Part 3 of our guide that will give you the tools you need to maximize your profits, maintain control, and reduce the stress that comes with the home-selling process. This article contains tips 11-20: Click here for Tips 5-10
- TIP #11 – Clean like you’ve never cleaned before.
Pick up, straighten, unclutter, scrub, scour, dust…well, you get the idea. If your living room feels crowded, take out every piece of furniture you can get away with. If your home still isn’t ready to appear in House Beautiful, then clean some more. Remember, you’re not just competing with other people’s homes—you’re going up against brand-new homes as well.
- TIP #12 – Fix everything no matter how insignificant it may appear.
The step that squeaks, the light switch that doesn’t work, the hairline crack in the bathroom mirror—they might be minor annoyances to you, but they can also be deal-killers. The problem is that you never know what will turn a buyer off. And even something minor that’s gone unattended can suggest that perhaps there are bigger, less visible problems present as well.
- TIP #13 – Remove all traces of you from your home.
When you toured other people’s homes, you may have felt some discomfort. This probably occurred because you saw, heard or otherwise sensed something that made you feel as if you were intruding into someone’s life.
The last thing you want others to feel in visiting your home is that same sense of discomfort. Avoid this by making your home as neutral as possible. Anything that interferes with a prospective buyers’ ability to see themselves living in your home must be eliminated. A few carefully chosen knickknacks and family portraits may add warmth and character to the home, too many are a distraction. Avoid unique or trendy color schemes—paint and carpet in neutral shades of white or beige.
- TIP #14 – The little touches can make a difference.
While personal items can detract, other small touches can help make your house a home to buyers. A well-placed vase of flowers, accent pieces of sculpture, potpourri in the bathroom—all can enhance the attractiveness of your home in a subtle, soft-spoken way. Try perusing any of the home magazines for tips.
- TIP #15 – Don’t let a smell be your downfall.
Odd smells kill deals quickly. All traces of food, pet and smoking odors must be eliminated. Even when you’re sure they’re gone, don’t encourage prospective buyers to imagine things. If they know that you’re a smoker or that you have a dog, they’ll start smelling odors and seeing stains that may not even exist. Be safe—don’t leave any clues.
- TIP #16 – Disclose everything.
Smart sellers proactively go above and beyond the laws to disclose all known defects to their buyers—in writing. If the buyer knows about a problem, he can’t come back with a lawsuit later on.
- TIP #17 – The more prospects the better.
By maximizing your home’s marketability, you’ll increase your chances of attracting more than one prospective buyer. Why is this better? Because several buyers compete with each other; a single buyer ends up competing with you.
- TIP #18 – Don’t get emotional during negotiations.
The extent of most people’s experience in the art of negotiation begins and ends at their local auto dealership. And few of us have pleasant memories of haggling with car salesmen. But if you can just let go of the emotion you’ve invested in your home and approach negotiations in a detached, businesslike manner, you’ll find the process to be a lot less painful. In fact, you might even enjoy it—and you’ll definitely have an advantage over prospective buyers who get caught up in the emotion of the situation.
- TIP #19 – Know your buyer.
In the negotiation process, your objective is to control the pace and set the duration. And the better you know your buyer, the more easily you can maintain control.
As a rule, buyers want the best property they can afford for the least amount of money. But knowing specifically what motivates your buyer enables you to negotiate more effectively. Maybe your buyer needs to move quickly. Or the maximum amount he can spend is just a little below your asking price. Knowing this information puts you in a better bargaining position.
- TIP #20 – Find out what the buyer can pay.
As soon as possible, try to find out the mortgage amount the buyer is qualified to carry and the size of his down payment. If he makes a low offer, question his Realtor® about his client’s ability to really pay what your home is worth.
Please feel free to call Perry & Associates Residential Real Estate if you would like further explanation on any of these topics, or if you have any real estate questions at all. You can reach us at (318) 807-4663. To see what home prices are like in your neighborhood, visit our website www.perryresidential.com