Sell Your Maricopa Home Quicker and Maximize Your Sale
Are you thinking of selling your Maricopa Home? If so, I’d like to share 11 tips to help you sell your home quickly and for the most value. Buyers are looking for homes for sale in Maricopa so you will want to make sure your Maricopa home is top of their list!
Some of these items might seem like no brainers, but honestly, I’m surprised when I visit homes and find how often these items are overlooked. Plus, you will find I’m not one to have people spend tons of money to sell their home. If it isn’t going to add value or help you sell quickly, then there is no sense spending money you don’t need to spend.
So with that said, how about we jump right in? In no particular order…
Tip # 1 – Use a Local Maricopa Realtor
Every city or town has their unique qualities. Maricopa is no different. Even though we are a small community we do have differences from subdivision to subdivision. We also have differences within subdivisions. For example, in Rancho el Dorado alone you could have the same house in 3 different areas and get 3 different prices. You need an agent that understands this and helps you maximize your sale but also can help set realistic expectations.
You also need an agent who is able to answer the phone and show your home when needed. If an out of area agent gets a call at 3pm to show your home do you think they are going to hit the road and brave the traffic into town to show just your home? Local agents are usually already here and have no problem running over. What if there is a problem? Yesterday for example I got a call about a leak at my client’s vacant house and I was able to be there in 10 minutes to resolve it before it got much worse. Imagine what would have happened if I was an hour away?
I actually go into more detail on this in this article: Why Use a Maricopa Agent to Sell Your Maricopa Home
Tip # 2 – You Lived in a Home but You’re Now Selling a HOUSE
We make wonderful memories in our home. In most cases we have a pride and love for the home our kids grew up in and the yard we spent hours on. The walls are full of memories. It is your home. Usually a home is full of love and smiles. Especially when we go to say good bye.
Here is the problem. Once you make the decision to sell it, it is no longer a home but now a house. I know it sounds cold but please know that I only say this to help you through the process. You must make the transition from selling your family home to you are selling an investment. A house. People aren’t buying your memories. They probably don’t care how many hours you spent on the yard. What they care about is if they can they afford the house and can they see themselves creating their own memories.
If you can make this mental shift, it will be much easier to hear the feedback from folks that might not like those little touches you love so much. Remember, what is important to one person might not be important to another.
Tip # 3 – Price it Right Out the Gate / The Market Sets Your Price
Seller’s value their Maricopa home based off a perceived value based off those memories and hard work they have put into it. Often times this can cloud a seller’s vision for what they feel the home’s value is. Even the most beautiful, upgraded home has a value that others will put on it. The same gorgeous home in different areas will sell for a very different price.
Buyers will appreciate your $25,000 in upgrades but they will not always be willing to pay for those $25,000 in upgrades above and beyond the current market value. Remember, not all upgrades are created equal. $10,000 in your kitchen will return in most cases but $10,000 in your backyard will not. Not to mention anyone that put $50,000 in their backyard landscaping, pool and deck. It is rare to recoup these types of investments.
Your agent should be able to pull up the comparable (comps) homes in your local area and show you what “value” other buyers have put on similar homes. Don’t shoot the messenger. Once the baseline has been established, then you can decide together what might be the best price and how to maximize your profit.
Want to shoot high? That is fine but please know you knock out most buyers. You are now looking for that one buyer who appreciates all the work you have done. The one buyer who is willing to pay for that value. Plus, depending how big the gap, there might be a loan problem as well due to an appraisal. Finally, homes that aren’t priced right off the bat take longer to sell. Homes that are prices right tend to get more showings and sell quicker. When you push for that extra $10,000 - $20,000 the home tends to sit longer.
Please make sure you cover all these possibilities with your agent. Pick their brain and go into it with your eyes wide open and your expectations realistic. We want to help you, trust us. Our goal isn’t to fight you but just share what the market (the buyers) are saying they are willing to pay based of past sales.
The best advice I can give on this one is to walk your home as if you were going to buy it all over again. If you were being honest with yourself, would you pay your asking price if you had to buy it as it sits today? If someone else did all that work, would you still be willing to place the same value on it? Remember, your potential buyer is someone just like you. Someone that appreciates what you have done. If you wouldn’t pay your asking price, why would they?
Tip # 4 – Don’t (Always) Listen to Your Friends and Neighbors
Those that love and care for you will always have an opinion of what you should do. This is true in everyday life isn’t it? I bet at least once a day someone tells you what you are doing wrong or what you should do differently. It is human nature.
