According to Trulia, 60% of all home sales and purchases happen during the summer, and chances are good if you’ve been planning a move, you’re thinking summer as well.
Take a peek at the calendar hanging in your kitchen or hiding on your phone and do a little quick math: if you are thinking about selling your home this summer, you’ve got about six weeks to prepare for listing your property, and you’ve probably got work to do. Don’t panic – I’ve done this before! If you’ll be listing this summer, you’ll want to get started on your to do list right away:
- Repair It NOW – If you’ve been putting off maintenance or repairs of any sort on your home, complete those items before your home is listed for sale. If you put off repairs now you are simply giving your future buyers ammunition for the Home Inspection. In addition, obvious repairs are distracting during a home tour. Buyers won’t notice your upgraded kitchen cabinetry if the floor is in poor repair, and negatives like this can impact your selling price or the speed of the sale.
- Declutter – Declutter – Declutter – Alright, so maybe your family isn’t ready to star in an episode of Hoarders – Buried Alive yet. Congratulations! But you’ve still got work to do! The buyer’s impression of the size and inherent value of your home will be impacted by the level of clutter versus tidy spaciousness inside. You’ll be moving soon anyway – take time now to ditch the “stuff” cluttering your space and store items you can live without until you move.
- Don’t Get Too Personal – Remember that great beach vacation three years ago? And your first family dog? And Grandma and Grandpa’s fiftieth wedding anniversary? You don’t have to – the pictures are all over your walls. What’s good for the resident goose is definitely NOT good for the home-buying gander. When your home is on the market, it is important that buyers are able to visualize making their own memories there. Don’t distract them with personal mementos and photographs – give them a clean, neutral space in which to imagine spending time with their own loved ones. And while you are packing up the family photos, take a moment to remove any overtly religious or political items from your home. The ideal buyer is financially qualified and able to negotiate agreeable terms with you, the seller – period. Don’t turn off potential buyers who may judge your home based on the philosophy or beliefs confronting them from every wall or bookshelf. Remove religious or political paraphernalia before your listing goes live.
- Prepare for Pricing – In my experience sellers rely on one of two very different pricing methods for their home: The Best Guess Method (typically based on how much the seller wants to profit rather than statistical reality) and the Rely on a Realtor Method. If you’ve chatted with your neighbors, picked up local fliers, and decided you’d like to come ahead about $35,000 in order to make a down payment on your next home purchase – so you think you should price your home XXXX – you are lacking vital information! Real Estate, like medicine or law, is a practice; while practice doesn’t necessarily make perfect, a Realtor with a lot of practice under his or her belt will be a trusted ally in the sale of your home. For an experienced Realtor, crafting an expert Current Market Analysis or “CMA” of your home, including comparable properties which have actually sold, is an art form. Far from an “educated guess,” pricing your home requires a significant analysis of many parameters including location, amenities, age and condition of the home, and more. Sophisticated software is often used to determine an appropriate price range, and all of the variables and information plugged into a program of this nature is meticulously researched by your Realtor.
If you are planning to sell this summer, you’ve got about six weeks, and those weeks count! Call me today to start the process of preparing for the successful sale of your home. I’m here to help.