Joseph Reidy's Blog
If you intend to sell your house, it pays to learn about the home selling process. By doing so, you can understand exactly what it takes to enjoy a seamless home selling experience.
Ultimately, there are three steps to sell your house:
1. Prep Your Residence
Take some time to learn about your residence's strengths and weaknesses. That way, you can identify any problem areas in your house and allocate the necessary time and resources to mitigate any issues that otherwise could slow down your home sale.
In many instances, it is helpful to schedule a home appraisal. During a home appraisal, a property expert will examine your residence both inside and out, as well as evaluate your home in relation to comparable houses in your city or town. Following a home appraisal, you will receive a property valuation that can help you establish a competitive initial asking price for your house.
Also, scrub the floors, clean the kitchen countertops and perform extensive home interior cleaning. And don't forget to mow the front lawn, trim the hedges and complete various home exterior maintenance and upgrades as well.
2. List Your House
Adding your house to the real estate market can be simple, especially if you work with a top-notch real estate agent.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your home selling goals. He or she then will help you get your house ready for the real estate market, thereby increasing the likelihood that your residence will generate lots of interest from potential buyers.
A real estate agent is a must-have during the home selling journey. This housing market professional is unafraid to provide you with honest, unbiased home selling recommendations as you proceed along the home selling cycle. As a result, a real estate agent can help you optimize the value of your residence, regardless of the housing market's conditions.
3. Negotiate and Accept an Offer
Oftentimes, home showings and open houses will be held to showcase your residence to prospective buyers. If buyers like what they see, it may be only a matter of time before you receive multiple offers on your residence.
If you receive a home offer, you probably will have a short amount of time to decide whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal. Consider your options closely, and if you are not satisfied with an offer, you should not hesitate to walk away from the proposal.
On the other hand, if you receive an offer that you like, you can accept it. At this point, a buyer may perform a home inspection to further assess the condition of your house. And if the inspection goes well, it may be only a few weeks before all of the necessary paperwork is finalized and your closing date arrives.
The home selling cycle may seem like a long, arduous process at first. Fortunately, if you follow the aforementioned steps, you can reap the benefits of a fast, profitable home selling experience.
The number one factor that affects the length of time a house remains on the market is curb appeal. That's the consensus of real estate professionals across the country, and was documented in a recent study by a well-known real estate website.
So if it's such a high priority, then why do a lot of homeowners skimp on that aspect of preparing their home for a fast sale? Sometimes it's a lack of awareness; other times it may be a lack of money. In extreme cases, it can be quite pricey to transform a home from "shabby" to "exquisite!" That's an unusual scenario, though, and in most cases the cost of enhancing your home's curb appeal should be both affordable and cost effective.
Where to Begin
The ideal visual (and visceral) effect you want to achieve can be summed up in ten words: fresh, well cared for, aesthetically pleasing, manicured, meticulous, updated, and clean. Perhaps a more concise way to describe the image you want to project to potential buyers is "pride of ownership." Once you're conveying that impression, people are going to make positive assumptions about the value and condition of your home. While it's not necessary that the front of your property and home look perfect in every imaginable way, it is important to pay attention to small details and overall impressions.
Some homeowners will see this goal as an overwhelming challenge, but it doesn't have to be. The first hurdle is to take care of the basics, such as making sure your lawn always looks freshly mowed and that there's no signs of peeling or faded paint on your home and garage. Pulling weeds, placing a few colorful hanging flower baskets in strategic locations, and trimming overgrown bushes and trees are also effective ways to make your property look more desirable.
An advantage of working with a seasoned real estate agent is that they can quickly size up the outside appearance of your home, and make cost-effective suggestions of ways to improve curb appeal and increase the attractiveness of your property. When it comes to selling your house in the shortest period of time, first impressions are vitally important.
One helpful tactic for getting your house noticed by house hunters and real estate agents is to take a walk (or drive) in your neighborhood to see how your curb appeal stacks up to other homes for sale in the area. Ideally, you want your home to look at least as good, if not better, than other nearby properties. Since potential buyers may be focusing their search on specific neighborhoods, such as yours, you'll be giving yourself more of an "inside track" in the real estate market by making sure your home compares favorably to others in the immediate area -- both inside and out.
Home staging is one of the most tried-and-true methods of selling your home faster. It can also help you increase the purchase price of your home by between one and five percent.
However, working with a professional home stager--while a good investment--is not always in everyone’s budget.
The good news is, there are a lot of simple and inexpensive ways to stage your home that will give visitors a good first impression, make for great photos for your online listing, and hopefully help speed up your home sale.
In today’s post, we’re going to break down six of the most effective and inexpensive home staging tips to help you sell your home faster.
1. Declutter everything
Cleaning out your home is one of the best ways to make it appear more spacious and welcoming. It gives you the chance to start packing items you won’t need until you move into your new home, and it opens up space to use a few choice decorations around the home.
For things like cabinets and closets, remove all of the items you won’t need until you move. A closet that is half-full will look much larger for guests viewing your home.
2. Clean carpets and polish wooden furniture
Carpets, flooring, and furniture make up a large percent of the visible space in your home. Leaving these items dirty or worn when selling your home is missing out on a huge opportunity to make your home look up-to-date and well-maintained.