Selling your home will be no different. Everyone will have an opinion. They mean well. But they also don’t have the same insight. They often are clouded by “having your back”.
I see this most often when they are sharing what a neighbor’s home sold for or what their agent told them or what they saw on those big name websites. The reality is, your agent can find many truths through investigating on their end. We already discussed not all areas are the same so what a Scottsdale agent tells your friend has no bearing on what your Maricopa home will sell for. Buyers in each area want something different.
Love your family, friends and neighbors, just be cautious of making any major changes or actions without getting all the facts prior. Everyone means well. Just partner with your agent before making any radical changes to the plan.
Tip # 5 – Small Fixes Go a Long Way
One of the myths out there are that you need to spend hundreds of dollars to sell your home. This can be real tough when on tight budget.
What is often overlooked though are the little things that anyone can do, even when on a tight budget. Our next two tips are geared towards the little things that can help dramatically.
My first tip is to look for the small fixes that go a long way. You know the ones, the ding here, the missed paint there, the broken or missing tile, the shredded piece of carpet from the cat or even the scuff marks down the hall way.
While not high dollars these little things add up. People will be walking your home and seeing these things and making a mental note of all the little things they will have to do if they pick your home. Don’t let them not pick your home due to your honey dew list that never got done.
I’ve seen amazing homes with tons of little stuff that just kept turning off the buyers. Homes with a lot of little things seem to come in 2nd place as the eventual winner has addressed these items. When all things are equal, they will go with what it move in ready.
Helpful Hint: Here is what you do, take a note pad and start outside. Walk your home through a buyer’s eyes. Better yet, grab a friend and tell them to be honest. Write that stuff down. From the rusted door handle, pigeon poo on. Then take the list and just start chipping away. Do you have to do them all before you list? No, but start with the most obvious and keep going. Trust me, it might not get you more money but it will help sell the home quicker.
Tip # 6 – Turns Out, Dirt Can Hurt – The Sale that Is!
Which brings up us to the next tip. If tip 5 is about fixing the little stuff, then tip 6 is about cleaning the little stuff. I have been in some amazingly clean homes and still find the same items not addressed. Spend a weekend cleaning these 5 areas that potential buyers will add to that list of little things they will not want to have to deal with when they move in.
These are the 5 most common “turn offs” for potential buyers: Dirty AC vents, dirty baseboards, dirty ceiling fan blades, dirty switch plate on the walls and dirty scummy showers.
I know they are a pain to clean. But they are a necessary evil to get you the most money on your home. If you hate cleaning, hire a maid service. Most will knock out these items plus do the windows for around $200 - $300 depending on the size of your home. Better yet, bribe a friend to come do it with you. We all have one of those neat nick friends, time to use and abuse them! Trust me, they might like it. J
Tip # 7 – Don’t Let Fluffy Kill Your Sale
The first way they hurt your sale is the smell they leave. Even “clean pets” have an odor us pet lovers are in denial of. Don’t believe me? Ask a friend. The more pets the stronger the smell. It gets in the carpets, the drapes, the walls. It is hard to get out. Those with pet allergies will sniff it out in a moment.
What if they are peeing in the home? You will really have your work cut out for you. Cats especially, as they have a powerful urine smell they leave behind that just soaks into the underlayment of your flooring.
The second way they hurt your sale is… What do you do with them during your showings? No matter how tame your dog is, they rarely like being locked up for showings. They want to protect your home. They will bark. Plus, I’ve seen some of the toughest people in the world refuse to go into a home where there is a dog.
Pet’s aren’t for everyone. Don’t be offended. Remember tip # 2. You are selling a house not your home.
I’m not saying get rid of them. Just have a plan. Just because your pet is great for you how are they around strangers? If they will freak-out, then you might want to arrange for them not to be there during showings. If you have to work, is there a neighbor or friend who can help out?
Tip # 8 – Staging & Your Pictures
Ok, on this one you will get different advice from different agents. We all have an opinion on this one. Some will tell you to take out everything and put it in the garage and storage. Show your home off more and make it feel bigger.
I think the bigger issue is how cluttered is your home? If people have to step over your stuff, then you have too much in the home. If they can roam around and feel good, then you are probably fine. If stuff falls into the hallways or cut off rooms then yeah, see what you can do to make it feel better.
