While it is the Realtor’s responsibility to market your home, it is your responsibility to make it “marketable”. Here are some examples of what makes your home marketable:
- Great photos! Clear, high resolution photos of everything from the exterior and throughout the entire home with focus on special features of the home such as a beautiful chandelier, hand built fireplace or fountain. Live in a condo? No problem! Take photos of the amenities that the community has to offer such as the pool, picnic area or exercise facility. I can’t tell you how many buyers bypass a listing because there were no photos at all! A listing without photos is the kiss of death! Photos are your opportunity to showcase your home. USE THEM!
- Have great curb appeal! Number one rule: mow the lawn! Pull the weeds and spruce up the entry. How do you expect to sell the house if you can’t even get them out of the car? Power wash the exterior of the house and put some pots of yellow flowers along the walk way.( Yellow is a color that evokes the buying emotion!) In addition, paint the faded trim, clean up any debris, fix the fence, etc… This is your chance to make a great first impression so don’t blow it.
- Make sure the Realtor places a for sale sign in the yard so that it is visible from as many angles as possible. Signs are a great way to get attention and let everyone know your home is for sale. If you are in a situation that you are trying to maintain your privacy and don’t want a sign, just realize that you may not see much traffic in terms of buyers wanting to see your home. Do you really want to sell? Then allow the Realtor to use their entire bag of tricks to get the job done.
- When was the last time you did a good house cleaning? Buyers look everywhere; in cabinets, under the sink, under the rugs, in the closets…Be sure to clean the home as much as possible before putting it on the market. Nothing turns off a buyer like a dirty carpet, walls covered in cooking splatters and dirty finger prints and odors! Have those carpets cleaned and do a good wipe down and dusting on everything you can and keep it up. You never know when the buyers will come during the day so be sure and make the beds and pick up the dirty clothes! Your Realtor should also do a walk thru with you prior to listing to give you some advice on how to prepare.
- De-clutter and de-personalize! We all love to put family photos on the fridge and walls, however, the more personalized your home is, the less a potential buyer can envision him or herself living there. You want them to picture their furniture and personal belongings in the space. That is why it is important to clear it out. Less is definitely more. It makes the space look bigger and more inviting for their imagination. This is a great time to start packing! And if you do start packing, neatly stack those boxes in a garage or storage unit to ensure the home is ready for showing at short notice.
- Don’t set too many restrictions on showing the property. Be open to showing at short notice. You never know when a Realtor is showing another property nearby and their buyer sees your home and wants to stop by. In addition, please remember that most families are two income families and need to juggle property showings after work. Are you open to showing the property in the evenings? Let your agent know. The more accommodating you are, the more your home will be shown! If you have any concerns about having a lockbox placed on your home, just know that you will have to be present to allow agents into the property for showings. This could be inconvenient for you as well.
- Price it right! Your agent will complete a comparative market analysis on your home utilizing information on similar properties in the area and what they are selling for in today’s market. If you are not willing to sell for what the market will bear then maybe you are not ready to sell or should hold off until the value is in a range you would prefer. One of the most important things to remember when developing a pricing strategy with your agent is to DISASSOCIATE yourself from the property. While it is an emotional experience, you are not selling memories so you need to be as objective as possible when pricing. Remember, the buyer does not yet have the same connection to the house that you do and no matter how lovely the house, if it is overpriced, it will sit on the market…and sit….and sit some more.
There are dozens of other things you can do as a seller to make your home more attractive than the next. If you would like more ideas or have questions on marketing your home, please contact me for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-681-2532.
In closing, just remember strong marketing is just smart business. Find an agent with a strategic marketing plan, prepare your home and together you can make the phone ring and put the wind in your SALE!