At TAG DFW Realty Group, we are often asked what advice we would give prospective home sellers. While hiring the right broker and nailing your price are the two most important factors once you’re ready to sell, here are our top 5 picks for how to prepare your home to sell quickly and at a premium:
- Clean It Up – Many families we work with are not necessarily in a position to put in expensive upgrades or remodel their home. The easiest thing you can do is ensure your home is professionally cleaned before it hits the market. This includes decluttering and only leaving furniture and décor that is necessary (we will do a walk through with you), cleaning out your closets and drawers (believe us when we tell you people look through them), removing odors from cooking, pets, kids, etc and depersonalizing as much as possible. While you love your home and the memories made in there, you are leaving money on the table and doing yourself a huge disservice by ignoring these easy fixes.
- Finish the Touch Up – Many sellers assume buyers don’t mind touching up paint, finishing a garden, replacing a light fixture, etc, but the overwhelming feedback we receive from buyers is “I don’t want to buy a chore”. People are busier than ever today and don’t have time to pick colors, find contractors, oversee the work, and oftentimes they can’t envision what they’d like to have put in. While it may be easier for you to “offer a credit to fix that”, you will end up spending at least twice what it would have cost you to just touch it up or complete the small repair. Even if a home is not updated with designer trends, if it’s clean and has been maintained well, it is a much easier sell.
- Curb Appeal – You only have one shot at a good first impression. We have had clients decline to go inside a home as we pull up, solely based on how the home presents itself from the outside. Even if you can’t afford a total yard makeover you can easily welcome prospective buyers with a fresh cut on the grass, weeds removed from the garden, a nice pot of flowers on the porch, a quick coat of paint on the front door and a lock that is easy to open. We can’t tell you the number of times we have a home to show where the key is stuck in the lock, and our buyers make a comment like “oh great, they obviously maintain their home well”.
- Consider Upgrades and staging – if you are able to afford to do a few items to your home prior to selling, focus on your kitchen first. More buyers head to this room first in a showing than any other room in the house. Keep your choices neutral. If you can’t afford working on your kitchen, pick one of the main rooms in the house and make it amazing with a design feature. Pallet walls, chandeliers and the right kind of accent paint or wallpaper are common show stoppers for our clients. If you aren’t comfortable making that choice, consider staging your home. Some stagers can use your own furniture or just offer an accessories package to enhance the space. When buyers can envision how to use the rooms and how they’d live in a space, they are more forgiving of other finishes that may not be upgraded. If nothing else, paint everything a light tan or grey color so it’s a blank canvas for prospective buyers.
- Positioning and Marketing – this will come as a collective effort between you and your broker. You’ve got to market to the masses to entice them to want to set up a showing, and then you’ve got to keep them there once they arrive. After you’re under contract, you have to sell your house a third time to the home appraiser who is going to validate your value. Your agent will be able to guide you on how to properly position your price, have professional photos, videos, floorplans and collateral done, and spearhead when, where and how to launch your property on the market. As the seller, it’s so important that you keep your agent updated on the features only you know about your home and why you bought it to begin with. Keep your home show ready. Turn on all of your lights (and replace burned out bulbs ahead of going on the market), open the blinds, turn on the TV or projector in the media room, have air fresheners in the home, turn on the waterfall on the pool feature or the fireplace (if you’re comfortable leaving the house with it on), etc. Assume that buyers are seeing every home within 5 miles of you at the same price point as yours. What are you going to do to ensure they remember being in your house?
If you’d like to discuss listing your home, or the steps we’d suggest to get it ready, feel free to contact us: