7 Tips for Getting Your Home off the Market Quickly
By Debbie Wysocki
Do you have a home to sell? Are you ready to get the selling process over with quickly? There is no better time than now! Here are four top tips for getting your house ready to list for a ton of interest and potential bids:
Give Your Yard Attention. Cleaning up your yard and making it look welcoming will do two things for sellers: First, a beautiful yard that is free of cracks and weeds will attract more potential buyers; second, curb appeal can add as much as 5 percent value to your home. What does this mean? Take out dead or scraggly plants; trim trees; add new turf, if needed; and plant seasonal plants that will not wilt in summer heat. Last but not least, put nice planters with flowers by the front door. And, it always helps to have outdoor lighting, which has become very inexpensive. If you already have it, make sure it is in good working order.
Paint Inside and Out.
Buyers want to see a fresh, clean space when they visit your home. By painting inside and out, you have the chance to apply a neutral tone throughout the home. Take the time to do it right (that means taking the door knobs off, switch plates off, taping around straight edges if you don’t know how to ‘cut in’ the paint), and prepping before you paint — that means cleaning the walls, sanding, and dusting. If you are not going to do the work, and choose to hire a professional, be sure to ask what kind of prep work they do. My Grandfather taught me how to paint, so I am a stickler when I interview a new painter — and her darn well better prep the house right. If he does a good job, he will get lots of referrals. It was really hard for me to stop painting my own homes — but it became a matter of time vs money. When it comes to wall coverings, use a diluted solution of mild dish soap and warm water followed by a magic eraser (if the damp towel didn’t work). We are trying to accomplish no fingerprints or smudges without damaging your wall coverings or having to replace them. Paint makes it easy — it’s fresh — neutral and no nail holes (remember — remove any personal pictures before you paint) and patch the holes.
Price Your Home Intelligently. The right sales price for your home is often the best way to sell your home quickly. If priced too high, you may scare buyers away before they even come to an open house, but, if priced too low, you may lose out on money. I think this picture tells the WHOLE Story.
And, sign The Listing Agreement Now — even Before your house is ready. Why? Your Realtor will be able to assist you is getting the house prepped and you will get these ‘fix it ‘ things off your plate much quicker. While we are not seeing a decline in prices, we are seeing that homes are beginning to take a little longer to sell — unless they are in pristine shape — Buyers are being more choosy.
Less is More. Whatever season you are in, only keep things for that season and the next. Take the rest to storage (clothes, sports equipment, etc). Buyer’s want to see wide open closet and garage spaces. If you have lots of dishes, pack half of them up. Only have two sets of towels and sheets (the one you are using and the spare set). Nothing beyond what is absolutely necessary. If you have storage boxes for taxes, kids memory boxes, camping gear – put it in a storage unit — and not a POD in front of your house. Yes, it will cost you some extra money — and your home will sell at least 30 to 60 days faster — I PROMISE.
Depersonalize the Space. Buyers want to look at a home as if they are moving in. When you leave pet toys or your children’s clothes laying around, people see “you” in the home. By removing everything that’s personal, you can make way to stage the home.
Two Safety Tips for Your Electrical System. The safety of our home’s electric system is often something we take for granted. From hitting a switch to illuminate your space, to plugging in and charging your devices, we rarely consider the currents coursing through our walls. However, to keep your family safe and your home secure, it’s important to consider your electrical system, and whether or not your system is safe. In other words — do not overload your electrical outlets — get a qualified handyman or an electrician in to add a few outlets. Your prospective buyer does not want to see that photo on the right.
Get to know your electrical system better. First and foremost, spend some time becoming more familiar with the home’s electric system. Learn what runs on each circuit, and get to know the limits for each. Overloads can be dangerous, and electrical fires from overloads can do a lot of damage in a little amount of time.
Don’t overdo it with extension cords. Extension cords are great for reaching a little further with items like electric blowers or work lights, but it’s important to remember to use them safely. Don’t daisy chain multiple cords together, and don’t use them for items that will pull more power than the extension cords are designed to handle. They can overheat, short and even be the cause of a house fire.
If you are in Florida, you need Impact Windows. It’s the #1 Question I get asked — ‘ Does this home have Impact Windows?’ If you don’t have the cash to install them, use the PACE program to put your windows in and get a new air conditioner, if you need one. It’s basically a low interest loan with a tax rebate from the government. Call me if you want to know more, and I will refer you to our preferred vendor.