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Savvy Seller Plan

Considering moving and selling your home? Depending on how long you’ve lived in your home, you might need to start this process several months in advance from your estimated move date. There are several things you should do to prepare your home to sell before putting your home up for sale.

Investing time to prepare your home to sell is really important. When you take the appropriate steps to prepare your home and get it into it’s best selling condition, you will increase the potential of a higher return. Here is what you should know before selling your home.

Seems odd that we would mention this one first, but it’s probably not a spoiler because one of the last steps is to pack.  So before we pack, gather the paperwork from when you purchased the home and get details of major repairs that have taken place along the way take some photographs of all the rooms.  Once you have moved to your new place you will be glad you did.

You should have a closing package from when you purchased.  In that set of papers, you should see a survey and hopefully a copy of the appraisal. You may also find a list of upgrades and repairs that the seller gave to you when you closed. Other items you will need to find are owner’s manuals and proof of any major repairs such as HVAC and roofing.

The buyer will likely ask for utility information because electricity and gas show the efficiency of the home.  Most companies allow you to print out a report on-line and that is totally acceptable.

Also, a write-up of unique systems or features inside or outside the home will help the future buyer understand all your home has to offer.

Are there any systems that are needing attention or close to outliving their usefulness?  If so, it’s savvy to obtain estimates ahead of time so that you can decide whether it makes sense to repair the item now or wait to see what the inspector has to say.    Here are the big concerns to be mindful of.

  1. Have your HVAC system cleaned and serviced and replace all filters.
  2. If you’ve had a hailstorm OR your roof is 15 years or older, then you’ll want a roofer out to let you know what you have.
  3. If you have drywall cracks, especially if they open and close during the wet/dry cycles then having a foundation company do measurements and provide a report.
  4. If your hot water heater is 10 or more years old, have it looked at and consider replacing it ESPECIALLY if it’s in the attic or interior to the home.  The damage caused by a leak can be many times the cost of replacing the hot water heater before there is a leak and buyers will appreciate your attention to detail.

If your timeline or other concerns won’t allow completing needed projects, then it’s important to know the cost of these items prior to entering negotiations on how to deal with them and get to the closing table.  Buyers are known for having inflated notions as to the cost of repairing things, and being armed with a repair bid can help in negotiations.

It’s human to get used to things we see day in day out.  One person’s blind spot, another person’s eyesore.  If you’re unsure, consider enlisting the services a friend, preferably the really

It’s human to get used to things we see day in day out.  One person’s blind spot, another person’s eyesore.  If you’re not sure, consider enlisting the services a friend, preferably the really detail-oriented one that isn’t afraid of dishing criticism.  Or the agent you will list the home with when it’s time to sell.   We at Savvy Realty have personally rehabbed several homes and are happy to help as it’s another big opportunity where we can help you save money.

Even if you’re on a budget or time crunch, you should definitely consider fixing the things that can be easily done and you’ll be surprised what a difference they make.

Seeing your home through the eyes of a prospective buyer can be difficult.  So here’s the thing.  If you feel there is absolutely nothing to do or especially if you have a five-page list, give us a call and we’ll be happy to meet in person and have a look.

In time, our homes become a representation of our preferences and lifestyle.  Fact is, one of the big hang-up’s many buyers have is imagining themselves living in YOUR home.  Savvy thing to do here is to make it the house and décor less about what you’ve done over the years, in order to allow the buyer to imagine it with everything that fits for them.  Doesn’t mean pack up everything and go completely single color throughout the house.  Just get thin.  Consider neutralizing by painting rooms with clouds, murals, or bright/vivid colors to give buyers a clean slate to work with when previewing your home.  Personal photos are best put away as many buyers, especially relationally driven ones, are drawn to faces and pictures of people more than anything else inside a home.

 

We can advise further on this at a pre-listing appointment and as always there are exceptions.  Balance is key.


Ideal for showings are spacious rooms with as few furnishings and items out as possible.   If it’s been untouched for a long time, pack or toss it.  A good starting place is to take 2-3 items away for everyone that stays.  Bookshelves should be 2/3rds empty.   Fireplace hearths perhaps a single item, or two on the ends.  Watch for furnishings in hallways or other choke points and plan to move those to a garage or storage.  Any bulk items that you won’t be keeping, get rid of them now.

If it is possible to get to 50% open floor space in bedrooms, then make it happen.   Finally, closets can be used for storage but leave the floor empty of items completely.  When buyers open the closet, their eyes are drawn to the floor and will visualize the size of a full closet in this manner.

Landscaping

You may recall what was said earlier about blindspots.  Well for those with pets, they are ever present and you grow used to the smell and messes they create.

However, new buyers will notice immediately any smells, stains, hairballs and any indoor fun left behind. Do what you can to eliminate these tell-tale hints.  If the market allows for it due to quick selling conditions, some Savvy Sellers have benefitted from keeping the pets at a friend’s house or kennel during showings.

When showing a home having it absolutely, positively as clean as possible is essential.  Even cleaner than you have it for your favorite house guests.  Why?  Friends and family come to visit you, but buyers are ONLY there to look at the house, and with a keen eye no less.   They will see things that it’s likely no other guest has noticed before.  If it’s been awhile since you’ve dusted the bookshelves, curtains, or ceiling fans, it’s savvy to hire a cleaning service after you’ve done your typical cleaning and provide a list of details you’d rather not handle. Most offer a spring-cleaning package that will do the trick.

 

Your local real estate agent is also a great resource to recommend services to help with the cleaning and junk removal.  Best time to do this is after all of the other stages are finished and if possible right before the photo-shoot is scheduled.

All of the items so far are about preparing your home for the final step.  Staging.  Just like houses, this comes in all shapes and sizes.  What is appropriate is also tied to the competition, how brisk home sales are in your area, and even time of year.  Is there an aspect of your home you truly love that sets your home apart from others or one you wish wasn’t there?  Staging can help bring that forward or push it back.  Just know that all homes can benefit from some form of staging.  There are articles and books on staging so doing it justice here just isn’t possible.  Whether you’ll be living in the home your selling, or it will be vacated prior to showing come up with a staging plan and look to your agent for advice and referrals to a professional if the situation calls for it.

It’s human to get used to things we see day in day out.  One person’s blind spot, another person’s eyesore.  If you’re unsure, consider enlisting the services a friend, preferably the really

It’s human to get used to things we see day in day out.  One person’s blind spot, another person’s eyesore.  If you’re not sure consider enlisting the services a friend, preferably the really detail oriented one that isn’t afraid of dishing criticism.  Or the agent you will list the home with when it’s time to sell.   We at Savvy Realty have personally rehabbed several homes and are happy to help as it’s another big opportunity where we can help you save money.

 

Even if you’re on a budget or time crunch, you should definitely consider fixing the things that can be easily done and you’ll be surprised what a difference they make.

 

Seeing your home through the eyes of a prospective buyer can be difficult.  So here’s the thing.  If you feel there is absolutely nothing to do or especially if you have a five-page list, give us a call and we’ll be happy to meet in person and have a look.

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