Getting Ready To Sell Your Home
Here are some great tips to remember when selling your home in a tough real estate market.
1) Disassociate Yourself With Your Home.
Say to yourself, "This is not my home; it is a house -- a product to be sold much like a beautiful piece of art or a luxury car.
Make the mental decision to "let go" of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours.
Picture yourself handing over the keys and envelopes containing appliance warranties to the new owners!
Picture the new owners enjoying the home as much as you and your family have.
Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can't see past personal artifacts, and you don't want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can't do that if yours are there! You don't want to make any buyer ask, "I wonder what kind of people live in this home?" You want buyers to say, "I can see myself living here."
People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven't used it in over a year, you probably don't need it.
If you don't need it, why not donate it or throw it away?
Pack up those knickknacks.
Clean off everything on kitchen counters. Hide your small appliances.
Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use.
Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.
4) Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets.
Buyers love to snoop and will open closet and cabinet doors. Think of the message it sends if items fall out! Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if she sees everything organized. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well. This means:
Neatly stack dishes.
Turn the coffee cup handles facing the same way.
Hang like items together, buttoned and facing the same direction.
Line up shoes.
5) Rent a Storage Unit.
Almost every home shows better with less furniture.
Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger.
Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room's purpose and plenty of room to move around. You don't want buyers scratching their heads and saying, "What is this room used for?"
6) Remove/Replace Favorite Items.
If you want to take window coverings or fixtures, you might want to remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great-grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, she won't want it. Once you tell a buyer she can't have an item, she will covet it, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.
7) Make Minor Repairs
Don't give buyers any reason to remember your home as "the house with the orange bathroom."
Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
Patch holes in walls.
Fix leaky faucets.
Fix doors that don't close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls.
Replace burned-out light bulbs.
8) Make the House Sparkle!
Wash windows inside and out.
Clean out cobwebs. Re-caulk tubs, showers, and sinks.
Polish chrome faucets and mirrors.
Clean out the refrigerator. Vacuum daily and/or wax floors.
Dust furniture, blinds, ceiling fan blades, and light fixtures.
Bleach dingy grout. Hang up fresh towels.
Clean and air out any musty-smelling areas.
You may want to consider a neutral air freshener such as a citrus “plug-in” or burning a clean-smelling candle from time to time.
Go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you? Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer. Examine carefully how furniture is arranged and move pieces around until it makes sense. Your home should appeal to as many of a buyer’s senses as possible. It should look enticing, and smell nice. If possible there should be music playing jazz or classical, and it should be a comfortable temperature, if it’s too hot or too cold the buyer will not feel welcome.
9) Check Curb Appeal.
If a buyer won't get out of her agent's car because she doesn't like the exterior of your home, you'll never get her inside.
Keep the sidewalks cleared.
Mow the lawn.
Paint faded window trim.
Plant yellow flowers or group flower pots together.
Trim your bushes.
Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number.
10) Pricing your home effectively
Do not over-price your home. Over-pricing when selling a home is the single biggest reason why many "for sale by owner" home sellers don't sell their homes successfully. Remember: the real estate market dictates the price (not what you think it should be worth). One of the best ways to correctly price your house when selling is to ask your Realtor® for current market analysis (CMA) including recent sales and current listings that may be your competition., If your house has more features or other desirable qualities be sure to discuss it with your Realtor®. Finally, keep in mind that many of the public real estate search engines allow pricing criteria in increments of $25,0000. In general, it is better to be at the top end of the pricing increment if possible. For example: choose $124,500 instead of $125,000 as people tend to search to the highest amount they can afford..
Marketing your home
Cygnus Real Estate provides:
MLS – we entice other realtors to work with us by utilizing all of the MLS tools to their fullest. Realtor.com – All listings are posted to the general public's first choice in searching for property.
E-flyers and Email news pieces color Flyers on the property in a flyer box on the sign.
Other publications as appropriate to the target market.
Property featured on this website.
Negotiating an offer on your home
When a buyer makes an offer, you should remember purchase price isn't everything, but it’s important. You can always make a counter offer but before doing so, assess your buyer's financial qualifications. Is the buyer pre-qualified? How much of a loan is the buyer seeking? This is a tough market and lenders are shying away from many deals, particularly if the Loan-to-value (LTV) is high, meaning at 95% or more. If this is the case, your buyer may not be able to obtain financing. Remember your counter can ask for more than just a different price- you can counter on terms, closing dates, inspection, and most details of the offer. Negotiating is an important part of the home-selling process. Rely on your Realtor® and if you have questions that your realtor can’t answer, consult your attorney and your tax professional.
Buyers have the right to inspect the property – although it may be painful for you, it is designed to protect both buyer and seller; the seller from litigation down the road and the buyer from buying a house in need of major repairs of which they are neither aware nor able to accommodate. If you are concerned about how your home will fare when inspected, you may want to consult your realtor about doing an inspection before you put it on the market. Then you can address the problems before a buyer stumbles upon them. But be aware that hiring an inspector and addressing all problems he or she turns up is not a guarantee that you will not be asked to repair anything, anyone can ask for anything. Also, be aware that a buyer can terminate a contract after inspection without giving you or your agent any explanation. However, hopefully, an inspection prior to going to market will ease the inspection period.
Buyer appraisals and other details
The mortgage lender will order an appraisal of your home to make sure their client, your buyer, is not paying more than the house is worth. Typically, your agent will want to be present to insure that all goes smoothly with the appraiser. The title company may also order a surveyor to make sure that the property boundaries are properly laid out. The mortgage company will review the title commitment and the survey if one was done There may be other stipulations that the buyer needs to meet after which the buyer should receive their final loan commitment signaling that you are very close to selling.
On the day of the closing, the buyer will do a "walk-through" of the property to make sure all agreed repairs are completed and that the home is in the same condition as when the buyer made their offer. If problems arise at this point, the closing can still take place with funds held in escrow to remedy the problem. At the closing, all monies will be collected, any existing loans or liens will be paid, and the deed will be transferred. And the seller will receive their proceeds either in the form of a cashier's check, wire transfer or title company check.