Are you ready to put your house on the market for sale?
The first question prospective sellers should ask themselves is, “Why am I selling?” Is it because of financial reasons, do you need more room, are you downsizing, relocation, employment, etc? Your reason for selling can impact the negotiating process, so it’s important to discuss your needs and wants in private with the Realtor who lists your home.
Next, you have to look at your home through the eyes of a prospective buyer. If you were buying that home, what would you want to see? You can’t be unwilling to do things to your home to prepare it for prospective buyers if you would expect it yourself. What needs to be cleaned, decluttered, painted, or repaired? A seller’s goal is for their home to maximize the space so it shows well and attracts as many buyers and demand as possible.
When should you sell your home?
Unfortunately you cannot always control the time of year that you need to sell your house, but there are trends that show the market tends to be more active in the late spring and early summer because parents want to enroll children in classes at the beginning of the school year. This is not to say your home won’t sell during the fall or holidays, but that is typically when a seller will see more activity from buyers. Although the spring and summer may have more activity, the market also tends to have balance year-round. There may be fewer buyers moving in the Fall or around the holidays, but there is also likely to be fewer homes listed for a buyer to chose from.
How do you improve your home’s value?
The general rule in real estate is that buyers seek the least expensive home in the best neighborhood they can afford. In terms of improvements, this means you want a home that fits in the neighborhood but is not over-improved. For example, if most homes in your neighborhood have three bedrooms, two baths and 2,500 sq. ft. of finished space, a property with five bedrooms, more baths and far more space would likely be priced much higher and likely be more difficult to sell.
You want your property to show as best as possible, so it’s a good idea to make some improvements where necessary. When making these tweaks, be certain that they’re consistent with the neighborhood and do not involve capital investments, the cost of which cannot be recovered from the sale. Yes, you want the property to look great and attract buyers, but it’s not smart to put forth a ton of money on improvements because you most likely won’t see a return on that investment. Focus on cosmetic improvements (paint, wallpaper, landscaping) to help a home “show” better and mechanical repairs to ensure all systems and applicants are working well. Also, make sure these improvements reflect community preferences. This is why it’s important to use a seasoned Realtor, like Teresa Stamper, who has seen numerous homes in several different cities and markets and can provide suggestions that are consistent with your marketplace.