As a way to maintain (and increase) my income over the course of the past few years, I began concentrating mostly on first time homebuyers. Since a majority of recent home purchases have been first timers and/or investors, I figured that this would be a smart business move. Guess what??? It WAS a smart business move that paid off. The biggest payoff, however, has to be the many lessons that I've learned about what buyers really want when they purchase a new home.
It's always important for home sellers to be sure to keep the residence clean and smelling fresh at all times...we ALL know this. In addition, appropriate pricing is key in this market..yada, yada, yada....we ALL know this as well. However, if you're truly trying to sell your home, here are a few things that you probably didn't know.
•1) Remove personal items and family photos. This HAS to be one of the hardest things for a seller to do because it actually seals the fact that this emotional attachment to their home is actually about to come to an end. The reality is that the moment that you decide to sell your home, it's no longer an emotional attachment to an object, but it becomes a business transaction. The presence of personal items and family portraits prohibits many buyers from actually connecting with the home. In addition, they'll become so intrigued at the family portraits and vacation photos, they'll sometimes miss seeing those wonderful aspects of the home that actually makes it marketable.
•2) Make your home accessible. Seriously, if no one can tour it.....we can't sell it. Period.
•3) REMOVE YOURSELF FROM ALL SHOWINGS!!! I can't stress this one enough! Please, please, please do not attempt to be present at showings or even attempt to show the home yourself. This makes EVERYONE uncomfortable and buyers will be in and out of your home within 10 minutes....not a good sign.
•4) Learn about buyer financing. It's so important to know which financing options are available for your home!! Since FHA loan limits have increased, we're seeing an increase in FHA buyers. You need to know property eligibility requirements for FHA and/or VA loan products so that you'll know whether or need to go ahead and make those minor repairs or not. If you're not financially able to bring your home up to FHA requirements, then at least you'll know upfront rather than once you're under contract and the FHA certified appraiser lowers the boom and your deal falls apart.
•5) Make sure additions and/or renovations have been permitted. This is another BIGGIE that will not only cause your deal to fall apart, but could also cost you big $$$$ in fines once your local government finds out that your beautiful garage conversion was not permitted. Also, make copies of the permits available for the buyer to provide to their lender (they will DEFINITELY ask for it)!
Selling your home in this market is serious business! Are you really serious about it?