Home Selling Strategy

Selling a property requires more than simply listing it as For Sale By Owner (FSBO) and expecting it to sell quickly. Before putting a home on the market, there is a significant amount of preparation involved. Sellers must adopt a positive strategy by putting themselves in the buyer's shoes. If you were a buyer viewing property, how would you react to what you see? Would you criticize every home you visit? Would you focus on the negatives and make lighthearted comments about the decor or furniture? Would you dismiss a property from your home shopping list simply because you didn't like its presentation? Unfortunately, these are the behaviors that buyers often exhibit when visiting properties.

It has been proven repeatedly that well-presented homes in their respective neighborhoods sell faster and command higher prices compared to those that appear average or neglected. That's why it's crucial to prepare and enhance a property before putting it on the market. Prepping your property may involve some upfront expenses, but you can expect to recoup those costs—and even make a profit—when it sells. So, unless it completely satisfied you with how your property looks at the moment, try not to take offense when buyers present low-ball offers.

It has been proven repeatedly that well-presented homes in their respective neighborhoods sell faster and command higher prices compared to those that appear average or neglected.

Over the years, homeowners accumulate a lot of belongings: excessive furniture, numerous knickknacks, walls filled with artwork, garages turned into storage spaces, cluttered backyards with gardening and pool tools, and neglected landscaping. It becomes easy for them to overlook the excessive clutter, but buyers notice it right away. That's why it's essential to properly groom your home before selling.

The first impression that motivates potential buyers is the outside appearance or curb appeal. Nowadays, people primarily search for properties online, and they naturally gravitate towards the most visually appealing ones. Alternatively, many buyers drive through neighborhoods and assess properties based on their curb appeal. Therefore, it's important to enhance your home's curb appeal by pressure-cleaning the roof and walls (or even repainting them), maintaining a neatly trimmed lawn, pruning the bushes, planting colorful flowers, and tidying up the yard.

The inside appearance provides a deeper insight into how one lives. No one likes to visit cluttered, over-furnished, or visibly unclean homes. Consider staging your home by asking a relative, friend, or co-worker to help you redecorate. Even a fresh coat of neutral, warm-colored paint can significantly improve its appearance. When people visit your home, the pleasant scent of fresh paint will evoke a sense of cleanliness. A mediocre-looking home is more likely to receive insulting offers.

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Embrace the "less is more" approach. Consider having a garage sale, renting a temporary storage locker to store excess furniture and belongings (which can be moved to your new home after selling), or donating furniture to charitable organizations before listing your home.
  2. Keep your home impeccably clean. A clean kitchen and bathrooms are particularly appealing to buyers.
  3. Maintain tidiness. Always put away clothes, shoes, purses, and toys in closets. Make your beds each day shortly after waking up. Avoid leaving dishes in the sink or pots and pans scattered on the stove or kitchen counter. Keep your countertops clean and free of clutter, especially the garage. Wash or paint exterior walls. Keep the lawn freshly mowed, shrubs trimmed, and maybe plant some colorful flowers.
  4. Address pet-related concerns. Ensure that your home doesn't have noticeable pet odors or excessive pet hair in corners. While pet owners may be accustomed to these odors, potential buyers might find them offensive. If you have large or energetic dogs that bark at everything, it's best to control them during property showings or consider taking them out with you.
  5. Prepare for property inspections. Even if your sale is "AS-IS," buyers typically have the right to an inspection. They hire general property inspectors and other specialists who meticulously examine your home, often uncovering hidden defects. Upon receiving the inspection report, buyers may request repairs or credits toward those repairs. By addressing known issues before listing, you have an opportunity to handle the repairs yourself (if you're handy) or shop around for better contractor prices. Additionally, addressing these problems beforehand helps maintain your home's value, especially during the buyer's lender appraisal.
  6. Condo documents. If you own a condominium or a co-op, it is essential to have the complete set of condo documents, including all addendum, the latest "year-end" financial statement, the budget, and the most recent rules and regulations of the association. These documents are crucial for potential buyers to review when considering the purchase of a unit in the building or community.Similarly, if you own a house in a community governed by a homeowner association (HOA), similar documents may be required. It's important to gather and provide these documents to prospective buyers as they offer valuable insights into the community's governance, financial health, and any rules or regulations that homeowners must adhere to. By having these documents readily available, you can ensure transparency and facilitate a smoother sales process. Prospective buyers will have access to important information about the property and the community, enabling them to make informed decisions and potentially expediting the sale.
  7. Assumable mortgage or loan. If you currently have a mortgage or loan on your house, it's worthwhile to find out if it is assumable, especially considering the recent increase in mortgage rates. An assumable mortgage means a buyer can take over the existing mortgage terms and conditions when purchasing your property. This can be an attractive feature for potential buyers, particularly if your mortgage has a very low interest rate. By having an assumable mortgage with a favorable interest rate, you provide a potential cost-saving opportunity for buyers. They can avoid securing a new mortgage with higher interest rates in the current market. This can make your property more appealing and potentially increase the pool of interested buyers. To determine if your mortgage is assumable, contact your mortgage lender to review your mortgage agreement. It's important to note that not all mortgages are assumable, so it's essential to confirm this with your lender. If your mortgage is assumable, you can highlight this feature when marketing your property. It may attract buyers who are seeking favorable financing options and might expedite the sale of your house.
  8. Open Permits. Most importantly, upon the sale of a house, it is estimated that around 25-30% of homes may have open city permits that the owners are unaware of. This often occurs because homeowners assume that once the city inspector has signed off on the permits, the permits will be closed automatically. However, it is important to note that the responsibility for closing permits typically lies with the property owner, not the contractor or the city inspector. Therefore, it is crucial for homeowners to follow up and ensure that all permits associated with their property are properly closed before selling. This will help avoid any potential complications or delays during the sale process.This is where I come in to assist you in preparing to sell your property and provide guidance on pricing. I can help you conduct a comparative market analysis (CMA) of properties in your neighborhood to determine the optimal value for your home.