Prepping your home for Sale, What should I focus on first?

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams North Seattle 109849

There are so many things to do to prepare your home for sale. It seems like many of us make the decision to sell our property and then wonder, when prepping my home for sale, what should I focus on? 

My partner Ahmed and I have a team, at Keller Williams North Seattle, Seattle Level Up. 

We help sellers get organized to prep your home for sale and what to focus on.

North Seattle has experienced very high demand for housing the past few years and this past year during the pandemic the greater Seattle area is in a serious drought for inventory.

The job market here in Seattle remains steady and strong due to many of the local industries which are global companies. That has even more people moving into the area hoping to become buyers and take advantage of the amazing historically low mortgage rates. Many of our clients are saying "We want get something now, before we are priced out forever". 

Those of us who have been here, looking for more space and this past year, finding out our current living situation needs to change. The coat closet maybe doesn't get the best internet connection or the sun room is cute but the its very loud for zoom. Many of us spending so much time at home during this pandemic are finding out our homes are forced to wear a lot of hats. We are looking at becoming buyers in this competitive market as well. 

With so many buyers looking to take advantage of these low mortgage rates and the addition of companies attracting talent for their employee base, those of us here looking to level up our housing, there are more buyers than ever.

The competition is fierce to say the least and that has many sellers taking advantage of the times.

Owners who are selling, also is putting an additional demand on the need for housing too.

Sellers who want to sell...are reluctant for the moment, because most times they also need to move somewhere once they sell the house they currently live in. Those sellers become buyers in the market pool as well!

So what should you focus on first? When prepping your home for sale, what should I focus on first?

Our team at Seattle Level Up has a to do list, several big things to help our clients in this fierce market.

The first piece, if you have property to sell, is have a consultation with us to help you formulate your plans. If you don't have a plan, it makes this process that much more stressful.

Seattle Level Up is your go to team to begin prepping your home for sale and helping you with what you should focus on first.  

Your first steps are you figuring out if you are and when you could be ready to move? 

If you are planning to move into a larger home or smaller home in your same neighborhood, we will let you know how much and how quickly homes sell for in your current neighborhood. 

We recommend to get a notebook. Something with a calendar.

Choose a move in date, this might need to be flexible, but it is great to have everyone working towards the same goal. 

Walk through room by room and make a list of what needs to be done to be picture ready. Photos and video and drone work are essential to these online research times. Almost everyone who is curious about real estate or anything these days starts their search or research with online assistance. If you have photos that show clutter, your place might look desperate. You might receive (and it happens all the time with our buyers) they are tempted and want to make a low price offer. Our goal is to get you the highest and best offers!

If you are anything like us, we are visual and goals seem to be met easier with a calendar showing what the progress is and the goal completion date.

Dividing up what you can do yourself and what you can hire someone to do. It is a money saver to do many of these things yourselves, but if you are looking to get your home on the market sooner rather than later, hire a professional painter and landscape clean up crew. We have trusted vendors we work with and many of them have payment options.

It keeps everyone accountable and when everyone is in contract no matter what part, with buying or selling, honoring the due dates are critical to stay out of default.  

When it comes to what you are looking to sell. We book appointments with our clients via zoom or FaceTime, but really seeing it in person where we meet with you, socially distanced and masked up of course at your property is best. 

When prepping your home for sale, what you should focus on first is accomplished by taking a tour of your home or property. We look at things from a potential buyers perspective. If a room is cluttered the potential buyer will be looking at stuff rather than rooms. 

We walk your home level by level and room by room and jot down notes of anything, if I were a buyer with money to spend and I were buying this home, what would I think of this or that? How does it measure up dollars to dollars with other property in this exact neighborhood and area? 

We make detailed notes. Some sellers are not in a position to do a lot of fix its or repairs or cleaning or even sometimes staging their home for sale. Seattle Level Up is your go to team for options on how to accomplish a plan and a formula to help you get top dollar for your property. 

