So, you’ve added to your family and outgrown what was your perfect first home; you’ve just landed a new job out-of-state; you’ve decided you want to lease a flat in that new development overlooking the river—it’s time to sell your home!
Taking the pre-listing experience seriously will ensure you a smooth process toward the final papers and help you meet your personal goals involving the sale of what most likely is your largest asset. As is with all things in life, a little preparation will go a long way in helping you sell for the largest profit, in the least time, and with the fewest pitfalls.
Hiring the right real estate agent is paramount. It’s a good idea to interview a few agents to discover a professional that has experience and a proven track record, one that you feel will represent your interests in a thorough manner. He will be able to review the key aspects of pre-listing with you and in the end, will be able to give you professional advice on exactly what you need to do to make your house the one buyers schedule to visit first.
Your agent will first need to meet with you at the property to be listed and evaluate how the house presents. He will have the skill to go room to room and make suggestions for any repairs or improvements that would be cost efficient; he will know how much impact specific improvements make within the market. Small things, like changing a lighting fixture, adding dimmers, or painting that orange accent wall a more neutral color can greatly enhance the experience of any potential buyers once you list your house for sale.
It will also be critical for you to de-clutter your home and clean it from top to bottom. When it’s on the market and advertised, people will be walking through and very quickly forming their first impression… be it good, or not so good. They want to see the home and all of its strong attractive features; they don’t want to see your belongings—you want them to instead visualize how their belongings might fit. Once small repairs are made, and the house is spotless, you should stage your home with either professional help or advice from your agent. This can be an expense that proves worthwhile; as again, first impressions are crucial. Oftentimes you will be able to use your own belongings, but a trained eye can help you decide furniture placement and flow.
Now that your house is ready to show, it’s time to have pictures taken. Often times your realtor can take care of this for you. Buyers will definitely be scouring the internet in their search of their new home, and the visual presentation of your property needs to attract their attention and spur their desire to call an agent to plan a visit. Pictures showcasing the best features of your home need to be colorfully displayed for on-line shoppers and with your agent’s firm.
Finally, the most important aspect of pre-listing your home is deciding on the asking price and at the same time determining the lowest dollar offer you would accept. Only a real estate agent will have the exact information you need to make an informed decision. Your representative can ascertain for what price similar homes have recently sold in the same area, ensuring your listing price is in line with comparable properties that have closed. Pricing the property within the appropriate range for size, location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and home features will ensure you bring the best buyers to the table.