Selling Your Home? Read This First!

If you are planning on selling your home, you may have questions about the process. Here are seven tips to read before putting your home on the market:

1. Do I really need to improve my home before selling it? 
You need to consult with your real estate agent to see what improvements makes sense to sell your home at the highest price. Remember, you only get one chance to make a positive first impression when your home goes on the market to sell. If your home is in need of updates, you could have a hard time to get the interest of the buyer. An unmaintained home sometimes indicates it needs lots of work and repair.

Some home improvements just take some time and a small budget. Painting, caulking and cleaning are great (and economic) ways to make your home shine. If your carpet is old and worn, you may also want to replace it. One thing to remember is that home improvements do not  necessarily equate to a higher price, but should result in more showings and stronger offers.

2. I think I will price high and see what happens. 
Everyone’s goal is to obtain the highest price for their home. (Your agent wants that for you, too!) However, pricing your home way over its current market value is a strategy that does not always work. It can result in fewer showings and no offers and you may be perceived to be an unrealistic home seller. (Those potential home buyers who do tour your home will give feedback that it is overpriced or will have lower offers.) Remember, the most attention given to a home is when it first hits the market. Price it correctly and bring in the offers.

3. My home is worth what?
Over-improving a home can backfire when it is time to sell. For example, if your custom kitchen has finishes to meet your specific taste (with special colors or tile for example), it may not appeal to buyers who will want to replace what you have done. An in-ground spa may be a great feature for you to enjoy, but the buyer might not find value with it. Everyone has different priorities with their home. Bottom line – the market will never pay dollar for dollar for improvements to your home, especially taste-specific projects. 

4. Everyone who sees my home wants to buy it!
Oh, if that were the case! You never know what buyers’ needs are. People have different things that are important to them. Their “need to have” list versus a “nice to have” list may not sync with your home. Do not take it personally if your home’s floor plan or features do not meet their requirements. Also, you need to realize, some buyers are just out looking and are not serious about buying. They may be in the beginning stages of looking for a home and not willing to commit.

5. I had an inspection and now I have to make even more repairs?
A home inspection gives the buyer an idea of the condition of your home. Following this inspection, you may be asked about making repairs depending upon what is on the list. At that point, you can either make those repairs or re-negotiate. If the buyer walks away, your home will go back on the market and you will need to deal with that stigma. Another buyer will then have his  own inspection and you will need to address repair issues once more. (Helpful hint: We suggest paying for a pre-inspection before your home goes on the market. The inspector will review: electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling systems; windows, ceilings, walls, doors and floors; attic, visible insulation and roof; and the foundation, structural elements and basement.)

6. I think I want to include a carpet allowance instead of replacing it. 
You cannot give a buyer an allowance as part of closing on your home. It is better to reduce the purchase price or simply replace the carpet yourself.

7. Do I really need to stage my home?
A staged home presents its best features making it very appealing to buyers. At a minimum, your home needs to have a deep cleanse, decluttering and organization. From there, your agent can guide you as to whether it needs more staging to be market ready to sell. If your home is empty, keep in mind that professionally staged properties for sale tend to sell more quickly.