Many reasons could lead to putting your house up for sale: a job forced you to relocate; the arrival of a new child; or one leaves for college. Whatever the reason, it's nearly impossible to remove emotion when it comes to selling your home. That's why it's important to have a detailed blueprint to help guide your process. Here are 5 items you can't afford to overlook when selling a house.
The Choice Is Yours
Will you sell it yourself or use an agent? It might seem obvious, but this is not a process to be taken lightly. Of course, you can stick a "For Sale By Owner" sign on your front lawn and hope that a buyer magically materializes with an offer 20% over asking, but there's a good chance they'll be knocking on your door when you're away at the market or at work.
A licensed realtor will take a commission from the sale of your home, but they do a lot of work for that money - answering phone calls, guiding buyers through the property, negotiating on your behalf, and much more. You have to ask yourself, "Can I get the full value out of my investment without a professional negotiator?" and, more importantly, "What is the value of my time?"
The Fix Is In
Improve all the small details you've ignored before. Everyone's had a handful of groceries and kicked the front door closed. Now is the time to wash off those scuff marks. Tighten that handle the basement door, the one that needs a little extra jiggle to catch. Pull out your ladder and replace that hard-to-reach lightbulb. Each small improvement you make to your home's appearance and functionality contributes to the buyer's experience. If you can see it, they'll be able to see it too.
What's worse than a weekend spent on your hands and knees scrubbing every surface of your home? Selling your house for less money than it is worth. That's much worse. Bathrooms, floors, and the kitchen are critical areas of concern that prospective buyers will be examining.
Along with cleanliness, removing any excess clutter and depersonalizing your home will make it much easier to sell. Family photos and bold-colored accent walls made your house feel like a home. But those personal touches you added cloud the buyer's ability to imagine their own lives in the space. Helping them dream big will help you earn even bigger.
Sweet Smell of Success
Buying a house is a high-stakes situation that causes plenty of anxiety, and recent research indicates that worriers have a heightened sense of smell. You want a buyer to be at ease as they tour their future home, doing everything in your power to create a sense of comfort. Pets leave odors, and smells might linger from your kitchen too. Many times the odors you live with day-to-day will be imperceptible to you and your family. Once you've thoroughly cleaned every surface in your home, ask an impartial third party to come inside and give your home a sniff. If they give you the all-clear, it's probably time to hold off on cooking that salmon and broccoli feast until after you've accepted an offer.
You've spent the time and effort to make your home appealing inside and out - this means a lot of strangers are going to walk through the front door. Most of the time you will not be there. And as conscientious as any realtor is, it isn't always possible to keep eyes on every guest that wanders through your home. All valuables should be safely hidden before tours of your property begin. Your goal is to make money, not lose it.
The process of buying and selling homes is complicated and can often benefit from the help of an expert. Jessica and Sarah are uniquely qualified licensed Iowa realtors who can ease you through this stressful process. No matter who you work with, the steps outlined above can help keep you on track for a profitable sale and closing.