5 Things to Do: How to Sell your Home this Spring
How to Sell Your Home in Northern VA this spring
Home Selling Advice...Tip #1
Mindset! I recommend to my Sellers that they disassociate themselves with their homes. It is easier said than done. You must tell yourself that "this is no longer "my" home, this is a house that I need to sell." Look forward to your future and next location, don't look back. Remind yourself that this is a business transaction based upon the current market. While it is challenging to detach yourself from the home personally, this is a key and necessary step in the process.
It is time to take down photos of your children, grand-kids, weddings, and promotions. We are not selling you, we are selling your home! Remove religious items, if you can. I know this can be sensitive; however, in our marketplace we have a large diversity of Faith and Worship. We don't want the buyer wondering about who currently lives in this house. Our goal is to have a de-personalized home, a neutral home where a potential buyer can visualize themselves and their belongings. We want that buyer to say "I can see myself living here!"
Now is the time to be a minimalist! Pack up your knickknacks and collectibles. It is time to emphasize and maximize your home's space. If you need help, get it. Not all Sellers are emotionally able to de-clutter their home without assistance. If you need contractor recommendations to help with this extremely important step, let me know, I will provide you with a list of great contractors to help get your clutter packed away, donated, and/or stored.
Repairs may or may not be necessary when selling a home. I have listed and sold many homes in as is condition with many major defects; however, if you chose to sell your home in as is condition, be prepared to accept a discount to turn key move in ready homes as an incentive to the buyer. You will also need to disclose known defects if you chose not to repair them. That said, some repairs will provide you, as a seller, with excellent returns. Repairing/painting exterior wood trim, sealing the driveway, and sprucing up the landscape are important for curb appeal and first impressions. Exterior maintenance will also likely keep HOA violations from being an issue. Repair plumbing leaks, and their remaining water stains. Having your HVAC serviced and roof (if older) inspected may be a good idea. Purchasing a Seller's home warranty (for older homes) may also provide some piece of mind. Before considering major remodeling or renovations, please consult with me. This is where many sellers who have been watching lots of HGTV can get themselves into trouble as they over improve their homes and customize to their tastes and not to a potential buyer's taste. Fresh paint, and new carpeting may be needed. However, lets take a look at your specifics prior to making this decision. New cabinets, flooring, granite, and appliances, may be great; however, lets' make this decision together based upon the current market. No sense in putting $40,000 into your home if it will only return $20,000...:)
Your home looks great, smells good, is repaired, and is super clean. Now it is time to re-evaluate the market and price your home. Pricing your home correctly is paramount for success. Pricing too low may result in a very quick sale and even multiple offers. It could also result in leaving some of your equity with the buyer instead of in your pocket. Pricing your home too high will reduce the number of showings and elongate days on market and possibly miss your ideal buyer as they may not even find your home in their search. From experience, pricing your home within 2% to 4% of anticipated market value is best to maximize your results. Many sellers are tempted and push their pricing over 5% above market. This strategy typically backfires as showings are impacted dramatically and the seller ends up chasing the market downward with multiple price reductions. Setting a high price and being willing to negotiate will not drive the necessary showing traffic to generate an offer. Remember that you are competing with other sellers and buyers recognize value since they are looking at the competition as well as your home. Price it right the first time around and you will receive the best return!