Friday, 25 February 2011

Is your home sellable?

Tips to sell your home fast

If you want to avoid a headache then be smart and do some work upfront to make sure your house sells fast.

The economy is showing green shoots of recovery and we are told houses are selling. You’d be lucky though to find multiple buyers bidding up a house; sellers are in a competitive market and have to differentiate their property in order to make a sale.

Let’s revisit those famous house selling tips again.

1. Fix up the house

Now’s the time! Go throughout the house room by room, and take notes of all the things that need fixing i.e. oil those squeaks, paint the doors, and patch the cracks. Little things matter and they could turn off your buyers. If you noticed them, the buyer will too. Take the time to go around and fix those things one by one; fixing these small problems doesn’t have to be expensive, and yes it will take time and effort but you can always hire someone to do it or save money and  do it yourself if you are handy.

2. Decluttering

No one wants to buy a messy house. Make sure your house is clean and organized by removing as much clutter as you can, even if you have to store it so the house feels bigger and more spacious. One way of getting an idea on how your home should look is by browsing through magazines. Avoid using too many little rugs since they only add to the visual clutter. These are some tips you can follow:

§  Surfaces i.e. tables, desks, and worktops should be clear to show maximum surface space.

§  Remove clothes & shoes from wardrobes; put it into storage to heighten the impression of space.

§  Remove family photos from walls, shelves, and fireplace mantle. Potential buyers need to picture themselves living in the house, not looking at your family history.

§  Remove unnecessary furniture and put into storage; remember the clearer the floor is, the bigger the room will feel.

Too much stuff makes rooms look smaller, buyers will focus on your possessions rather than the home you’re trying to sell. Professional stagers will recommend removing as much as a third of your things to better show off your home.

I can’t overemphasize depersonalize and neutralize; the first items that should go into storage are family photos, collections and just about anything that shouts “you.” Rationalize your artwork and make bold decorating statements less obtrusive. Buyers find it hard enough to envision how their stuff will look in your space, by decluttering and  neutralizing your decor, you can help give them the blank canvas they need to imagine your house as theirs.

3. Clean up

Clean faucets and fixtures, remove fingerprints from the light switch covers, clean windows and hoover dog/cat hairs from everywhere including skirting boards. You’ll need to get rid of suspect smells as well; if your pets have had one too many accidents, you might want to think about replacing the affected carpet and underlay. If you are unsure of how your place smells, get your most forthright friend to have a few sniffs and tell you but please don’t have a row with your friend as a result.

4. Improve your home kerb appeal

Yes I know I am sounding like the House Doctor but first impressions do count, and for your home the name of the game is kerb appeal. I am not suggesting you spend a lot of money to improve your home; improve the appearance so it looks better than other houses in the street. It all can be done inexpensively.   Many buyers will drive by a property before going to view it.  Here are a few tips to improve your home’s kerb appeal:

§  Prune trees, trim hedges and mow your lawn.

§  Paint or clean the exterior with a power wash.

§  Repaint walls and doors in neutral colours.

§  Plant verges or window boxes with brightly coloured flowers.

§  Make sure the mailbox, house numbers, front light, and potted plants are in good condition otherwise replace them.

5. The Art of Home Staging

Home staging goes beyond decluttering, cleaning and decorating and happens after the steps above. If you feel it a bit daunting then you can always hire a staging professional and believe me when I say that home staging does help sell you house. If you want to give it a try then here are a few things you can do:

§  Put vases of fresh flowers on tables, a fruit basket on the dining table and arrange colourful cookbooks on the worktops.
§  Make sure the house smells fresh and airy; a good tip is to bake some brownies or brew coffee before a showing to give the house a pleasant aroma.
§  Make sure the temperature is right; you want the potential buyer to feel comfortable.
§  Make sure rooms are properly lit by opening the window treatments or turning on lights.
§  Arrange items on shelves, bookcases and the fireplace mantel to bring attention to predetermined areas.

6. Ask the right price 

I know it’s very difficult to sell your home for less than you expected but you can’t insist on an unrealistic price if you want to sell your home in today’s market. To find the right price, you can check other homes for sale in your area by checking web sites like Zoopla or get a valuation. You will be in a better position to compete against other sellers if you are flexible on the price.

7. Make the most of social media

This is the Internet age so you should use all means available to you specially the social media so use online venues to help sell your house i.e. put home for sale ads on tepilo or promote the property through your online social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You might also send out a copy of your house listing to people on your email list and ask them if they know anyone that might be looking for a house in your neighbourhood. Remember to use every channel that you have at your disposal!

8. Choose a good agent

While it’s now easier than it’s ever been to sell your house privately a lot of people still feel more confortable working with an agent. I am not saying that you can’t do it but not all of us have the patience and drive to deal with it so it might be better to hire a professional. Remember you’re in charge and a lot of money is being dealt with so be discerning; if you shop around for clothes and furniture why not do the same when it comes to choosing a real estate agent. Another important thing to remember is never to give an exclusive to your agent. You want to be able to fire your real estate agent if he or she turns out to be a disappointment.
One way of determining whether an agent is going to market your property effectively is to look at the details of other properties on their books; see how they’ve presented them. I’m sure you will have seen (and winced at) pictures of houses for sale with unwashed dishes in the sink, clothes on the floor and bathrooms in need of a good scrub.

If you follow these techniques you can sell your house that much quicker and even get more money for your home; now would you refuse a few extra pennies? Of course not…

So be creative!

1 comment:

  1. Mikelewisproperty13 July 2011 at 06:27

    I’ve seen so many people try to sell their own home, or use
    a realtor, when the markets are such that a quick sale just won’t happen. A
    fast home buyer is a guaranteed way to get a result in a very short space of
    time. Anything else is a false economy.
    sale my house