10 Things To Know When Selling Your Home
When home owners are considering selling their home, they need to ask themselves if they are willing to do what needs to be done to sell their home.
As a Realtor I always tell sellers the home they live in is not the home they put on the market. If you want cabinets full of collections throughout your home, have great hunting trophies in your living room, and orange is your favorite wall color, knock yourself out. Your friends and family will be entertained in your home and admire your decorating taste, collecting savvy and hunting skills. But, when you are ready to sell your home, all bets are off!
1. Declutter your house. Note, this is no longer your home, this is a house. You are planning to move anyway so gather up, pack up, discard and donate. Why pay to move belongs you are never going to use again and will likely throw out down the road. You have only one chance to make a first impression. You are in competition with other houses on the market. Less is more. Less clutter makes your house look bigger. Open your closets and cabinets (buyers will) and remove half of what you see. You really don't need 10 sets of sheets in your hall linen closets and you can probably go through your own closet and make a significant contribution to Goodwill or other charity of clothes, shoes and purses you haven't used in a couple of years (or more). (The house you live in is not the house you put on the market!)
2. If it is an option, send your pets to live with your mom or cousin for the duration of the listing. After you declutter, you want buyers to get to see your house anytime possible. If they have to wait for you to remove an animal, you may be reducing some showing opportunities. Some buyers are turned off by cat liter boxes and pet food sitting around. It takes a dedicated seller to clean cat/dog hair every morning and every evening. And did I mention the doggy droppings left in the yard? (The house you live in is not the house you put on the market!)
3. Make sure each room reflects the correct use. Have you ever walked into a house where the formal dining room is an office? A bedroom sitting area that looks like a home office? Now today it isn't unusual to see a pool table in a formal living room or dining room. Buyers see this enough today that the presence of the pool table isn' a major point of confusion. (The house you live in is not the house you put on the market!)
4. Do not cook fish or anything else that could linger in your house for hours. You may have had the most amazing dinner, but no one wants to experience it the following day, especially a buyer. Buyers do
not know if they are smelling the remnants of last night's dinner or a lingering smell that is embedded in the drapes and carpets. (The house you live in is not the house you put on the market!)
5. Take down and replace any items that normally convey with the house that you want to take with you. For example in Arizona attached fixtures such as lights or ceiling fans convey with the property. Built in appliances also convey. So, if the light in the dining room is a special gift you intend to take with your, pack it up and put in some other attractive fixture. You can't live without the ceiling fan in the great room? Replace it before buyers walk in and fall in love with it. Be sure you understand what fixtures or appliances convey in your state and those that are negotiable. (The house you live in is not the house you put on the market!)
6. Look at your exterior landscaping and trim, trim, trim (or cut, cut, cut). Buyers not only try to picture themselves living in your house, they picture entertaining on your patio, looking at the yards (back, front & side yards), they picture themselves doing yard work. Will it take all week end to get the yard work done or will they spend a minimal amount of time then go off to enjoy the weekend with family or friends. Trim back the bushes and trees. Nothing puts off a buyer like a dead tree(s) and scragly plants. (The house you live in is not the house you put on the market!)
7. Remove most family pictures and collections, including trophy animal heads. You don't want buyers distracted by your collection of 100 dolls or wall of 15 generations of your family. You also don't want to freak out any buyer because they walk in to come face to face with a elk head or javalina snout. (The house you live in is not the house you put on the market!)
8. Ensure your front door is freshly painted or refinished and the area around the front door says "WOW". When a Realtor walks up to the front door with a buyer, the agent will stop and either get the key from a lock box located on the front door or or go somewhere to the hose bib to the lock box and key the key. During this time, the buyer is making decisions on the house. Great welcoming front door,
beautifully trimmed plants and flowers, no cobwebs, clean and neat. Now, if the buyers are seeing a tired old door that needs freshening or dead plants, they are thinking the rest of the house may be in the same condition. They are also thinking about more work for them. They may also be shaking their heads thinking, gee, we cleaned up OUR house and did everything our Realtor asked, why didn't these people? Are they not motivated? They better believe the house is discounted if they have to come in and do a lot of work. (The house you live in is not the house you put on the market!)
9. Your house needs to be accessible for buyers. You may feel you need 24 hours to be ready for showing the house, but the reality is buyers are busy and need to make the most of their time. They may have their agent schedule several houses to visit in one outing. (Maybe the buyers only have one day off together, or maybe they have scheduled a babysitter to watch the kids for the day). If your house is too hard to see, you will be off the list. Unless you are priced below market value (and most sellers want to price AT market value) yours is one of many houses on their list and get crossed off the list if difficult to see. And no, they can't come back next week between 12N an 5 PM to see your house, they work and have small children for whom they need to arrange care and Grandma isn't available during those hours! (The house you live in is not the house you put on the market!)
10. Light up your house! Open all shades and blinds! Ensure all light bulbs in all fixtures are in good
working order. When a buyer sees a burnt out bulb, they think the light doesn't work. Period. Don't leave a few missing bulbs out because you like less light in a room or the fixture is too high to replace a burnt out bulb. A buyer sees a missing bulb or burned out bulb and thinks the light doesn't work. Take this objection away and replace all light bulbs. (The house you live in is not the house you put on the market!)
I hope you found the information on Things to Know when Selling Your Home useful. If I can be of assistance with your Real Estate needs anywhere in the Phoenix East Valley area, including Ahwatukee and the Mountain Park Ranch areas, please call me at 602.770.0643. I have attached three links below. The first one will let you email me with any questions or comments. The second, will send you to the custom search area of my website to look at homes for sale in Ahwatukee / Mountain Park Ranch areas by zip codes and by Kyrene schools. The last one will send you to the Home Value area of my website so you can see what your Home is worth Today.