Our Top Twelve Tips To Get The Best Price For Your Home
Are you preparing to list your home for sale? Already listed and not getting the offers you hoped for? If your goal is the best price within a reasonable time frame please take note of our tried and true Top Twelve Tips to have your home showing ready! Want the help of a tough love pro in putting your home in tip top showing shape? We often meet with clients many months before their desired list date to help with the home assessment and creating the ‘to do’ list.
- A Critical Eye
Step one is to look at your home through the eyes of a buyer and anticipate their desires and pushback items. Deferred maintenance? Scuffed walls and floors? Burned out or mismatched light bulbs? Overstuffed closets? Leaky showerhead? Consider a pre-listing home inspection. Take as many fixes off the table in advance of the buyer’s inspector creating a list, especially high priority and deferred maintenance items. Inspection items noted as high priority and deferred maintenance can derail a deal. Rusted metal, decking material in poor condition, tuckpointing, a leaky or ‘on its last legs’ roof and similar items are the big deal items but be on the lookout for minor issues; faulty GFCI outlets, broken seals at the windows, non working fireplace. Homes that are move-in ready sell faster and for a higher price than those a buyer perceives to need ‘too much work’.
- Purge and Declutter
Think open space, in a room or on a counter. Use a critical eye room by room and don’t forget closets, looking for the stuff that does not need to be front and center. The goal is to have your home look airy, open, bigger, and brighter. Pay attention to surfaces, closets and storage spaces.
A home freshly painted in a neutral and soothing shade of white presents to a potential buyer as move in ready and well maintained. I wrote a blog called 50 Shades of White showcasing some of my favorite white paint colors that add warmth and depth and light. Avoid shades with heavy undertones in pink, blue, green or yellow. If you are not able to paint the entire home make sure you have scuffed or dingy walls touched up. My favorite, go-to white paint (found all over my home!) is Chantilly Lace. Is your front door freshly painted or polished; make sure you make a good first impression!
Staging can work miracles when presenting a home for sale. Ask your agent for staging advice; she will know how to showcase each room to prospective buyers. The National Association of Realtors report found that 82% of buyers’ agents say staging makes it easier for buyers to visualize a property as their future home. Staging can substantially increase the price of your property and decrease market time. We work with a terrific staging company that offers an option to pay for staging at the closing or after 4 months from the initial staging date, whichever comes first.
- White Is Queen In The Kitchen (and bathroom)
The quality and color of kitchen cabinets and countertops have a major impact on the overall appeal of a home. According to a study by Zillow, white kitchen cabinets are still the most desired, followed by light gray. Darker colors in grey, emerald green, and midnight blue are all the rage but work best in rooms that are exceptionally bright and spacious. Your best bet if you are selling now or soon? Go white! Mixing it up with two or three shades of white is also popular. Chantilly Lace in a matte finish on walls and semi gloss finish on trim and doors is a fresh look. Want to add a splash of color somewhere? How about your powder room or guest bathroom? Update your kitchen by painting your cabinets in a warm white that compliments the Chantilly Lace on the walls. According to the Zillow study, a neutral light color greatly increases interest in touring a property. It also ups the likelihood of a potential buyer purchasing the home.
- First Impressions…Pay Attention To Curb Appeal
First impressions matter, so make sure that your home looks her best from the outside in. If you have a single family home, make sure the front yard is tidy; lawn mowed if you have live grass, shrubs trimmed, flowers watered, fresh mulch. If you have a condo, work with your fellow owners to get the facade and landscape gussied up. They have a vested interest in your selling at top dollar! Don’t forget to polish the wood or touch up the paint of the front door and trim. Clean your windows!
- Brag About Your Home And Include A List of Upgrades And Special Features
More is more when it comes to showcasing the upgrades and updates to your home. Such a list shows your pride of ownership as well as your attention to updating and maintaining your home. Here is an example of our version of such a document; Upgrades and Special Features
- Create A Digital History Of Your Home
Today’s buyers look at homes through a critical eye. They know when a home shows pride of ownership; they are looking for well maintained homes that are move in ready. Especially impressive to buyers is a digital record of maintenance, paint schedule, age of appliances, mechanical equipment, roof, exterior materials, home warranty details, and more. At The Dobbs Group, we are developing an app for just this purpose. In the meantime, we help our clients to create a spreadsheet with all the details, including light bulb size, type, and Kelvin temperature!
- Pricing Is Key
Pricing is part art and part science. On paper, two homes can share a number of details such as location, square footage, room sizes, exposure and parking – the science – but differ wildly when it comes to finishes – the art. A properly-priced home will attract the most attention from potential buyers and help your home sell more quickly. Your agent will prepare a comprehensive market overview and create a report called a Comparable Market Analysis for your review. I am known to be a nut about data and love creating CMA reports. I work up an updated report for every listing each Monday morning. Trust your agent’s instincts and advice on pricing. She will know the differentiating characteristics of the comparable listings and how those features impact the list and likely selling price for your home.
- Say Yes To and Be Ready For All Showings!
At The Dobbs Group we have a goal to NEVER miss a showing. We understand that a last minute showing request can be an inconvenience to our seller clients and the final decision to show is in the hands of the client. Our advice? Be ready to show at a moment’s notice whenever possible. Another saying we keep top of mind is “Perfect is the enemy of the good.” A buyer coming at the last minute understands the pillows may not be fluffed and will appreciate the effort you take to accommodate the last minute request. Do your best to have your home showing ready and try to accommodate every reasonable showing request.
- Yay, The Offer Came In!
In a hot market you may get a full or above full price offer. In a down market you may be shocked at a low ball offer. Stay objective, with your end game top of mind. Negotiate based on your terms, not the initial offer price. Sometimes a buyer is unrealistic and best to let them walk. Then there are those buyers that want to test the price but become realistic. You will never know until you make that counter offer. Try your best to leave emotion at the door. Give up the small things that are not important to you and the buyer gets a win. Their win could be your win! Having an expert negotiator on your side could mean the difference between a deal or a lost opportunity. I am fortunate to have hundreds of past clients that speak to my skills in negotiating; I am focused, empathetic, and strategic to achieve the goals of my client. My long time client across multiple transactions, Gary Rieger, says “Trust me, Debra is who you want on YOUR side during negotiations.”
- The deal is not over until…getting from contract to closing!
You followed 11 of our top tips and received a terrific offer in record time and now under contract. This is where your thorough attention to preparation will pay off. No deferred maintenance or leaky roof for the buyer’s home inspector to note in his report. Your agent will stay on top of each and every detail to ensure the appraisal comes in on value, that all contract deadlines are met, and that mortgage approval comes in on time. We work with a 107 point checklist to make sure we do not miss a single detail as we move from the first client meeting to closing!