We work daily in the market and we see dozens of homes a week in your exact neighborhood. Being out there seeing what is for sale, and what could be competition is our job. We know how your property compares to others for sale or what has just sold, or more importantly who else might be thinking of listing soon and compete with your home.

Chances are we also helped the neighbors when they first bought their house. It is our job to stay and be informed of neighborhood trends and industry atmosphere. 

We are helping other clients who are buying in all different areas. We know other agents who are working with buyers in your area.

We are informed and experienced with the current situation of what offers are winning the bid. Having good relationships and being in network with other professional active agents - is vital to our success. We want to attract the most prepared and ready willing and able buyers that are currently shopping, those are the clients who are already working with other professional real estate agents. Over eighty percent of homes bought and sold are working with an professional agent and we want to do everything we can to attract that qualified buyer pool. 

The effort up front from preparations is critical. It is proven that homes that are clean, painted, staged and ready for visits, heightens the amount of attention a home receives and therefore the amount of offers received. It also translates into higher paying offers in most cases. If something is left for the "buyer to figure out" that could make a difference in the overall sales price or a concession or worse a failed sale later. 

If you desire top dollar, and less concessions and a sure thing, we recommend do everything you can to prepare your home to be move in condition for the next occupant. If you are not in position to do repairs or fix things, always disclose, disclose, disclose what a problem could be for the next occupants. It is better to disclose and never conceal. If you knew of a problem and tried to cover it up, that could lead to a lawsuit and that is just a problem nobody wants to have!

We have been saying one of the best things that has happened out of this pandemic is seller procured inspections and reports. We are recommending to all of our sellers to hire a professional home inspector. We have dozens of qualified, professional home inspectors we can recommend that have proven to be trustworthy and our clients just loved working with. 

The reports provided become a to-do list for sellers to prepare, and show a potential buyer what was an issue and now it has been taken care of. It saves time and wear and tear on your property. We especially recommend having a sewer scope preformed at the time of inspection too. Buyers have a lot of confidence that a professional report from a few weeks ago shows everything is in working order. You the seller has confidence too that a dozen sewer scope cameras aren't running down your sewer line in a week.

The other thing a seller procured inspection does it leaves availability in the showing time schedule for more agents to bring their qualified buyers through. Sellers do have the option of not getting an inspection, but it is a valuable tool to help attract more and higher offers.  

Instead of having precious appointment time locked up by several inspectors all after the same information. Our recommendation would be to have us attach the sellers report to the listing or made available after an agent shows the home. That way all potential buyers can view an inspection report provided by the seller. They have peace of mind that all is okay, and that is one less contingency you as a seller have to worry about.  

One last thing we recommend in this crazy busy market, if there is a way to go out of town for the first week to 10 days minimum your home is listed...especially if you have pets that cannot go out or small children that have nap schedules or an elderly parent who lives with you and it would be really difficult to leave the home for someone to view it...this helps your stress level.

Once you have agreed on an offer, typically that busy showing time is over, if the home is priced well and competitive the buyers should come. Their strong offers should follow. The next few weeks the only vendor stopping in might be an appraiser if the buyer is obtaining a loan. If there are work orders to have completed, that you the seller has approved, then it should be pretty quiet until closing time. 

If you have already purchased a new home, this is beautiful, you can spend the next few weeks packing the remaining items, and move them to your new house, if that's not already completed.  

If you are interested in a consultation and help with making your plans to sell your property and move, give us a call! We would be honored to help you. 

Comments (4)

Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Lisa and good job with this detail blog for us here in the rain or buyer or seller.

Apr 01, 2021 05:59 PM
Shayne Stone
HomeSmart - Fulshear, TX
"Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor" RETIRED

Great information!  Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day!

Apr 01, 2021 06:13 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi Lisa,  Thank you for sharing these wonderful tips and ideas on prepping a home for sale.  You are right, selling a home can be very overwhelming - many people lose focus.  This will help the greatly.

Apr 01, 2021 06:32 PM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Great information thanks for sharing.  I hope you have a great day.

Apr 02, 2021 02:45 AM