Selling Your Home
For most families, their home is their largest financial asset, and deciding to sell it is a big decision that involves a lot of preparation and work. When you're ready to sell it's important to have an experienced real estate professional handle the details involved in the successful sale of a home for top dollar.
As an experienced professional who has helped many Portland residents sell their homes, I know how to handle every aspect of the sales process - from strategically marketing and showcasing your home to making sure everything's signed, sealed and delivered by the closing date.
Providing you with comprehensive, high-quality listing service is my top priority. So when you decide to sell your home, please contact me and let's get started!
Selling Your Home
Preparing your home for selling can be overwhelming, but breaking the process down into a few basic steps will make it more manageable. In most cases, you can get your home ready to show in far less time than you think! Here’s how:
1. Become a “Prospective Buyer” for Your Home
A buyer will picture his or her family living in your home, so put yourself in their shoes and pretend you are looking at it for the first time. From the street, scan the entire area around your home. This is known as a home’s “street appeal.” Does it look clean and well-kept? Is the paint in good shape? How about the roof? Is the landscaping appealing? Is the walkway and driveway leading up to your home is good repair. A prospective buyer will notice all of these things!
Drive into your driveway and walk up to your front entry. Take note of anything that catches your attention (good or bad), including the view from in front of your home. Are you happy with it, or is there something obvious that you can do to make it more appealing? Be critical, because your buyer will be.
Enter your home as if you are coming in for the first time. From inside the front entry, what immediately catches your eye? That will be the first thing your buyer will notice. Does it give you a positive feeling about your home? Take a tour and imagine what your real estate agent might say about each room, including all bathrooms. Look in cabinets, open doors, and check out closets. Do you notice anything that needs repair, washing, or painting? Make a list of things that you find appealing and another list of things that may put-off a buyer.
2. Organize and Downsize your Personal Items
This may seem like the most daunting task of all, especially if you have lived in your home for many years. However, once you get started, this process may not take as long as you think and yields the greatest payback. First, get rid of clutter in every room, including closets, storage areas, kitchen cabinets, drawers, bath vanities, and shelves. It can be helpful to start with the easiest room and work towards the most difficult. This will give you a feeling of accomplishment very early in the process. One good rule of thumb: If you haven’t used it in the last year, you probably won’t!
Most of us put too much stuff into our homes! Make an effort to reduce furniture and fixtures to make your home look larger. Have a moving sale, and use the proceeds to do painting or repair projects. Store any personal items that you can’t part with out of sight, in boxes or in some other places. Potential buyers want to picture their stuff in your home…not yours!
3. Free From Clutter – Time to Clean
Now that the clutter is gone, it will be much easier to deep-clean your home. This is a ceiling-to-floor, roof-to-foundation clean-up project (especially important if you are competing with new homes that may be for sale in your neighborhood). You may want to hire professional help.
For the exterior: Paint or power-wash everything that needs the work. Clean all windows and gutters. Mow and edge all yards and remove any sick or dying plants. All landscaping should look well-kept and weed-free. Remember, the front yard is the first thing that a prospective buyer will see, and the backyard may be the last.
For the interior: Clean the carpets, strip and polish the floors, scour the bathrooms and the laundry room, polish the furniture, clean the kitchen appliances and the cabinets (inside and out), wash the windows and window coverings, clean any ceiling fans and light fixtures. Clean everything.
4. Doing Your Own Repairs Pays Off
Clutter-free and clean-as-can-be, it’s time to make all necessary repairs to attract a buyer. Once again, you may want to hire professional help for this step. The return is usually worth the cost. An "as-is" sale keeps you from doing all this work, but a buyer will assess about twice the price you would have paid for the repairs. Then, the buyer will deduct that amount from your asking price, before making an offer.
Outside: Patch up the roof, touch up the paint, and repair the screens and fences. Ensure that all door-locks work smoothly. Make your entry area really shine.
Inside: Fix the grout in the kitchens, bathrooms and on tile floors. Adjust any doors that need it. Fix scratches on the walls, cover or remove stains, and fix any plumbing problems, like leaky faucets. Do what your home needs before the first buyer appears at your door.
5. Get a Sense of the Market
Before you put your home on the market, take a weekend day to check out the competition (homes with similar prices in similar neighborhoods). It can be intimidating to compete with new homes, in a new development, but remember that clean, uncluttered, and fresh is what buyers are looking for. A well-maintained home can be “better than new,” because of the “hidden costs” associated with new homes. Many flaws can be overlooked, if the buyer sees that a home is “move-in ready.”
6. Time to Put Your Home on the Market
After you’ve cleared the clutter, deep-cleaned, repaired your home, and checked-out the competition, it’s time to show it off to prospective buyers! Plan to make your home available on short notice (five minutes is optimal). Here are some helpful last-minute tips for showings:
Open all blinds and turn on the lights. Opening the interior doors will make the home appear roomier and brighter. Make sure your pet's litter pan is kept clean, so the home smells clean and fresh. Air-fresheners can be considered a “cover-up” and may turn-off some prospective buyers. Shoe-covers at the front entry will help keep your carpets clean and allow potential buyers to keep their shoes on. Have an out-of-the-way place for family and pets to go, if possible.
Some helpful tips for you:
Staging and Decorating
Bring in the Light
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