If you are preparing to sell your home, you’ve likely been reading about (or at least thinking about) the impeding flurry of activity in the real estate market come spring. There’s something about a long, cold winter indoors that makes homeowners crave a change when the ground thaws and the trees bloom. If you are one of the many sellers preparing to put their home on the market this spring, here are just a few tips to keep in mind as you enter the home-selling process.
1. Find the Right Agent
This step is undoubtedly the most important, and should be one you are thinking about long before the time comes to put your home on the market. The perfect agent for you should be trust-worthy, easy to talk to, and should understand your needs. Your agent should help you with the following 4 steps (including pricing and marketing your home of course!). Don’t know where to begin with finding an agent? Here are a few tips for finding the right agent for you. Think you can go it alone? Here are 7 reasons why you need a Realtor now more than ever.
2. Scout the Competition
What people often don’t realize is that the viability of their home sale tends to have more to do with what else is currently offered on the market than what they feel their home is worth. Buyers and their agents will be quick to compare your home and its price against homes of similar size, age, and location to determine a ‘fair’ buying price. Do some research (along with your agent) and be aware of your competition. Being able to highlight your home’s advantages in comparison to the rest of the homes out there will give you an edge in negotiations.
3. Prepare Your Property
Do not underestimate the value of a new coat of paint, a spotless garage, or an entirely staged home. A buyer’s vision tends to be limited when it comes to seeing themselves in your home, and even small details like smell, decor, or light could put them off right away. Work with your agent or a staging company to place your home in its best light, feeling bright, fresh, and free of clutter.
4. Don’t Lurk
The home-selling process can, at times, be intrusive to your daily schedule. Buyers will want to come back for a first, second, or third look at a moment’s notice and you may find it bothersome to rearrange your plans to accommodate them. Although it may seem reasonable to want to hang around your home during an open house or a showing, do your best to leave your home during this time. Go over to a neighbour’s place or grab a cup of coffee down the street. Buyers will feel less pressure and more freedom to look in closets, ask questions, and really get a feel for the place without a lurking homeowner.
5. Don’t Get Emotional
Buying and selling real estate is unlike any other business transaction in that it is undoubtedly an emotional one. Your home is your retreat from the world outside, where you’ve shared happy memories with friends and family so it makes sense that you see it in its most romantic light. It’s tough not to place a heightened value on your home, but it’s important not to take negotiations personally or to sneer at any incoming offers.