Deciding to work with a broker can help ease the pain points of selling your home. A great broker can make the entire selling process go quicker and smoother than if you tried to sell your home on your own.
While you may be thankful to have your broker, there are a few things they wish you knew and did while selling your home. Follow these ten steps to be your broker’s number one customer this season.
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Declutter It Declutter It
You may not even realize it, but your apartment is cluttered. Little trinkets on your bookshelf, clothes spilling out of your closet, or your gym weights left on the ground in the corner is all clutter.
When a potential buyer walks into your home, they should see clean, bare surfaces. This will help create the illusion that your place is bigger than it is, and help the buyer envision themselves in the space. You can ask your real estate broker what they’d suggest tossing, so you have a starting point.
To start, if you’re selling during the Spring and Summer months, consider storing your winter clothes somewhere outside of your home to free up closet space. Another good rule of thumb is if you haven’t worn an item in two seasons, throw it out.
It is also time to throw out the wedding favors you collected at all eight of your college roommates’ weddings last summer.
If you’re still not sure where to start when decluttering, turn on Netflix and binge-watch “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.”
Clean ItClean It
While decluttering is necessary, that doesn’t mean your apartment is clean. Are there any smells? Is your apartment dusty?
A dirty home will make it hard for potential buyers to focus on how great your space is.
Hire a cleaning service to do a deep clean of your apartment before any listing photos are taken. Then, either have the cleaning service come back before open houses or schedule time for yourself to tidy up and dust before any showings.
It’s also essential to keep your home clean all week in case someone wants to have a showing mid-week. When you’re selling your home, it always needs to be cleaned.
Stage itStage it
Many buyers struggle to grasp the concept that their taste in decorating is not the ideal look to sell an apartment.
People are highly visual. Buyers often cannot see past the chipped furniture or even the Persian rug that is not their style.
Ask your broker for help finding a home stager — and do not be offended by suggestions they make. No one is saying your style is ugly, but it might not be the style for the masses.
Takedown your picture framesTakedown your picture frames
When a buyer walks in through your front door, they want to imagine their life and family there. They don’t want to see all of your memories plastered across the walls. This makes the house feel like yours, not theirs.
If your agent suggests some depersonalization of your home, again, it’s nothing personal. Your children are adorable, but this will better help the buyer visualize themselves living in your space.
So, get a box and take down those picture frames until your home sells. Then, be sure to put a fresh coat of paint and spackle over any nail holes in the wall.
Price your home rightPrice your home right
If your home is priced similar to other properties like it on the market, your apartment is more likely to sell faster, and perhaps even for more money.
If you insist on overpricing your home, it could sit on the market longer and perhaps sell for less than if you priced it fairly to start.
In the end, the fair price of your home will come out. If the asking price is drastically different than the appraisal, the deal can fall apart if the buyer or seller will not budge.
Realize this is Not HGTVRealize this is Not HGTV
While watching “Property Brothers” is fun, selling your own home is going to be nothing like that. Things will not sell as quickly, and your budget likely does not match that of the couples on HGTV to spruce up your home.
There’s a lot that goes into selling a home that can not be represented in 60 minutes of television.
It may take some time to sellIt may take some time to sell
Selling your home takes time.
First, you need to prep your apartment for showings. This can take about two weeks. Then, you’ll have weekly open houses. The average American home sits on the market for about 68 days. Accepting an offer can take around 24-72 hours.
After an offer has been accepted, the buyer typically has five to 10 days to complete a home inspection. Finally, closing takes about 30 days.
If you total up those estimates, that’s 125 days or about four months. It’s hard, but patience is critical throughout this process.
Don’t take low offers personallyDon’t take low offers personally
Both buyers and sellers are trying to get a price for the home that works for them. If a buyer makes a low offer, you can’t take it as a personal snub against you or your home.
If someone makes a low offer, it’s your turn to make a counteroffer. Should the buyer not meet your price, then you can turn them away.
If you get mad at the buyer and turn them away prematurely, you can lose out on a serious buyer.
You can’t turn away showings and expect your place to sellYou can’t turn away showings and expect your place to sell
This is the frustrating part of selling your home, but you need to be ready to show it, even at a moment’s notice. This means: always having your apartment clean and tidy.
If you turn away showings, you’re turning away a chance to sell your home.
Know that not every buyer can buyKnow that not every buyer can buy
It’s easy to get your hopes up when a buyer makes an attractive offer — but find out if they’re genuinely a serious buyer.
Serious buyers have a preapproval letter from their mortgage company stating that they will be able to secure financing for the home. If your buyer makes an offer and does not have this letter, there’s a chance they could be rejected for their mortgage, and the deal falls through.
If you take these tips into consideration when dealing with your broker, you both will have a more pleasant working relationship, and your home is more likely to sell faster.