Step 1 (Prep for sale) - DECLUTTER AND DEEP CLEAN
You want your home to show off as much of it's good features as possible. Much of selling a home is allowing the buyers to dream about what it would be like to live there. It is much harder for them to do this if the closets are packed and the countertops are covered. You want to make the home feel like it came right out of a magazine, getting anything that you don't absolutely need out of the way can go a long way.
Once you get the extra stuff out of the home, it is time to clean the things that you usually ignore, inside and out. If you have a pressure washer, use it (carefully). Clean the windows (makes it feel brighter), take a duster and get the cobwebs out of the basement, vacuum the dust off of those ceiling fans. Take a walk through you home from the front door and think of anything that you can fix easily that may turn off a buyer. The front door and curb appeal are vital as well.
Step 2 (Call Us!) - CALL THE EXPERTS FOR PRICING AND MARKETING HELP
Once you get the home feeling it's best, its time for professional advice. We can give you pricing data based on homes that have actually sold recently. Our team tours dozens of homes a week and can usually tell you how you stack up against them. You also want to consider what other homes are for sale but don't fall in love with the price tag of the home that's just like yours that is listed high. If it is sitting on the market not selling, yours will too. The data on what buyers are actually buying is more valuable.
Step 3 (marketing) - MARKETING IS KEY
You have done all of this work to make your home ready for sale. At this point it's vital that it stands out. Marketing is the 3rd most important factor to getting your home sold. If you price it cheap enough and its in great shape, marketing isn't needed. If you overprice it or the home doesn't show well, marketing probably won't overcome it. We have a cutting edge marketing package with unique placements on real estate websites and in print that helps make your home stand out and look better online and place it in front of more buyers. We get the buyers attention with drone photography, 3D tours and professional quality still photography and work to create urgency. This is how we get more people to come see it in person.
Step 4 (Showings) - THE MOMENT OF TRUTH
After all this work to get people in the door, this one is between the house and the buyer. We do everything we can to bring the buyer to the house with proper pricing and marketing. Once the buyer is there, they will have a lot of different factors that will decide if it is the house for them or not. You can't change the flow of the house, the floor plan or the lot that it sits on but it is vital that the home looks, smells and feels it's best. You want the home to be sparkling clean, grass cut, beds weeded. You don't want any smells to be present no matter how small. This is not the time to cook grandmas sauerkraut or have a cigar party in the basement. It is also important to have the thermostat set at a comfortable level. You don't want buyers first impression to be "my god its hot in here". It is customary for the seller to leave for showings in our area but not required. This is because can make the buyers uncomfortable when the seller is present. After the showings, you will want to pay close attention to the feedback that we receive from the showings. This comes directly from the buyer/buyer's agent. One thing to understand about feedback is that if one person says something negative, it is likely that others were thinking it but didn't want to be rude.
Step 5 (Fielding offers) - TIME TO NEGOTIATE YOUR BEST DEAL
After showings occur (it usually takes several showings) hopefully someone has fallen in love. When someone decides to write an offer we will talk about the offer received and the terms. It is also very important to consider what other interest we have had to evaluate where we stand. When you receive an offer, most of the terms (dates, pricing etc) are negotiable. You want to focus on the ones that really matter to you. It is important to not over or under play your hand. We will give you advice on this based on our opinions but ultimately it is up to you how to proceed at every step.
Step 6 (Inspections) - ONE OF THE LAST BIG HURDLES
One of the last big hurdles to your sale is getting through inspections. It is common practice for the offer to be contingent upon the result of an inspection. Most buyers will have at least a general home inspection. This type of inspection will check nearly everything in your home for proper operation. It is very uncommon to have a home inspection that is clean. There are usually dozens of small issues, many that you aren't aware of or don't care about, that are brought up so that the buyers are aware of them. There are also larger issues that come up that the sellers are usually not aware of. Buyers will review the inspection report and determine if there is anything that they are not moving comfortable with without addressing. After the inspection is completed the buyers will usually do one of 3 things (every contract is different but these are the most common). 1. Proceed and buy the home as is. 2. Request repairs or a reduction in price to make future repairs. 3. Exit the transaction. Hopefully at this point we can keep things moving without significant issues.
Step 7 (Appraisals/Financing) - DON'T LET YOUR GUARD DOWN YET
The appraisal process is important too. You want to make sure the home is show ready for this the same way it was for showings. There is nothing worse that going through all the prior steps and having the value come back low which prevents the buyer for paying the original amount. When this happens we are usually stuck between taking the lower amount or placing the home back on the market and hoping we get a different appraisal. We have a pretty high average sales price compared to the other homes in the market that we sell in so we can help to make sure you are prepared for this part.
Step 8 (Closing) - YOU'VE MADE IT
You made it to closing day. By now you need to be ready to move out and leave the home the way you would want it if you were a buyer. It's important to start packing early. People always underestimate what a job this will really be. You don't need any more stress. Consider having movers help as well. I have had clients tell me that this was the best move they have ever made to reduce stress and make it easier. If you don't hire this out, make sure you have extra help. Congratulations! You did it!