Thinking of Selling Your Home? Top 5 Things to do First

The idea of selling your home usually comes upon slowly as you start to think about life changing events that may make you want to sell.  Possibly your family is growing and you need more space or you’re going to be empty nesters and would prefer to downsize. Whatever your scenario is, having a plan going into listing your home is a great idea. Here are my top 5 things you will want to think about before listing your home for sale:

  1. Talk with a REALTOR® you trust.  My advice is that it is never too early to loop in a REALTOR®.  They can give you insight on things like the best month to list your home, some suggestions for updates to make to your home to maximize your profits, and prepare you for what to expect.
  2. If you will be listing a few months out, now is a good time to start sprucing up your home.  Tackle those projects that you know must be done — from cosmetic updates that will be eyesores to potential buyers to the big items that you know may come up in an inspection.  It can’t hurt to service items like the central A/C unit, furnace, and have the chimney cleaned.
  3. Organize dates & documents that buyers may request like age of the roof, age of appliances, dates of latest services, HOA documents, typical monthly utility bills, and warranties.  This will help answer questions from serious buyers considering purchasing your home & save time during the transaction.  You cannot hide from bad news with your house — seller’s failure to disclose known material defects with the house may result in legal liability.
  4.  Consider your options for “where to next” and plan for the scenario where your home sells fast.  If you are planning on buying another home, remember that it usually takes at least 30 days to close on a home if you are getting a loan.  You are going to want to talk with your REALTOR® about your options if you are buying & selling at the same time, as well as a lender if you plan to get a loan on your next home purchase. You don’t want to be left homeless with no plan in place!
  5. Start to de-clutter and prepare for the move.  Less “stuff” in a house looks better to potential buyers and will help make the transaction period less stressful for you. You will have a lot of to-dos with the real estate transaction itself, the less stress you have with packing up & moving, the more you will thank yourself.

Once you & your home are prepared for the sale, your REALTOR® will get to work listing your home for sale.  You may want to review my past blogs on “Improving Your Home’s First Impression” &  The Seller’s Roadmap to further prepare yourself for the sales process.

Once your home is listed – support your REALTOR® and respect their opinion on the process.  Try to be as flexible as you can with showings & open houses and keep your house clean & presentable.  The easier it is for buyers to come in and see your home, the more traffic you will get with prospective buyers.  The more enjoyable the experience is for the buyer in your home, the more positive of an impression it will have on them.

Good luck & happy selling!

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If you need assistance from a local REALTOR® to sell your home in the Boulder-Denver areas, I would love to help!!  Please reach out via email at beth@goodacreproperties.com or through the contact info below.

 


Selling? Improve Your Home’s First Impression.

Your home’s first impression for a home-buyer is most often online.  How your home looks in those pictures can make a major difference on whether you will get a buyer in to your home to look at it or not.  As a realtor, I sometimes cringe looking at the quality of photos posted of a home or the messiness of a house which stands out more than the natural beauty of the home itself.  You don’t want this to be your house so read more for tips to help get your house picture-perfect ready:

#1.  Make sure you take care of the major items to prepare your home for sale like touching-up paint, making necessary repairs around the house such as broken or damaged items, cleaning carpets of obvious stains, and sprucing up your yard.  You want your house to be in it’s best shape to get top dollar.  See my earlier blog on The Seller’s Roadmap if you aren’t sure on the process of selling your home.

#2.  Make sure you hire a realtor that will coordinate professional photos for you.  Most realtors should offer to pay for these photos – if they try to convince you they can just take the photos on their phone, I’d highly suggest you start looking for a new realtor! You (and your home) deserve better.  Professional photos will help make your home shine.

#3.  Talk with your realtor about whether it is worth the investment to stage your home.  Houses that are vacant or have furniture that have seen better days may really benefit from home staging.

