Selling your home can be an exciting time, stressful time or both. Perhaps you have the exciting opportunity to move into a bigger house, downsize because you are finally retiring or relocate to a new city and state for your dream job. If you have to sell your house because of an unfortunate financial situation, a death or divorce, it can be a sad and stressful time. Whatever the reason for selling your house, you want to be sure to hire a real estate professional to get you the most money, in the least amount of time and with the least amount of stress. That’s why it is so important to market your home in every way possible. A real estate broker will also have a lot of other professional advice to offer you, as well.
The first thing you should do when selling your home is hire an experienced, local real estate broker. It’s important to hire someone that works in your town or a surrounding town because he or she will have the best knowledge of your area. Your broker will have the market knowledge to help you price your home and should prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) for you. The CMA will show you the current comparable active listings in your area, the listings that are under contract and the listings that have closed. Typically the broker will use comparable sold listings going six months back. That’s typically how far back appraisers go, as well. Your broker should tell you the average time on the market and go into detail to explain the time on the market for each home in the CMA and the reasons for their time on the market. Homes that have updates, upgrades and are move-in ready typically sell faster. Finally, your broker will explain the area’s typical list-to-sales price ratio and negotiating strategies. In a seller’s market homes sell closer to their listing price. In a buyer’s market there is usually more negotiating room.
There are many ways to prepare to list and market your home for sale. Your real estate broker will give you professional advice and be able to guide you. Getting your house ready for listing photos is especially important because these photos are what buyers will see in all marketing.
1) Pre-Listing Home Inspection
You might want to consider getting a pre-listing home inspection to reveal any defects or safety hazards in your house. Minor issues are easy and very inexpensive to repair. Consider repairing any major defects or safety hazards because they will come up in negotiating. The buyer and their broker may notice the issue and offer less for the home or request that it be repaired or replaced before closing. Or the buyer’s home inspector will find the problem and the buyer will make the request at that time.
2) Declutter and Start Packing
It’s always a good idea to declutter and start packing small items in the home. The less there is in a room the larger it looks. Pack away knick knacks, pictures, books and anything else that is cluttering shelves, counters or tops of dressers and tables. Put away small appliances to make the kitchen counters look more plentiful. Think of how a model home looks. Your home doesn’t necessarily need to look like a model home but keeping this in mind will help.
3) Make Necessary Updates and Upgrades
In order to get the best price for your home be sure it’s move-in ready. Today’s buyers choose homes that don’t need a lot of work or money put into them after closing. You real estate professional can guide you with today’s popular colors and materials. A fresh coat of paint will do wonders. Replacing old and worn carpeting and flooring will work magic. Updating your kitchen by painting outdated cabinets, adding a backsplash, granite countertops and stainless appliances will definitely help. Update and upgrade your bathrooms. Think about replacing your garage door and front door to help with curb appeal.
4) Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is what buyers see when they start walking up to the house. It’s also the first thing they see in the photos in the multiple listing system, online and in all marketing. Make sure your lawn and landscaping beds are manicured and free of weeds. Put down some new landscaping material such as mulch. Trim bushes and trees away from the house and roof. Power wash your siding, front porch, walkways, concrete driveway and sidewalks. If your driveway is asphalt, put on a fresh coat. Plant some flowers in beds or containers.
5) Hire a Professional Staging Company
Your real estate broker can give you some staging advice but sometimes it’s worth it to hire a staging company. The money you’ll spend will help get you a higher price for your home. Staging will make your listing photos look fabulous.
Top-of-the-line listing photos are of the utmost importance. These photos will be used in all of your marketing. It’s important to have a professional real estate photographer take the photos. If your real estate broker doesn’t offer that service, at least ensure that your broker is trained and uses a professional camera with a wide camera lens when taking your listing photos. Be sure they are high quality photos for online and print marketing and advertising.
Ensure the real estate broker you hire is a member of their local multiple listing system (MLS.) Most brokers are but it doesn’t hurt to ask. When your listing is put in the MLS it is available for all real estate brokers that are members to see. It is less likely that your own broker will have a buyer for your house. So it’s important to have your listing in the MLS so all brokers can have access to showing it to their buyers. You will pay your brokerage firm a commission and they will pay the cooperating broker who brings the buyer part of that commission.
Most marketing today is done online or on social media. A few brokers still use print advertising, but not many. There are too many real estate websites to count. Your broker will put your listing on their own website. Realtor.com is one of the most popular websites. Zillow.com, Trulia.com, Yahoo.com and Homes.com are other top real estate websites. More than 90 percent of buyers look online for homes before they hire a real estate professional to show them homes. Some brokers use social media to advertise and market your home. Discuss this with your broker if it’s important to you. Or put a link to your listing on your social media and ask friends to share it.
It’s still important to have your real estate broker put up a “for sale” sign in front of your home. Some people drive through their desired neighborhoods to see what homes are for sale.
You and your broker can work together to market and network your listing to any potential buyers you or they know such as friends, neighbors, co-workers, other real estate professionals, appraisers, contractors, inspectors and more. You never know who is looking for a home like yours. Have your broker make flyers to pass out to potential buyers and have in your home for buyers and their brokers to take at showing appointments.
If you are looking to sell your home in the Scottsdale, AZ area, we couldn’t recommend the Scottsdale realtor team The Kay-Grant Group more highly.