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How to Sell Your Own Home – Part 2 – Staging
Part 2 – Selling Your Home Fast.
In 2009 many people started a real estate sales business by selling their own house. Today, (2010) many of these same people are still trying to sell that first home. The market is strong and with many homes on the market, today’s buyer is looking for an exceptional home at a reasonable price, not an ordinary home at an exceptional price. If you are a For Sale by Owner seller who is not associated with a REALTOR®, this article will give you some guidelines to help speed up the process and make your home stand out.
For example, using our checklist as a guide, the first task after setting the right price, (see article 1) is to prepare your home for sale or “staging.”
Before we get into the heart of the game, we need to talk about disclosure. Showing off doesn’t mean hiding. As the seller, you should know that the seller’s disclosure of material facts is an important part of a real estate transaction. We recommend that you first have your home inspected by a licensed home inspector. Make sure your house is free of termites, and has good plumbing; water quality, lead, radon, septic tank, asbestos, electricity.
When you partner with a REALTOR®, they will know a professional who is reliable and experienced. If you are strictly on your own, you can check their phone book listings under Home and Building Inspectors. Be careful though. Anyone armed with a “do it yourself” book and a business license can call themselves a home inspector. Some states do not require the inspector to pass a test or be certified. Make sure you get them through the Better Business Bureau. Ask for their credentials and verify references. It’s a little effort that results in maximum benefits.
As we discussed in the last article on “Setting the Price,” the first thing to remember in selling your home fast is to highlight the best features of your home. Remember – the “first impression” is important. Just because many of you still live in the home you’re selling, it doesn’t mean the home has to be seen as “lived in.”
Make your home attractive to a potential buyer by making sure that first impression is their most appealing impression. Go to the street in front of your house and turn. What did you see? Be true to yourself; will you pay the price you asked. Is the lawn mowed, curb edges repaired?
Are the bushes trimmed? Is the paint fresh or chipped and faded? Has the roof seen better days; Missing shingles or curling spots? Are windows broken, screens missing? Is there clutter everywhere, bikes and toys lying around? Are fences falling or missing slats or links? Are the tracks broken, cracked or missing? To answer the obvious question here – NO, the new buyer does not want to do the repairs themselves, no matter how attractive the price.
Ok, once the outdoor checklist is done, head indoors, with both a critical eye and notepad in hand. Make sure the interior of your home is attractive. A well-decorated home, with freshly washed or painted walls and clean carpets, with neatly arranged furniture, will sell faster and for more money than one that looks “lives” inside. De-personalize the home. Get rid of personal mementos and wall decorations, game plaques or your child’s thumbprint that you put on the refrigerator as well as un-clutter and rearrange the table(s) and bookshelves.
Clean the kitchen and bathroom until they shine. These are the two most critically viewed areas of the home, after the living room. If you have problems doing this, you should hire a home stager and a professional cleaning crew to keep your home looking organized, clean and tidy.
After your home is at its best performance, you can also hire a professional photographer to take beautiful pictures of your home. Why do you ask? Because in today’s market, many home buyers and their buyer’s broker, are looking for homes on the web first.
If you belong to a FSBO service, there is usually a place for you to put home photos. Don’t trust this essential to your trusty digital camera you got for Christmas. Get a professional who knows real estate sales. Remember that the first impression is an important thing, how can you sell your house fast if your house itself is not attractive on the web. You want them to be ready to see your home after they look at the photos you put up.
After all the things are placed, you can start to make an “open house.” Open houses should be scheduled at a time when your home is showing its best performance or condition. For example, if you have a beautiful garden, display it in the morning before the flowers begin to wither. If there’s something you like best about your home, be sure to share it with potential buyers, but don’t hover. Let potential buyers search for themselves. Let them ask questions and answer them honestly but keep quiet. As a professional REALTOR® who works with FSBO sellers, I see more first-time sellers telling a customer not to buy, than I see them talking someone into buying.
With today’s surge in foreclosures, if you need to sell your home fast, you may need help from a professional to take advantage of their list of buyers and their nationwide marketing.
When you engage the services of a real estate company, your REALTOR® can help you determine what needs to be repaired or corrected.
In conclusion, selling your home fast on your own is not an impossible task. The expenses you will incur to renovate the house are worthwhile compared to the money gained from the sale.
By Hans Rosielle – GRI
Property Mill Real Estate Group LLC
A Fixed Fee REALTORS® Guide for FSBO Sellers.
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