Selling your house to move into your new home can be stressful. There are lots of considerations from timing the sale for after your new home’s possession date to ensuing you sell your current home for top dollar.
The first step is to find the right real estate agent to partner with to market your existing home. Some builders like Broadview Homes make it easy with their List for Free program. Not only do they get you the professional help you need by working with their real estate agent, but they also pay the expensive real estate commissions for you.
Beyond signing up for expert help, there are several things homeowners can (and should) do to make their property stand out and avoid being pressured to sell quickly or for less than they want. Below are our tried and tested tips to help your current home sell for the highest price possible. But be prepared to roll up your sleeves. These recommendations are not necessarily easy but will put you a notch above the typical seller.
Pricing it right
The right asking price is key to selling your home. Getting to the right price is often difficult for homeowners, and without help, they often end up overestimating its worth in the current market conditions and pricing it too high. While this may not seem like a problem, an overpriced home will often be a deal-breaker, and it won’t sell.
If you chose a good real estate agent, trust them to guide you to the appropriate square footage cost. This is not to say that you shouldn't participate in the price decision, but they’ll be able to set a price that will get motivated buyers into the door quickly.
Remember that homebuyers will go be going through the same process as you did when you purchased your home. This means they’ll be comparing similar homes in similar communities to determine a fair offer price. Be one step ahead of them and choose the right price from the start.
Clear Out Your Clutter
Over the years, we all tend to accumulate stuff. While you may love the way your home looks and functions, most home buyers won’t be able to see past the clutter that can make a house look smaller than it actually is.
Simplifying what you display and removing things like ill-sized furniture can help the space flow and easily allow buyers to see the square footage available. Don’t forget to tackle all your rooms including the basement, garage, and organizing closets and pantries. Storage is something every buyer is looking for. When they snoop (and they will), instead of seeing that there isn’t enough, you can showcase neat and organized spaces. The best part is that packing up the clutter now will help you when you finally go to move into your new home.
One final step to maximize the full potential of your home, consider staging it by re-arranging your furniture to best showcase the floor plan and maximize the use of space.
You’ve likely heard about the need to de-personalize numerous times already, and since the experts agree that this works, it’s worth mentioning it again. Because most homebuyers don’t have the vision to look past your possessions, you need to help them and the best way to do this is by de-personalizing it. This means family photos, memorabilia collections, and personal keepsakes need to be packed away now before you start showing your home. If you do it well, then anyone who walks into your home will be able to imagine themselves living there.
Don’t give buyers an excuse to re-negotiate. You may think you can hide problems but they almost always come out in an inspection. Any problems uncovered during an inspection will give buyers an opportunity to lower their offer. Plus, you don’t want to risk a deal falling apart over issues that could have been fixed right from the start.
Fixing everything before listing it may seem daunting, but usually, it will cost much less to repair it than the discount buyers will ask for. Be sure to fix any obvious ones like peeling paint, stains on floors and carpets, running toilets, dripping faucets, broken lights, cracked windows, and leaks in your roof or foundation.
If you simply don’t want to address any (or all) the issues, then be sure to price the property below market value to account for it or list it at market value and offer buyers a credit to fix the problem. Although be prepared that not fixing problems may also eliminate a group of buyers who want a turnkey home.
Be Honest in Your Listing
Every home has its strengths and weaknesses. Some are undeniable. Work with your agent to market and sell your property, acknowledge the weaknesses upfront and stay away from using superlatives. Terms such as “immaculate” or the often-abused “gourmet chef’s kitchen” are overused. Unless it is true, don’t waste anyone’s time (including yours). Your listing should be carefully written so that it is an honest portrayal of your home.
Because so many buyers look for homes online nowadays, your home will be at a disadvantage if you don’t include some good photos of your house. Since there are so many bad photos of homes for sale, doing a good job will set your listing apart and help generate extra interest. Good photos should be taken during the day when there is plenty of natural light; they should be crisp and clear, and showcase your home’s best assets. If you can use a wide-angle lens, it’s even better as it will allow potential buyers to get a better idea of what your house looks like.
Remember there is nothing worse for a buyer than to be excited about a property they found online, only to be disappointed when they finally see it.
Always be ready to show
While you’re selling your house, you need to be ready to show your home at a moment’s notice—after all, you never know when a potential buyer will want to come to see your house. This means not only do you need to be available, but also ensure your house is polished and clean at all times. Keep the bathrooms and showers clean, dishes put away, and make sure there are no dust bunnies in the corners. You might be inconvenienced, but it will get your house sold.
Be Memorable & Make an Impression
You never have a second chance to make a first impression. Make people feel welcomed and safe as they approach the house. Put in shrubs and brightly coloured flowers to spruce up your home’s exterior.
Once inside, the goal is to make your home a place that people don’t want to leave. In real estate, a showing is your chance to make the buyer fall in love with your home. Make them want to buy it by stimulating all the senses including sight, smell, touch, and sound.
Your home should be clean, uncluttered, and visually appealing. You may think an adorable pet will warm the hearts of potential buyers, but it can also scare them away and give them the impression that your house is not clean. Buyers don’t want to see a bowl full of dog food, smell the kitty litter box, or have pet hair stuck to their clothes. Instead, tuck these away and take them out for a walk during an open house or viewing.
If you have surround sound, turn it on. Light the fireplace or burn some candles. It’s also important to clear the air and get rid of unpleasant smells. So, before they arrive bake some cookies, light candles, or run a diffuser with a nice smelling essential oil blend, that is neutral and everyone likes. That way, your home smells good too.
All these small touches show you care and will help you get the best price for your home.