You can rent a carpet cleaner for as little as $20, and a gallon of wood polish costs around $15, making these two items a solid investment for staging your home.
3. Paint with bright colors
When we paint our homes we usually choose colors that we like, rather than ones that appeal to the largest number of people. And although that’s a great thing while you own a home, it can be detrimental when it comes time to sell. Repainting dark walls in bright, neutral tones will make the room feel larger and well-lit.
4. Paint the front door while you’re at it
A freshly painted, bright colored front door can be the secret weapon when it comes to making your home stand out amongst your neighbors. It is a cheap way to quickly freshen up the exterior of your home and increase curb appeal.
5. Purchase a new welcome mat and mailbox
Welcome mats tend to get a lot of use and wear down. Similarly, mailboxes often get dented and faded over the years.
These two items can be excellent accents to improve the curb appeal of your home. Choose colors that match the overall color scheme of your home to establish a sense of continuity.
6. Rearrange furniture to allow foot traffic
When someone comes to view your home, you’ll want to sure they have ease of access to each part of the house. Rearrange the furniture in your kitchen, dining room, and bedrooms to make it easy to tour the home.
Putting your home on the market is a life-changing decision and, for some people, it may involve conflicting feelings.
Ideally, all members of your family should be on board with the decision to sell. If you, your spouse, or your kids are ambivalent or even against the idea of moving, it could send a negative message to prospective buyers, estate agents, and others. Helping your family stay positive and motivated can ensure that everyone is pulling in the same direction.
A common stumbling block for many sellers is the inclination to attach too much sentimental value to their home. While you may associate your home with fond family memories, years of hard work, and thousands of dollars in home improvements, your actual selling price should be a reflection of market conditions and the price comparable houses in your neighborhood recently sold for.
Based on a comparative analysis, your real estate agent can help you come up with a realistic asking price that will reflect both its market value and major improvements you've made in recent years. Although remodeling your kitchen or bathrooms will not provide you with a dollar-for-dollar return on investment (ROI) when it comes time to sell, prospective buyers will be much more attracted to a home that's been updated and well maintained.
When selling your home, perhaps the most important principle to keep in mind is that "You don't get a second chance to make a great first impression." By minimizing the negatives and making the most of your home's attributes, you'll be increasing the probability of selling your house within the shortest period of time
Keeping your home meticulously clean for every showing can often be a challenge, but it's a goal worth striving for. Other ways to make a favorable impression on potential buyers is to focus on maximizing your home's curb appeal and minimizing clutter -- both inside and out. While it may seem like a tall order to declutter your home, keep your lawn looking manicured, and apply fresh coats of paint where needed, you'd be surprised at how much you can accomplish by setting your mind to it. One simple but effective strategy for getting things done is to create checklists of priorities, projects, and important tasks that need to be completed. When you commit goals to writing and review your priority list every day, you'll tend to be much more organized, action oriented, and focused.
Although a lot of people take a sense of humble pride in saying that their home is "a work in progress," once it's on the market, you need to have as many of those rough edges smoothed out, as possible! Putting your best foot forward for every showing could make the difference between a fast sale and a house which lingers on the market for months!
Successfully selling your home in the shortest period of time is generally an achievable goal, but there are many potential pitfalls to be aware of. Although one of the most important steps you can take involves hiring an experienced, proactive real estate agent, your own attitude and beliefs can have a major impact on things like the final selling price and how long your house stays on the market.
While your real estate agent can provide valuable guidance, advice, and marketing help, there are certain things that only you, the home owner, can do. Maintaining a positive outlook is one of them.
If you have self-defeating attitudes and beliefs, you may be undermining the sales process and keeping potential buyers at a distance. Here are a few examples of how your own negative attitudes can be a major stumbling block to getting your house sold quickly and for an optimal price.
Unrealistic beliefs: Sometimes sellers are so emotionally connected to their homes that they're unable to relate to the viewpoint and perspective of potential buyers. Pricing, for example, should be based on objective criteria and comparative data, rather than emotional attachment or perceived value. If the price you're asking for your home is significantly above the actual market value of your property, then that will raise red flags in the minds of both prospective buyers and mortgage lenders. Although you want to get the highest possible price for your family's home, it has to be based on a realistic range that would be acceptable to both buyers and lenders.
False expectations: Homeowners who expect prospective buyers to recognize the intrinsic value of their home, even though the paint is peeling and the bathrooms have never been updated, are setting themselves up for disappointment and failure! When you factor in human psychology and the competitive nature of the real estate market, it becomes apparent how vitally important first impressions and overall presentation are to the marketing a home.
Pessimism: Although positive thinking, alone, is not going to get your house sold, it can help give you that extra boost of energy and motivation to make sure your home is clean, organized, and visually appealing. Pessimism, on the other hand, can cause you to be less thorough, attentive, and conscientious about keeping your home immaculate, fresh, and ready for potential buyers. If there's any hint of the house being unclean, in disrepair, or cluttered, then you've lost your opportunity to make a positive first impression.
Finding and working with a real estate agent who's got a solid sales record and a proactive approach to selling houses is among the key ingredients to getting your home sold quickly and for the best possible price. Although they'll be doing the lion's share of work when it comes to marketing your property and coordinating the details, your support and cooperation plays an important role in the ultimate success of their efforts.