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Source: National Association of REALTORS® 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

Selling a home is a process. Sometimes homeowners have time to prepare. Sometimes they don’t. I am here to help you make it as efficient and straightforward as possible.

Every home for sale will need to be strategically priced, staged, photographed, managed for showings, and digitally marketed to achieve its maximum selling price within a reasonable time frame. Reasonable is defined as how quickly homes are selling in your community and at what price range or threshold. The formula for success is multi dimensional. You can’t afford to skip any of the very important steps.

Most buyers today are very astute to values and have an HGTV mindset. If your home doesn’t measure up to their expectations, you may have a slow time selling and it may cost you money.

You have less than 10 seconds to impress a buyer after they walk through your front door. If they like your home, statistics show they could stay in your home up to 40 minutes or longer. The longer they remain in your home, the more likely they are to move toward an offer. You shouldn’t be home during a showing. Leave 30 minutes prior and return 30 minutes after the scheduled showing time. If you see cars in the driveway upon returning, drive around until they’re gone.

Here are 10 quick tips to get you going.

  1. Boost curb appeal. Power wash siding, driveway, walkways, pool decking. Paint exterior if yours is chalking. Wash windows, doors, door knobs. Weed. Trim vegetation. Set out a planter or two of fresh flowers. Keep the entryway uncrowded.
  2. Make repairs. Make sure your home is functionally, structurally, and safety sound. If you don’t do it now it will catch up with you at inspections. Have the home pre-inspected. Offer the inspection report to any buyers who make an offer as an effort to be transparent and forthcoming in negotiations. Disclose all findings and corrective actions, if any, on the Seller’s Property Disclosure. Don’t hide any defects. By law your REALTOR® must disclose all defects even if you don’t.
  3. Provide welcoming entryway As buyers are walking up to your front door, then after buyers walk through your front door, they either fall in love or they don’t. Your foyer and all rooms within sight of it are your first impressions. Make sure these rooms are staged.
  4. Declutter and depersonalize. Less than 7% of buyers can visualize themselves in your home if they can’t envision their belongings inside. Start packing everything you don’t use on a daily basis. Organize closets, pantry, cabinets. This subliminally shows a buyer you are ready to hand it over. This is especially important for buyers who need to close quickly.
  5. Clean like you’ve never cleaned. Deep clean. Hire a professional if needed. Some of the most overlooked items to clean are light switches, outlets, baseboards, sliding glass door tracks, windows, sills, ceiling fans, lamps, picture frames. Have carpets and/or grout professionally cleaned.
  6. Paint. If you haven’t painted the inside or outside of your home in 10 years, or if its looking faded or chalky, paint. Hire a professional to get clean, crisp lines. Use neutral colors. The home will look and feel fresh which is very persuasive even if not the colors of the buyers choice.
  7. Remove odors. Homes that smell don’t sell. Deal killing odors include scented wall plug-ins, potpourri, litter boxes, ashtrays, and some pets. Wash and change bedding weekly. If you are a smoker, some studies reveal you could lose as much as 30% due to smoke smell.
  8. Stage. Visit model homes and flipped homes in your area. Tour homes newer than yours that are for sale on the market. Compare flooring, fixtures, finishes, paint colors. Kitchens, bathrooms, and master bedrooms are the top rooms that if updated will gain favor from buyers. If you are unable to invest in updates, hire a stager who will help you showcase your home to offset any shortcomings.
  9. Create a lifestyle. Homes that evoke emotion sell quicker and for more money. Spa bathrooms. Neutral bedrooms. Flow and unity from room to room and between inside and outside are in demand. What is seen from the inside windows out into the yard and beyond? Is it appealing? Clean? Private? Ideal for entertaining?
  10. Security. It’s part of the process to allow strangers into your home. They should always be accompanied by a professional REALTOR® or the homeowners. Wireless security systems are inexpensive. Hide prescription medication, valuables, and sentimentals. If anyone knocks on your door to see your home without an appointment, you don’t answer especially if you are alone. If you are out in the yard and they approach, use common sense whether to let them through or tell them to contact your REALTOR®. Walk behind visitors in your home if you let them in and guide them. Never lead. Do not go to the 2nd level with them. If you have a group come in and they go in different directions, you will have to choose to remain in a neutral position. If they don’t want to be followed, then don’t. Yet remain in sight and within earshot. Always have an exit strategy in place if you need to use it in an emergency.
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