Selling a Home
Selling a house can be stressful. Making the decision, preparing the house for sale, keeping it clean, waiting for a buyer, dealing with offers, and advancing to the closing table – all of these steps can involve discomfort. This is a huge financial transaction with many emotional aspects. But you can get it done – and it may even be easier that you anticipate.
One thing to keep in mind is that you’re not alone. An experienced, professional real estate agent can guide you through the process, help resolve any issues that come up, and ensure that your home sells for the optimal price in a timely manner.
Before Your Home Is Listed
It's important to have your home in good showing condition before buyers start going through it. Here are some steps to take:
- Touch up interior and exterior paint as needed.
- Install new carpeting and flooring if it appears worn or dated.
- Make sure the front is clean and spruced up – curb appeal will create a favorable first impression.
- Trim bushes and plants as needed, and make sure the lawn is kept mowed and trimmed. In autumn, rake the leaves; in winter, keep the snow shoveled.
- Keep the interior clean, decluttered and odor-free. Eliminate evidence of pets.
- Minimize personal items such as family photos. You want buyers to see themselves living in the home.
- Consider putting excess furniture and belongings in storage. Now's the time to clean out the garage and basement and sell, give away or throw away items you don't need anymore.
- Consider having a pre-listing inspection performed. Buyers will be hiring professional inspectors; here's your chance to address problems in advance.
- Consider engaging a professional stager to give your home the right emotional appeal.
During the Listing Period
- When potential buyers visit your home, either be absent or make yourselves as inconspicuous as possible.
- Have fresh flowers in the entryway. It makes for a friendly introduction into your home.
- If offers are made that don't match your hoped-for price, don't reject them out of hand. Pay attention to your agent's advice.
- Consider dropping the price if several months go by with few or no offers. But if you and your agent have priced your home properly from the start, this shouldn't be necessary.
- Don't get discouraged. In buyer's markets, homes take longer to sell than during boom times. Your home will eventually sell; it's a matter of your RE/MAX agent finding the right buyer for you.
Help Your Agent
You have the best chance of selling your home if you work closely with your RE/MAX agent. Make sure all showings are coordinated through him or her. If you have a brochure box, be sure to keep it filled.
If prospective buyers want to discuss your property or negotiate price or other terms, defer to your RE/MAX agent. He or she is the expert and can best handle all these details without emotion.