pruned and trimmed.
- Remove any old or unused items (lawn mowers, tractors, lawn furniture, etc.).
- Hoses should be coiled or placed inconspicuously when not being used; other garden equipment should be stored in some type of shelter when not in use.
- The yard should be free from all clutter; find a place for children’s toys and equipment.
- Fix the garage door so it opens and closes. House and garage doors should be free from finger marks. Wood surfaces should be kept painted, oiled or stained.
- Porches, steps, verandas, balconies, patios, and other extensions of the home must be uncluttered, clean and repaired.
- Shades and awnings in good shape will improve exterior house appearance.
- Keep garbage cans clean and out of sight. Ditto for recycling bins.
- Walks and entrances should be well maintained and free from excess water, ice and snow. Put some crushed stone on walkways and driveways that turn muddy in the rain and fill in any pot holes.
- Keep gates, fences, walls and outer buildings repaired and painted.
- Outdoor furniture should be kept clean; firewood should be neatly stacked; barbecue grills should be cleaned.
- Polish metal accessories (door knobs, door knockers, lamps, etc.).
- Attach downspouts to gutters, and paint if needed. Secure or repair any loose roof shingles or tiles.
- Paint the front, back and side entrance doors. Nothing looks worse than a peeling door.
- If the fence is falling, then so is the sales price. Get rid of it or replace it.
- If you”re not prepared to spend a lot of money on exterior painting, be ready to make a price adjustment. Listen to potential buyers’ comments like, “It will cost a fortune to have the house painted!” If you can afford it, paint it. The money spent tidying up will be well worth it.
- If the roof leaks, fix it! Remove all evidence of leakage such as stains or peeling paint.
2. Make Interior Improvements
- Wash all windows inside and out. Curtains and drapes should be fresh and attractive.
- Let the light in–open all drapes and pull up shades.
- Clean light fixtures and bulbs (i.e., no bugs or flies).
- Use higher watt bulbs for brighter lighting.
- If you can’t get rid of stains in toilet bowl, buy a new one. This applies to all bathrooms, including the one in the basement that is seldom used.
- If you have pets, be especially vigilant about removing all odors and hair. Over half of home purchasers are either allergic to, afraid of, or simply don’t like animals.
- Clean all fireplaces, particularly the ones that have not been used recently.
- Put two coats of off-white paint over any dark colored walls, Also, if walls are dirty, one coat of white paint will work wonders.
- Remove every bit of grease from the inside of the oven or ovens and burner trays.
- Fix the front doorbell, storm door and front entry. Remember, first impressions matter.
- If needed, shampoo carpets, carpeting, and cloth furniture.
- Put new washers in all dripping faucets.
- Replace torn, mildewy shower curtains.
- Remove junk from the attic, basement, closets and tool shed.
- Organize closets.
- Turn off loud stereos and televisions while the house is being shown.
- Water all dying plants or get rid of them.
- Adjust all doors, closets, and windows so they can be easily opened and closed.
- Replace broken tiles on walls or floors and repaste loose or dangling wallpaper.
- Dust, clean and scrub everything – that means EVERYTHING – from attic to basement.
- Make the beds and keep all clothes out of sight.
- Keep kitchen countertop and sink clean and clear.
- Secure all banisters and handrails.
- Remove all posters including adhesive or hooks from walls and doors.
- Paint the basement floor and walls if needed. If basement shows signs of any water or structural problems, be prepared and get a professional structural engineer report outlining any current problems.
- If the pressure is bad, improve the plumbing and piping to increase water pressure.
- Remove worn out wall-to-wall carpeting, provided base floors are either hardwood or wide board (only if in good condition). Replace carpeting with neutral colors if necessary. Clean and buff hardwood floors.
- Remove excess extension cords and exposed wires to lamps and fixtures.
- Replace broken screens, cracked window panes, faulty light fixtures, loose basement stair steps, and the like.
3. Price Your Home Right
Without a doubt, this is the single most important aspect of the selling process. It’s imperative you price your home in line with what comparable homes have been selling for recently. Buyers and their agents will immediately recognize an overpriced listing. When this happens, the market will ignore your home and look for other, well-priced listings.
Similar to being a Buyer, the Seller must take into account certain criteria to determine Fair Market Value:
- How competitive the local market is currently
- Number of similar homes for sale
- Condition of your home
- Strength of local economy
- Quality of local schools
- Access to transportation, shopping, etc.
Let us know if you’d like a Comparative Market Analysis of your home. While sites like Zillow give rough estimates, they don’t provide an accurate or current valuation. We’re happy to help you with this.
4. Develop a Marketing Plan
Here is a summary of the services we provide when listing a home for sale.
- Prepare comprehensive Comparative Market Analysis that analyzes market activity with very detailed information (update weekly)
- Schedule home staging (if needed)
- Make detailed Fact Sheet with color photos, house description, floor plan, etc.
- List home in MLS with multiple photos (slide show) & floor plan layout (if applicable)
- Place lockbox on the property for agent access and to monitor activity
- Put sign in front yard including brochures about the home.
- Advertise listing with photos on multiple web sites (MLS, Realtor.Com, Redfin, Trulia, Zillow, etc.)
- Mail to neighbors: Open-House asking them to consider friends who may want to live in the neighborhood
- Promote the home to other agents that work the area
- Add listing to house tour for RE/MAX Allegiance agents
- Hold Open-House first Sunday after initial listing
- Follow-up with agents for client feedback and neighborhood buyer interest
- Assess current and prospective buyer interest in the property
- Monitor all pre-closing details (buyer loan status, home inspection, etc.)
- Provide weekly updates to sellers (daily if needed)