So the time has finally come in your life when you ready to sell your home!
Maybe this is your first time selling, or maybe you’ve sold once before, but either way, there’s just no denying that selling your house is a stressful, and sometimes frightening prospect. One may think that with the wealth of information readily available on the internet, how hard could it really be to sell your home? The truth is that it’s harder than you think and the money you might save on not paying a commission to a Realtor comes out to be pretty negligible just from the math, not to mention the stress involved in doing it all yourself. Statistics have shown that homes For Sale By Owner (FSBO) made up barely 7.2% of successful real estate sales in 2008 and while that number fluctuates, it’s never by very much. Most FSBO homes eventually end up listing with an agent anyway because they just don’t sell and that’s because Realtors have things that the average homeowner doesn’t: specialized education, specific resources, connections, and most importantly, experience.
Professional real estate agents do this for a living and it is their job to get your home sold as quickly as possible for the best price. Studies have proven that homeowners who list at the price recommended by their agent sell on average 32 days sooner because the best price you can get for your house is the price you can get right now. Remember the old saying “one bird in hand is worth two in the brush?” The same applies to real estate, and the longer your house is on the open market, the lower it’s value is going to drop, and all the while you’re still paying homeowners insurance, mortgage payments, property taxes, maintenance, and so forth. So at the end of the day, remember that your agent is a professional, with years of experience in the field, resources, and networking, and trust their advice.
Not everything is on your agent’s shoulders, although they certainly take a significant load off of yours. While your Realtor will handle the inspections, marketing, advertising, showing, negotiations, and paperwork, it’s your job to make sure the house is in such a condition that people will actually want to buy it. It’s easy to get emotional about the house, after all, it’s been your home for years, maybe decades, but you’re not selling your house. Nobody wants to buy your house; they want to buy their house. So first thing you need to do after cleaning the entire house top to bottom is remove all the “clutter” and personalized décor. You don’t want the house to look abandoned, of course, because then it’s just a house, not a home, but you don’t want potential buyers to walk through the house and feel like they’re intruding. Take down family photos, trophies, any personal style, and especially wallpaper; nothing can turn off a prospective buyer like hated wallpaper, even if you love it. Another tip is to bake cookies just before your agent brings people over to show your house so the scent of fresh homemade cookies lingers and creates a pleasant, cozy aroma that makes it easy to feel at home.