#4.  A few days before the pictures, take an afternoon to prepare your home for the photos.  This includes:

  • Putting away & organizing major clutter.  Try to clean off counters, tops of furniture (such as coffee tables & desks), tidy up shelving that may be overflowing with personal items, tuck away pet supplies, and put away laundry.
  • Minimize toiletries in bathrooms & freshen the space.  Too many products on the counters may imply there is not enough storage.  Plan for the photographer to open shower curtains for the photos so try to keep the shower/bathtub clean & clutter-free.
  • Check all light bulbs and replace ones that are burnt out.  The photographer will likely want all the lights turned on and it will look funny if one of two bathroom lights are out, for example.  Don’t forget exterior lights!
  • Do a thorough clean of your house.  Consider a professional carpet clean if the carpets are particularly dirty & stains visible.
  • Spruce up the yard and outdoor space.  Wash off dirty outdoor furniture, clean-up the yards and gardens, pull any dead plants, mow the lawn, put away children’s toys and games.
  • Feel free to add some additional greenery inside or out with plants, but be careful about dating the pictures to a specific holiday in case your house doesn’t sell as quickly as you hope.
  • Hide electrical cords, including any jumble of wires that may be visible under your TV console or desk.

#5. On the day of the photos, you’ll want to do a final run through sprucing up your property.

  • Clean counter-tops and do another round of de-cluttering.  Put away the majority of items on the kitchen counters such as dish drying racks, extra appliances, utensil holders, spices, etc.  You want to make your counters look as spacious as possible.
  • Wipe down hardwood & tiled floors and try to get your appliances to shine, especially stainless steel that easily show smudges.
  • Make all the beds and ensure pillows & throws look tidy on furniture.
  • Clean windows of smudges & dirt which can show up in photos and take away from the pretty windows or views.
  • Toilet seats down & neatly fold any hand towels around the house.
  • Turn on all lights – don’t expect the photographer to do that for you.

Finally, after the photos are taken – it is still important to keep the house in excellent condition for the showings.  Nice photos will help get people into your house, but you want them to be impressed once they are there too.  Keep the house clean, tidy, and odor free while the house is on the market!

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If you are thinking about selling your home in the Boulder/Denver area, I would love to help.  I always provide professional photos for my clients, advice on updates or tips to help the house sell for top dollar, an innovative & custom marketing campaign around each listing, and I always strive to exceed my client’s expectations with exceptional client service.  Please email me below for more information on how we can work together & to see my sample listing marketing plan.

 

 

 


The Seller’s Roadmap

Selling your home can be an emotional process so it’s best to go into it knowing what to expect.  If you are thinking of selling your home, you will first want to meet with a real estate professional so they can help walk you through the steps to getting your home sold.  There is no commitment for that initial meeting – you are ensuring that you & the real estate broker will work well together and the work the broker will put into selling your home is what you expect (and deserve!).  The broker will do a market analysis and pull comparable homes that have sold recently to determine an appropriate price for the house.  As difficult as it may be, it is important to review the facts and be open-minded about the price the agent is providing.  Many sellers have an emotional tie to their home and may see their home in a more subjective light than the traditional buyer will.

If you decide to move forward with listing your home, you will want to prepare your home to be sold.  A good real estate broker should be able to help provide insight into what buyers will be looking for – plan to be open-minded in hearing their recommendations.  Your broker is offering advice based on a broad buyer audience, whereas your style may be more for one particular taste.  You will want your home to be in the best possible condition so plan on things like touching-up paint, making repairs for defects such as a broken door or leaky roof, de-clutter, enhance your home’s curb-appeal, eliminate odors, and clean to make your house shine.

Once your home is ready, your broker will list it for sale.  At a minimum, your broker will put up a for-sale sign and list it in the local MLS (Multiple Listing Service).  You deserve more than this so ensure your real estate broker will be putting forward a full marketing plan to sell your home from events to advertising, social media, direct outreach, professional photos, and more.  The job of a real estate agent is to MARKET your property to get it sold.  You need an agent that knows how to do marketing to get the home sold quickly and at a sale price you are happy with.  Please contact me below for a sample of my marketing plan for listing homes.

When an offer (or multiple offers) come in on your home, your broker will work with you to help you decide which offer to move forward with or negotiate on.  When all parties agree to the offer, the contract is signed and you are officially under contract.  Be prepared for many deadlines & commitments in the following weeks to get the sale closed.  On top of preparing to move and meeting all seller obligations, it is going to be a very busy couple of weeks.  Assuming each date & deadline is met and no one defaults on the contract, the transaction is complete with the closing & agreed upon possession date & time.  Cheers!!

Download the Seller’s Roadmap here.

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I would love to help you sell your home in CO.  Please contact me below to see my sample marketing plan for listing homes & I would be happy to schedule a no-obligations meeting to discuss your real estate needs.