Sell your home in record time by following a short list of do’s and don’ts

Here’s a short list of things you can do to sell your home in record time.   I call this “The 6 C’s of Selling Your Home”.

Stage your entire property

Stage your entire property (OK, maybe you don’t need the band)

1. Curb appeal.   It’s always planting season for some type of flower in South Carolina, presenting you with the year-round opportunity to get out in the yard and do some planting and cleaning!  Grimy exterior residue?  Consider pressure washing the exterior first.  Clean gutters.  Check your shingles.  Touch-up with painting.  Replace or repair damaged screens.  Make your house look clean and fresh.  Then pull or spray for weeds, trim the bushes, add some flowers and top it all off with a fresh dusting of pine straw.  Weed ‘n feed the lawn and don’t forget to spruce up the mailbox.  The message: Do everything you can do to the exterior of your property to make it pretty and inviting.

Keep your home clean and tidy while showing

Keep your home clean and tidy while showing

2. You know the saying: “Cleanliness is next to Godliness“.  Make sure the inside of your home – including the garage, storage areas, etc – is clean.  Nothing turns buyers off more than dirty homes.  Many listing agents won’t even take a listing if the house and lawn are not presentable because they are worried about their reputation and all that buyer resistance they know they will hear.  And those are the agents you want working with you, not against you.

Pack away clutter - move off premises if possible

Pack away clutter – move off premises if possible

3. Got Clutter?  Get rid of it.  Box it up and move it out – literally from off the property, if possible.  Boxes distract buyers almost as bad as the clutter itself, which will not help your home sell.  Hey, you’re moving anyway!  Don’t have a handy place to store off-premises?  Then stack the boxes neatly in the attic (preferable).  No attic or storage nook?  While it is better to remove it from the property, try a wall in the garage that is out of everyone’s way.  It’s not advisable to stack the boxes inside in closets or on floors because it looks like the house doesn’t have adequate storage space.  While you’re at it, make sure you have appropriate furniture where it belongs.  Most of us do not need professional staging services, which can get expensive.  Just exercise common sense and make sure your house is arranged nicely.

Uniform Residential Appraisal Report form with tape measure

A good appraisal gices you “fair market value” of your home, plus a bonus: a floor plan sketch your agent can use in marketing the property.

4. Correctly price your house to sell.  Whatever you do, do not “fish” for an unrealistic price while thinking “if I don’t ask, I won’t know”.  What could happen is buyer’s agents will convince their buyers to shy away from your listing because they think the price is too high, and they don’t want to waste their time with a property that is so obviously overpriced.  Today, even many buyers are very knowledgeable about comparables.  With an over-priced home that sits on the market, people start to think there is something wrong with the house because it isn’t selling, which makes it more difficult to sell even when you lower the price – all because it was overpriced to begin with.  You can avoid this vicious cycle by pricing your home so it sells.  Your agent will give you a probable selling range in a CMA (Comparable Marketing Analysis).  Additionally, I recommend you get a good appraisal, which will give you an actual “Fair Market Value” for your home from a licensed 3rd party with no potential conflicts of interest.  The appraiser gets a fee, not a commission.  You also get a decent floor plan out of the deal your agent can use in marketing.

A pre-listing home inspection gives you advanced warning of what a buyer may find.

A pre-listing home inspection gives you advanced warning of what a buyer may find.

5. Check your home for any deficiencies by having a pre-listing home inspection. This will allow you to correct as many deficiencies as possible before putting your home on the market. Having knowledge of big-ticket issues with your home that a buyer’s home inspector will likely call-out (maybe the windows are nearing the end of their useful life) gives you advanced warning of what is likely to come.  You still should price your home using an appraised value, but when it comes to renegotiating the price after the buyer hits you with a “Repair Addendum” about two weeks after going under contract, you won’t be caught off guard.  Just the opposite, you’ll be ready for it.  It is important to note that it doesn’t make mathematical sense to add the estimates for making repairs/improvement to the appraised value; the appraiser is generally appraising the property as though it is in habitable and functional condition.

Make sure your bathrooms are clean and properly equiped

Make sure your bathrooms are clean and properly equipped

5.  Be Considerate of buyers.  Turn on an adequate number of lights and set the temperature appropriately.  It’s OK to show off your home sound system with some very low volume easy listening music.  Leave a note on the counter next to some paper napkins inviting buyers to a bottle of cold water.  They’re going to open your fridge anyway.  Might as well offer them a reward for visiting your home.  Make sure there is toilet paper, soap and clean hand towels or paper towels in the bathrooms.  Talk about embarrassing.  Remove pets period.  Not everyone likes animals.  Assume all buyers are not pet lovers to be safe.  Remove anything that might offend someone, or be inappropriate for children’s eyes.  These are only a few of the considerations you should make when your home is on the market, but it hopefully points you in the right direction.

Sell your home in record time by following Flat Fee SC's 5 Cs

While you don’t need to bake cookies for each showing, leave a short note on the counter inviting buyers to have a bottled water

While this is a shortened version of what a seller needs to do to make their home stand out from the competition, I have used these basics to help my selling clients meet or exceed the basic Buyer Tests, at least on things the seller can control.

Copyright © Jim Bobo Real Estate

Call us at (843) 442-7275 to get started!