How to Sell Your Home
Selling your home can be a daunting task anytime—and even more so in today’s
challenging market. It’s more important than ever for sellers to take advantage of every
opportunity. With proper planning and attention to details, you can attain success and
net maximum profit.
• Three Steps to Success
• Preparing Your Home for Sale
• Showing Your Home
• Handling Offers
• Get Help from Ornstein Leyton
Three Steps to Success
- Step 1 Select a Qualified Agent. Contact us to help you in locating and interviewing several full-time agents with experience selling homes in your neighborhood. A qualified professional can help determine the market value of your home, based on an appraisal and research on comparable homes sold in your area. Your agent can screen buyers, eliminating unqualified ones.
- Step 2 Price It Right and Organize Supporting Paperwork. Listing your home close to market value is crucial to attracting more prospective buyers and getting more offers. Multiple offers can even generate a bidding war, where you may benefit from a final selling price higher than the asking price. Organize all supporting paperwork justifying your home’s value: deed, certificate of occupancy, property tax bill, mortgage statement, utility bills and warranties for any included appliances. Recent home improvements can add significant value, so include documentation for those as well. A floor plan also provides a strong visual tool for buyers.
- Step 3 Create an Inviting Showcase Property. Make your home look like a model. Do all necessary repairs. Give the home a thorough cleaning. Freshen interiors with new paint in a neutral color. Consider hiring a professional to “stage” your home. (Contact OLC and we’ll gladly refer you to qualified stagers in your area.) Create atmosphere with lighting, using high-wattage bulbs. Be prepared to show your home as often as possible, and remain flexible and willing to open your home for showing at short notice, without appointments. Homes are more likely to sell when readily accessible to prospective buyers and real estate agents. A lockbox with keys enables agents to gain entry and show your property when you’re not home.
Preparing Your Home for Sale
Look at your home through the eyes of a potential buyer. First impressions count. Make it look as close to a “model home” as possible, inside and out. Playing up your home’s personality, charm and distinctive features, and correcting flaws can drive a sale. Here are some tips, area by area:
- Create Curb Appeal: An unkept yard or cluttered driveway can make buyers continue driving past your home. Wash windows, trim bushes and fix fence posts. If your house needs pressure washing or landscaping, hire a professional.
- Entryway: The gateway to your home should invite people in. If needed, repaint or replace front door, and add new hardware. Draw the eye with a wreath, hanging plant or flowers in an attractive pot. Add a new light fixture and house numbers.
- Detail Every Room: Thoroughly clean all rooms floor to ceiling. Clear all clutter from countertops, closets, cabinets and walls. Remove knickknacks, children’s toys and newspapers, as well as personal mementos and photos, which can distract buyers. Remember, buyers want to envision themselves living in your home.
- Kitchen: Kitchens sell homes. Ensure yours is spotless and all workspaces clear and uncluttered. Remove all appliances from counters. Set the scene by placing an open cookbook on the counter. or accenting it with a bowl of fresh fruit. Make it inviting with the fragrance of fresh-baked bread or cinnamon sticks.
- Bathrooms: Make sure all bathrooms sparkle. Clean shower doors. Repair tile grout and caulking. Update with new light fixtures or faucets. Accessorize with fresh towels, plants and attractive soap dishes to give your bathrooms their own “personality.”
- Living Room: Removing some furniture will make the space appear larger and improve traffic flow. Never leave a television playing, it distracts buyers. If an oversize set dominates the room, remove it. Draw attention to a focal point, such as a bay window or fireplace. Light the fireplace in the winter, and display fresh flowers in summer. Use just a few striking accessories such as candles and vases.
- Bedrooms: Make all beds. Consider new bedspreads and pretty throw pillows. Store any clutter in under-bed storage boxes.
- Basement and Garage: Don’t overlook these areas—buyers won’t. Impress them by giving garage walls a fresh coat of paint and removing any musty odors.
Showing Your Home
Prepare for a showing by airing out your home and turning on every light in each room. Let in natural light by keeping window coverings open. Make sure children and pets are not inside when your home is being shown. Keep out of sight when a buyer tours your home.
If you’ve done all your homework, you might receive an offer close to your asking price shortly after you put your home on the market. If an offer arrives quickly, some sellers hold out, believing they priced their house too low. Not at all. Getting an offer means that a prospective buyer finds your home attractive and wants it! Don’t be afraid to start negotiations and come to terms.
Get Help from Ornstein Leyton
As the successful sellers of hundreds of homes, we know everything there is to know about the topic, and we’re happy to share our knowledge, experience and resources to help you.
We will make sure that you are getting the right number of showings, that your broker is giving you the attention you need, and is providing the right advice on everything from pricing, to negotiating and more. If you need help with heavy-duty fixes, take advantage of our network of contractors and our engineering and design expertise. We can link you with the best connections—and even get you trade prices.
We’ll help you make the most of your home’s unique characteristics, to achieve the result you want to see: Sold!
Contact Ornstein Leyton