Walk your home like you were going to buy it again. Would the rooms feel small to you? If they would, how could you fix it?
As for pictures. Some folks will tell you take all your pictures down. Let people picture their family on the walls not yours. I tend to disagree on this one. Most people have up happy memories. I have watched buyers connect with pictures and smile. They walk away with feelings of warmth in the home.
Now, that doesn’t mean to be over the top. For example, a few years ago I was showing some home and we came across this one that had very proud parents of their daughter who did lots of kid pageants. There were pictures of the child everywhere all made up. Not just 1 or 2, I’m talking at least a 100 of them. I’m sure the owner was extremely proud of their kid but my clients thought the home was “creepy”. So let’s shoot for warm and loving, not creepy. LOL
Tip # 9 – Leave During Showings
As I mentioned earlier, people want to picture themselves in your home. They will spend 5 – 10 minutes placing their furniture throughout. If you are there they just feel uncomfortable and want to get in and out quickly. Trust me, homes sell when they spend 20 – 30 minutes picturing their lives in your home.
When you bought your home, do you recall how it felt when the owner was there? You feel like you are intruding or they are staring at you or passing judgement. While I get that you are different and would never do that, but it isn’t about you, it is about them and how they feel. Remember, you want them to buy.
I promise, if they are uncomfortable they will not buy it. Home buying is emotional for 90% of the buyers. You only want positive feelings for them. So hide your valuables and take Fluffy for a walk. Let them have the time to enjoy your home and picture their future there.
Tip # 10 – You Will Get Some Tire Kickers
I’d like to tell you that every person that comes to see your home is a serious buyer. The vast majority will be. However, there are some folks that might be looking at your home and deciding if living in Maricopa is in their future.
They might not be ready to pull the trigger even though they are qualified. Some folks make up their mind in the first 5 homes they see and others need to look at 25 homes first.
This will be one of the hardest things for you if you have never sold a home before. With each showing you will get excited and your hopes up. It will be an emotional roller coaster for you. I’d like to promise you something different but that wouldn’t be true.
Occasionally a home sells with the first 1 or 2 people that see it but that is rarer unless it is a hot market or home price.
If you have open houses it is even worse. Most of these folks haven’t even been qualified yet and are either neighbors wondering what your home looks like or folks “thinking” of buying at some point. Could lightning strike? Sure. But just know most of these folks are definitely tire kickers.
Tip # 11 – Read Your Paperwork & What Are Your Responsibilities
Finally, my last tip is one that many agents forget to remind sellers about. Even if they do cover it, I promise you, that it is easy to forget the conversation a few months later once you have an offer on your home.
You are entering a contract when you sign up for your home to be listed and your sign another contract when you get an offer on your home. While your agent will do their best to go through the contract with you, please make sure you re-read it and ask questions as needed.
The contract will have what is expected by both parties. There are certain things that you will be responsible for. It is crucial you know what those are so you don’t have surprises later.
For example, you will need to have ALL your utilities on and working for the inspections. You will also need to keep them on and in your name until the home actually closes and the final walk is through has been completed. There are certain repairs you will be required to fix (leaking faucets or bad breakers for example).
As I mentioned, your agent should go over this stuff with you, but take notes, highlight, do what you need to remind yourself of these points. I can’t tell you how often memory fails us later when there is an offer on the table. What you don’t want is a surprise later that costs you either money or worse the whole deal due to a forgotten responsibility.
Selling your Maricopa home doesn’t have to be painful. A good agent will be honest with you about both the good and the bad throughout the process. They will offer the best advice based off your personal situation and the current market.
When folks are looking for homes for sale in Maricopa they are looking for homes that are great values that they can see themselves and their families living in. Your goal as a seller is to help ensure little things do not derail the deal.
What I Love to Do
One thing I love to do is met with folks a month or so prior to do a quick walk through of the home to identify any potential issues, answer questions or concerns of the sellers. Plus, we discuss any potential issues buyers might bring up. This way a great plan of action can be put together.
Often I get to help ease a seller’s mind by letting them know the things keeping them up at night really aren’t a big deal. We redirect the focus and create the gameplan to help them sell their home and move on to the next phase of their future.
If you ever would like to take a look at your situation when you go to sell your Maricopa home, myself or my team are only a phone call or email away.
Good luck and feel free to reach out with any questions! Tammy
Originally Posted on my main website - 11 Tips for Maricopa Home Sellers
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