Throughout the years, I have compiled some tips and tricks to help clients sell their homes. I have decided to offer this advice to Airdrie City View readers, so you can benefit as well. If you're interested in becoming a model "seller" client, here are some best practices!
1. If the property is occupied by a tenant, wait until it's vacant to list it
The reason? When it's empty, you can allow showings at any point. It's also an opportunity to stage the property and have it looking its very best.
Lastly, you can offer the prospective buyer a quick possession, which is ideal in this current market.
2. Make sure your baseboards are in pristine condition.
It's the first thing I look at in a home. If the baseboards are trashed, it doesn't matter how nice the house looks, it's not fooling me. What it tells me is that the home has endured a lot of wear and tear and that upon closer inspection, I'll find more issues.
3. Get exterior photos taken in the warm weather, even if you won't be ready to list for another few months.
If you know you want to list your home at some point in the future, make sure you have your agent book a summer exterior shoot, when the colours are at their most vibrant.
4. Get your furnace serviced in advance.
This shows people you are on your game when it comes to home maintenance. Always change your filter before listing your home on the market and before the home inspection.
5. Pull permits.
If you're considering finishing your basement or making a significant improvement to your home or backyard, pull the darn permits. It makes selling your home much, much easier. It also gives the buyer peace of mind and we all know that peace of mind equals more dollars in your pocket.
6. Get quotes.
If you have a broken window, carpet at the end of its life cycle, or a roof with shingles peeling, get a quote so that you're properly armed when it comes time to negotiate an offer.
Not knowing what something can cost to repair or replace can mean you end up giving up more money in negotiations, and that's not what you want.
I had a listing where there were a few leaks, a loose toilet, and a broken ice-maker in the fridge. The buyer asked for $10,000 off the price. We decided to obtain quotes instead of politely telling them to go pound sand. The total cost of all repairs was $922. Needless to say, we said no to their $10,000-off request, and armed with a quote, the buyer accepted our solution, which was to fix the problems themselves.
7. Be honest and upfront.
If you know there's a problem with the deck, the kitchen sink, the neighbours, etc., tell your Realtor. The more they know, the better they can protect your interests and guide you toward the best outcome.
8. Be collaborative.
In real estate transactions, typically people want the same thing – to reach an agreement for the sale of a home. Your agent should be a master at troubleshooting/creative thinking, but with some flexibility on your end (the client), they're going to achieve this a lot faster.
You'd be surprised at how often other factors outside of the price can determine whether a sale takes place or not.
9. Sometimes the first offer is the best offer.
Oftentimes when a home is listed, if an offer comes in on the first day, I hear clients say things along the lines of, "Well, it's only the first offer…."
Let me set the record straight – the first offer can often be the best offer. Don't assume something better is going to come along. A buyer that is willing to write an offer the first time they see it clearly likes the home.
As a seller, you have more leverage because you're a fresh new listing. Guess what happens after a few weeks on market? That leverage declines. Always use the leverage in negotiations.
10. Organize yourself.
The more you de-clutter and organize your space, the easier you'll find it is to keep your home in mint condition while it's on the market. Before you go on the market is when you want to empty your junk drawer, clean out cabinets, and get anything beyond the basics packed up and ready to head to the next place.
If you resist this, it likely means you're not ready to sell in the first place.
As a bonus tip – and this is somewhat contentious – I suggest you do not have cameras inside the home. There is nothing that makes a person feel more uncomfortable than the feeling of being watched and heard.
If you are recording people in your home, you need to disclose it. Be aware that it automatically puts people on edge and as someone selling their home, this is the last thing you want people to feel when walking around.
If you're concerned about safety and valuables, talk to your agent, and don't keep trinkets out that can be easily scooped up (typically by a curious toddler).
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