BOB UPTON, Realtor®, CBR's Blog
If your house is already on the market, you're probably familiar with the hectic process of getting it in presentable condition for the next showing.
Since there are so many things to remember, it can be helpful to create a "pre-showing checklist" you can refer to whenever you need it. Your reliance on the list will probably diminish over time, but it can be a good way to become more organized, focused, and efficient.
Even the simple action of writing down your priorities will make an impression on your mind and help reinforce your memory of what needs to be done prior to a showing or open house. Here are a few tips for staying on track, simplifying the process, and remembering important tasks that are all-too-easy to forget.
Stay One Step Ahead of Dust
Ideally, every room in your house should be dusted at least once a week, but that chore often tends to get postponed, overlooked, or just plain avoided! The problem with not dusting on a regular basis is that it tends to accumulate and get worse. What often occurs to home sellers is the sudden realization -- typically, just before walking out the door prior to a scheduled house showing -- that there's a thick layer of dust on your window blinds, baseboards, or book shelves.
If you're literally minutes away from a real estate agent showing up at your front door with clients, it's generally too late to do anything about the dust accumulations. However, if you've tackled those issues a day or two before they're walking up your front pathway, you can put your mind at ease that you've conquered the "grunge factor"! If you happen to have a housekeeper handling those details, it might pay to casually remind them to do an extra-thorough job on those dusty, grungy areas.
If you have kids (and even if you don't), dirt, finger prints, and hand smudges can often be found around light switches, cabinets, and door areas. While that might be the last thing you think about when preparing your home for a showing, it could be one of the first things potential buyers notice. Although perfection is an unrealistic standard to aspire to, "the devil is in the details!" In other words, it can be the small, easily overlooked details that undermine your chances for making a great impression on prospective buyers.
A Word About Mouse Traps
Whether you live in a mansion or a bungalow, nearly all homeowners occasionally have problems with mice sneaking into their basement, garage, or attic. Sometimes the little critters even find their way into your main living area (eek!). That's why it makes sense to set up a few mouse traps in areas where mice are most likely to enter. Mouse traps come in a variety of designs, some of which are better for homes with pets, children, or squeamish adults!
When it comes to preparing for a house showing, it's always a good idea to check mousetraps for "victims" that may have sprung your devices. Ideally, mousetraps shouldn't be placed in conspicuous spots, but you definitely don't want buyers to see dead mice anywhere in your house. Granted, live ones are worse, but -- in either case -- any infestation (or the perception of one) could be a deal breaker!
In a competitive selling market, it’s vital to make sure you take advantage of any way to give your home an edge over the competition.
Many sellers make expensive home improvements in the hopes of attracting buyers. But, even if you’re on a budget, there are ways to boost curb appeal and increase the value of your home to make your home competitive in today’s seller’s market.
In today’s post, I’m going to cover eight low-cost upgrades you can make to your home today. We tried to keep all of the upgrades under $100 so that you can stick to your budget while still making a big difference in your home.
1. Paint the front door ($30)
One of the first things a potential buyer will notice about your home is the front door. Putting on a fresh coat of paint, especially one that pops and contrasts with the color of your home, will help to make it stand out on the block.
2. Paint your interior trim and baseboards ($75 - $100)
Baseboards often get dirty or scuffed up over the years. Putting a fresh coat of paint will make the entire room look like new. Stick with white for most rooms--it will brighten them up and make them feel clean.
3. Replace your outlet and light switch plates ($20)
They get dirty, they crack, and they get covered in messy paint every time you repaint your walls. Outlet and switch plates see a lot of wear and tear, and a dirty one can be off-putting for potential buyers.
For just a few dollars each or less, replace them all to give the rooms of your home a facelift.
4. Replace fixtures ($50 - $100)
Whether it’s the knobs of your kitchen cabinets or faucet fixtures, there are a number of small items in the kitchen and bathrooms that can be upgraded.
Stainless steel is now out of style, with homeowners choosing brushed nickel and bronze over the traditional stainless.
5. Choose a new shower head ($30 - $50)
Installing a shower head is a lot easier than it looks. Plus, luxurious looking shower heads can be purchased for less than $50 on Amazon, making them a great choice to add a touch of indulgence to the shower.
6. Add new bright, energy efficient lighting ($30 - $50)
Bright LEDs can make a room feel more spacious and modern, and it can save you a few dollars on the electric bill. Installing new lights throughout the home is a good way to show off what lies within.
7. Paint or replace your mailbox ($20 - $80)
Mailboxes can easily get dirty and dented over the years and most of us pay little mind to them. But prospective buyers likely will be on the lookout for any signs of neglect when they view your home. Having a freshly painted mailbox will leave a good first impression.
8. Rent a pressure washer for a day ($50 - $100)
Pressure washing the exterior of your home can make a huge difference when it comes to upgrading curb appeal. Vinyl siding gets dirty quickly and isn’t all that easy to clean.
You can rent a pressure washer from The Home Depot or your local hardware store for typically less than $100 a day.
Selling a home may prove to be a long, arduous process. However, if you act as a reasonable home seller, you can identify home selling challenges and overcome such problems without delay.
Now, let's take a look at three tips that you can use to become a reasonable home seller.
1. Learn About the Housing Market
Real estate is complex, particularly for home sellers. Fortunately, many housing market resources are available to help you become a real estate expert.
For example, any home seller can perform an online search to evaluate the housing market in any city or town. Then, a home seller can use this real estate data to analyze the prices of houses that are similar to his or her own and price a residence appropriately.
