In the last few years, selling your home on the Central Coast has been a great challenge. The market tumbled and most homes lost a significant portion of their equity. Although the market slowed, over the last year I have continued to sell homes and I am happy to tell you that buyers are once again out looking in greater numbers. Prices are coming up to real value and the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is much brighter. However, there are things you as home sellers must do to make YOUR home stand out above the rest.
- Price. No matter what you owe on the home or what you paid for it, setting the price above market value or what you feel your home is worth will drive customers away. You need to do your homework and educate yourself on the current market. Watch the paper, look online, talk to a Real Estate professional who knows your area and who can provide reasonable comparables. Pricing your home correctly will maximize your exposure and get clients to your door.
- Cleaning. Clean, Clean, Clean! I cannot stress enough how much faster a home sells when it is clean and without offensive odors (dog, cat, food, smoking, etc.) There are two places that are always looked at first, the kitchen and the bathrooms. If you have old faucets I would tell you to change them. If you have old toilet seats, change them. People want to see clean and shiny bathrooms and kitchens. If you have dirty carpets clean them. The next area people look at is the windows. Clean them inside and out. Take some time and make sure that the home is light and bright. Dark, dusty, cluttered homes dont sell well.
- Staging a home. This is not the same thing as cleaning a home. One of the first continuing education courses I took was Home Staging. When you live in a home a long time, it is difficult to see beyond your good taste. A fresh set of eyes can produce another view and perspective. I have enough years doing this to assist you in organizing and staging your home. Removing years of clutter and personal items is usually the first things on my list. Remove personal photos and souvenirs. Pare the room down to the barest essentials.
- Paint. Colors are important. The new interior colors are soft beige’s with white trim. Avoid very bright colors. You may love them but they make it hard to sell a home. Take a look at your front door. Is it clean and inviting, not dirty with a tarnished lock set, peeling paint or varnish? Exterior colors remain neutral. According to statistics, blue houses take the longest to sell.
- Updating. In this marketplace home flipping is becoming commonplace. Many of those home flippers are doing the work I have already suggested. Clean or new carpet, fresh paint everywhere, cleaning up the bathrooms (including new vanities and new counter tops) and even painting the outside of the home. Appliances need to be in working order and are often replaced. These professional flippers are making YOUR money had you done the work yourself.
- If it is broken, fix it. I know this sounds trivial but broken items around the house suggests differed maintenance. Once your home is in escrow there will be a home inspection whose sole purpose is to find those broken items…and you know your buyers will ask for those items to be fixed. If you are not sure you have broken or damaged items around the house hire the home inspector before you list the home. I also suggest having the termite inspection done so you know if there is damage lurking. Often sellers are unaware how much termites have infested the home. When you list you need to know if tenting the home for termites will be required. This cost is often close to $2000.
- Landscaping. I do not need to tell you that overgrown yards, lawns with dead spots, torn up driveways do not make for curb appeal. With just a little work you can make the yard stand out. Add color and bark to the flower beds and watch the smiles as they come to the front door.