Thinking of Selling Your Home?
by: Darin "Sid" Cameron
Are you thinking of selling your home? Well,
the time to start planning for it is NOW!
One of the biggest mistakes a homeowner can
make when he or she is thinking about selling their home is
failing to plan for the sale in advance. There really is more
to selling a home than putting a sign in the yard and waiting
for a contract. If your plan, for example, is to list your home
for sale in May or June, then you need to be laying the ground
work to prepare your home for sale in January or
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:
Does your home need repair work or improvements that could turn
off potential buyers?
When you are about to sell a home, it’s
tempting to ignore needed repairs and tell yourself, “it’ll be
the next guys problem.” However that rain damaged basement,
leaky roof, or worn out 1970’s shag carpeting might be the
deciding factor that keeps dozens of buyers from making an
offer. The end result is a “next guy” may never transpire and
your home ends up setting on the market unsold for months until
you finally make the needed repairs.
Generally when this happens, you still end up
with the cost of the repair work that you were hoping to pass
on, but get a lower sales price because the property was
“stigmatized” by not selling within the first few months. At
the same time, you also have to keep paying the mortgage(s)
until the home sells and have the expense or work of
maintaining the property- mowing the lawn, cleaning the home,
Are there improvements that could be made to your home that
would increase the value beyond the cost of the improvements
and help it sell faster?
If you could spend $2,000 on your home and
earn an additional $10,000 wouldn’t you want to do it? Things
don’t have to be broken or worn out to negatively impact your
home’s value or your ability to sell it. It’s amazing, but
sometimes $500 in landscaping or a quick touch-up on the
outside paint can increase buyer traffic from 2 people a week
touring your home to 20 people a week. A few updates inside can
mean the difference between a full-price contract the week you
list your home and a discounted contract several months
More important, your home may have “hidden
value”. An unfinished area that could be turned into an
additional bedroom or bathroom, for example, could increase
your property value by 15-20% or more depending on the
Is your home cluttered, cramped, or crowded with furniture and
other “stuff” you’ve collected over the years? Do you have
rooms not being used for their original purpose? Is your home
decorated with a “distinct” taste?
Your home is your home. Making your home
unique to you with all of your personal touches is one of the
rights you get with homeownership. When you want to sell your
home, however, it’s another story. Basically, you are trying to
get other people to visualize what the home would look like if
they made THEIR personal touches.
Unfortunately, the walls of family photos or
rooms of antique furniture, the blue paint, pink carpeting, or
floral wallpaper you dearly love, or the pool table in the
spare bedroom might not only turn off prospective buyers with
different tastes, but prove to be a distraction that keeps
buyers from really seeing the home. Packing up distractions,
neutralizing décor, and moving out excessive furniture to make
your home seem larger before you list it can not only help you
get a quick sale, but can also help with the moving process.
Remember, you want buyers looking at the house, NOT your stuff.
(I’ve written more on this topic which I’ve published to my
blog at http://www.stlagent.com
KNOWING WHAT NEEDS DONE:
One of the biggest problems that homeowners
face is that they are too attached to their home, and the stuff
in it, to be objective on how to get the home ready to sell. At
the same time, without a background in real estate you might
not see the improvements that could significantly increase your
home’s value or speed up the sale- like adding that extra
bedroom or remodeling a kitchen. That’s why you should contact
your realtor several months in advance and ask her/him to come
by to give you ideas on any repairs, improvements, or
suggestions that might help you in the sale of your
Why is it important to do a professional
walkthrough with your realtor several months in advance? If
there is a project that can significantly increase your home’s
value, you may need time to raise the money to start the work.
It’s also not uncommon for good handymen to be booked up months
in advance- so you may need time to schedule the project and
get the work done before listing your home. You don’t want
prospective buyers walking into a construction zone any more
than you want your home sale delayed several months because of
That’s why now is the time to start the ball
rolling if you are beginning to think about selling your home.
You can also use this advance time to clear the property of
junk or debris, do some of the project work yourself, pack
extra belongings, have a garage sale, donate items, etc. Plus,
doing the work in advance will save you the stress of doing it
all later- when you might also be trying shop for a new home or
pack and move.