Home sellers also should look at the prices of recently sold houses in nearby areas. That way, a home seller can find out whether he or she is preparing to enter a seller's or buyer's market and plan accordingly.
2. Try Not to Get Too Emotional
Let's face it – any home selling journey likely includes plenty of ups and downs. But a home seller who understands the best- and worst-case home selling scenarios may be better equipped than others to stay calm, cool and collected, even in the most challenging situations.
Although a home seller may expect his or her home to sell quickly, it is important to set realistic expectations before you list a residence. This will enable you to avoid potential pitfalls that otherwise can prevent you from achieving your home selling goals.
For example, a home seller who receives a home appraisal will have a good idea about the true value of his or her house. And if the home seller receives a home offer that falls well below the appraisal amount, he or she won't feel disappointed. Instead, this home seller should have no trouble politely declining or countering the proposal.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
If you're unsure about how to price your home or promote your house to the right groups of homebuyers, it often pays to get expert help. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals can help you make informed home selling decisions.
A real estate agent possesses comprehensive housing market expertise and is happy to share his or her home selling insights with you. This means if you ever have questions about what to include in a home listing, your real estate agent can help you out. Or, if you are uncertain about whether to upgrade your house's interior or exterior, your real estate agent is available to provide honest, unbiased home improvement recommendations.
Becoming a reasonable home seller can make a world of difference in any housing market, at any time. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can quickly and effortlessly navigate the home selling journey.
If your house is currently on the market or you're preparing to put it up for sale, the secret of success lies in the lyrics of an old popular song called "Accentuate The Positive." Although it was originally published in 1944, the song has been resurfacing for years on television, in movies, and music recordings.
"Accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative" may seem like basic, old-fashioned advice, but when homeowners follow it, they increase their chances of selling their home faster and for the highest possible price.
Although your real estate agent will provide a ton of helpful advice on how to present your house in its best light, there are dozens of things you can start doing now to improve its marketability, curb appeal, and the positive response you get from real estate agents and buyers.
- Avoid or minimize any aspect of your home and property that gives the impression of neglect. That could include anything from peeling paint and cracked windows to overgrown bushes and weedy yards. Weeds growing out of cracks in walkways, driveways, and concrete flooring often looks the worst -- but weeds, in general, always detract from the appearance of a home for sale.
- Reduce or eliminate anything that might create a feeling of "unpleasantness" in the minds of prospects. In other words, if there's anything about your home that might cause buyers to cringe, frown, gasp, crinkle their nose (in displeasure) or shake their heads, then you probably need to take corrective action -- and fast! A prime example would be pet odors, stains, and loose fur, which can be major turnoffs for many people -- especially if they have allergies!
- If little or no interior painting has been done over the past five or ten years, there's a strong chance that your walls are faded, marred, and looking worse for the wear. A couple coats of neutral-colored paint can often infuse a more vibrant, updated appearance to those tired-looking rooms. Subtle, light colors -- although, not necessarily stark white -- are often advisable. The objective is to appeal to as many people as possible, without taking any decorating risks that might alienate anyone.
- Speaking of "harsh versus eye-pleasing," your home's lighting is another important thing to scrutinize when looking for cost-effective ways to increase the attractiveness, appeal, and marketability of your home.
Let's face it – reviewing an offer to purchase can be difficult. And if a home seller feels unsure about a homebuying proposal, this individual may want to consider rejecting the offer to purchase.
Ultimately, there are many reasons why a home seller may decline an offer to purchase, and these include:
1. An offer to purchase fails to meet a home seller's expectations.
If a home seller receives a "lowball" offer to purchase, he or she may submit an instant rejection. In fact, this seller likely will have no regrets about declining the offer to purchase and continuing to wait for a homebuying proposal that matches his or her expectations.
As a home seller, it is vital to establish realistic property selling expectations before you list your residence. If you set a competitive initial asking price for your home, you may reduce the likelihood of getting lowball homebuying proposals. And as a result, you may be better equipped than ever before to speed up the home selling journey.
2. A home seller has multiple offers to purchase at his or her disposal.
If a home seller receives multiple offers to purchase his or her home, this individual likely has a tough decision to make. Fortunately, a seller can review his or her options and make an informed decision.
When a home seller receives several offers to purchase his or her residence, there is no need to rush to reject or accept a proposal. Instead, a seller should evaluate each homebuying proposal closely and use all of the information at his or her disposal to determine the best course of action.
3. A home seller can afford to wait.
If a home seller lists his or her residence in a buyer's market, the demand for houses may be limited. Conversely, if a seller lists a home in a seller's market, this individual may receive many offers to purchase as soon as his or her residence becomes available.
Sometimes, a home seller who can afford to be patient may choose to reject an offer to purchase in a buyer's market, even if the proposal is competitive. Because if the seller waits for the real estate market to improve, this individual may be able to optimize the value of his or her residence at a later time.
For home sellers who are committed to getting the best price for a home, it generally is a good idea to employ a real estate agent. This housing market professional will help a seller establish a competitive initial asking price for his or her residence. Plus, a real estate agent will set up open house events and home showings to promote this house to potential buyers. And if a seller receives an offer to purchase, a real estate agent can recommend whether the seller should reject, accept or counter the proposal.
Want to list your house and streamline the property selling journey? Hire a real estate agent, and you can work with a home selling expert to evaluate any offers to purchase your residence.