Recently, I saw a news report touting signs of economic growth and lower levels of unemployment. Admittedly, living in a section of the country where the "down turn" hit us minimally compared to others areas, I could not help but wonder how this economic news would affect our real estate market.
Thriving, robust, and steady are words that have been commonly used to describe the Central Texas real estate market. We have great communities throughout the area, and lots of qualified buyers looking for that perfect place to call home. If you are thinking of selling your home, here are 5-tips that I have compiled to help you along the way:
First, it goes without saying, but you only get ONE CHANCE TO MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION: With that in mind, let’s talk about curb appeal! Unfortunately, curb appeal is sometimes viewed as optional by would be sellers because many believe once a buyer is inside the home it will sell itself. While interior make-ready is important, I can tell you that many buyers will make a decision about a house by how it looks from outside. Some buyers will even take a home off of their "hot" list if they don’t like what they see from the curb. Suggestion: Hire a professional landscape company to trim your trees and/or bush's, visit your local nursery and get ideas for planting seasonal plant(s) around front windows and make sure the yard is nicely cut and trimmed to perfection. Make sure exterior paint is fresh; especially the window trim and the front door if painted. Brick and siding should be power-washed if residue or dirt is hanging on to the exterior of your home. Keep your walk-ways and porches clutter free.
Second, let's tackle those minor repairs that are commonly referred to as the HONEY DO LIST: Once inside your home, the small repair items that may have lingered over time, should now be considered for repair and/or replacement. The door knob missing from bath or kitchen drawer, the broken face plate for that light switch in the study, the backdoor that has lost it weather stripping are all examples of minor repairs. Suggestion: For the "do-it-yourselfer", these types of small repairs can easily be handled with a little bit of guidance from your local home improvement store (Home Depot and Lowe's are great resources).
If you'd rather hire a professional, your Realtor® should have a list of contractors readily available to handle jobs both small and large. You may also consider some of the online referral sites like HomeAdvisors.com, AngiesList.com, etc.
Third, the major repairs are important because NO ONE WANTS TO BUY A LEMON: When you are shopping for a vehicle, would you purchase one that has a bad motor or transmission? My guess is probably not. Likewise, home buyers do not want to purchase a home that does not have the basic things in good working condition. The cost of major repairs is normally the number one reason home sellers avoid them, so the suggestions below may help with the major repair process.
Suggestion: Call your insurance agent to determine whether your repair item is covered in your home-owners policy. Non-working appliances such as stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, etc. can be purchased on "in-house" credit accounts from local appliance dealers with very manageable terms. These accounts are paid in full at closing. Some flooring, heating and a/c companies and various other vendors will work with home sellers in this manner as well.
Fourth, your pet is an extension of your family, so don't forget to PROTECT YOUR PETS: Most household pets are accustomed to having their designated space inside the home. A stranger visiting your home for a showing can easily disturb the pet and may in fact bring unintentional discomfort as a result. Families bringing children to preview your home can often lose sight of what a small child is doing and pet injuries can occur. On the other hand, a frightened pet may perceive potential home-buyers as a threat and could react in a unusually aggressive manner. As a seller, your goal is to keep every potential buyer fully engaged in your home and free from as many distraction as possible. Suggestion: Partner with a friend, neighbor or relative that will allow your pet to stay at their place during the day while you are away from the home. Consider a pet boarding or daycare service that can keep your pets daily while the home is on the market. Smaller pets can even be caged while the owner is away. When you leave for showings pack up the pets along with your children for the best showing result. Do not leave your pet at home unattended during showings.
Fifth, the buyer’s nose and eyes will inspect the home at every turn, so DEODORIZE AND DECLUTTER: The nose always knows when there is something unpleasant in the air. Whether it's that exotic meal cooked the night before, the sweaty sports uniforms in the children's bedroom, the smell of cigar from the friendly poker game or pet odor that frequents the house, these matters need to be remedied prior to putting your home on the market. Buyers need to see more of the house and less of your favorite knick-knacks, so be sure to put away extra dishes and small appliances that may frequent the kitchen cabinets. All medicine should be locked up in a bathroom cabinet in order to keep your counter-space clean. Living, bedrooms, study, must be nice and tidy with all clothing articles in their proper place. Keep all cords from the televisions, computers, radios, etc. out of sight. Suggestion: If your home is carpeted, find a professional company in the area to steam clean your carpets and get the pet treatment if you house indoor pets. Air duct cleaning is another popular option to help deal with residual odor that may be harder to get out. Practice daily de-cluttering habits while you are preparing to list and will help the ease the transition process of going live with your listing.
These 5-suggestions are intended to help give you food for thought if you are considering listing your home. In real estate, there is no "one size fits all" answer to selling a home because markets vary and communities vary. Your Realtor® will be there every step of the way and will be guide the process from start to finish. Best wishes and please feel free to share your experiences!
If you need a Realtor® in Austin, Texas and the surrounding communities or want more suggestion on how to prepare for the market, please give me a call or shoot me an email! (512)636-2675 or firstname.lastname@example.org