Whether you've resolved to sell your home in 2022, or simply want to make wise choices while enhancing your living space for your own enjoyment, your local real estate professional can be an invaluable resource. She or he can help you see your home as current buyers do and guide you on how to sell your home in less time for more money.
We’ve put together some of the top tips you can use to ensure your SaddleBrooke home sells at or above the listing price with fewer days on market in both the current hot seller's market and even in a future buyer’s market.
The First Impression is Key
You never have a second chance to make the best first impression when buyers view your home on the Internet. According to the National Association of Realtors, 97 percent of buyers begin their home search online. Increasingly, SaddleBrooke buyers are engaged in virtual buying with some never having stepped foot in the property prior to closing!
If you want to sell your home quickly and at the highest price, professional photos and videos are a must. Make sure that your realtor invests in professional listing photos and walk-through videos. Consider staging, whether it be a rearrangement and enhancement of your home’s current furnishings or a complete professional staging. The latter is particularly effective when faced with an empty, dated property.
If your property is distinguished by its serene perimeter setting, a spectacular Catalina Mountain view or a gorgeous outdoor kitchen or pool/spa, by all means consider positioning a photo of this as your listing’s primary shot. The bird’s eye view of drone photography can further enhance your property’s location, lifestyle amenities and view advantages to potential buyers who may be shopping from out of state.
Curb Appeal Counts
No matter how appealing the interior of your home looks in photographs, once buyers arrive for a showing, they will quickly judge your home before they even walk through the front door. It’s important to make people feel warm, welcome and comfortable as they approach the house. Buyers will think that an unkept, tired exterior is a reflection of what lies indoors and where they cannot see (ie: the condition of the roof, and operation of HVAC and plumbing systems.)
Make sure that drip lines are buried and landscaping is tamed. Spruce up your home’s exterior with inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers, be they live plants or the metal variety. Consider a new paint job if the exterior is wanting and a power wash of stained driveways and front walkways. You can typically get a 100 percent return on the money spent on your home’s curb appeal.
Always be Ready to Show
Imagine your buyer walking through the door at any moment. Your house needs to be "show-ready" at all times. It’s important to make your home accessible for the potential buyer’s convenience and it must be kept in tip-top shape. Don’t leave dishes in the sink or paperwork on the counters, keep the bathrooms sparkling and make sure your ceiling fans and air return vents are dust-free. It’s a little inconvenient, but it will get your house sold.
Take the Home out of your House
One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to depersonalize it. The more personal stuff in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. Visit a model home for inspiration on how much décor is really necessary. Get rid of at least third of your stuff— this includes family photos, memorabilia collections and personal keepsakes.
You can store, sell, donate, or simply box up and temporarily move these items to the garage. Buyers will overlook a cluttered garage but won’t be forgiving of a house chock-full of stuff. Ask your realtor or staging expert for advice on minimizing and arranging your furniture to best showcase the floor plan and maximize the flow of space.
The Kitchen is King
Inside, you’re not actually selling your house, you’re selling your kitchen— that’s how important it is! The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless, and the best part of it is that you’ll probably get 85 percent of your money back. Buyers who never plan to cook again in their "golden years", still yearn for a Chef’s Kitchen showplace.
The quickest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware. Using a neutral-colored paint over dated orangey stained oak or pickled finishes can present buyers with a blank canvas to start envisioning their own style. If you have little money to spend, buy one amazing stainless steel appliance. Seeing just one high-end appliance can make buyers think the rest are expensive too and it instantly updates the kitchen.
Quick fixes before selling always pay off. Mammoth makeovers, not so much. You probably won’t get your money back if you do a huge improvement project before you put your house on the market. Instead, do updates that will pay off and get you top dollar. Strip wallpaper, get a new fresh coat of paint on the walls, and don’t forget the front door. Replace door handles, cabinet hardware, make sure closet doors are on track, fix leaky faucets and clean the grout.
Conceal the Critters
SaddleBrookers love their four-pawed family members, but not everybody is a dog- or a cat-lover. Buyers don’t want to walk in your home and see a bowl full of dog food, smell the kitty litter box or see pet hair and other deposits. It will give buyers the impression that your house is not clean. If you’re planning an open house, send your pets to a pet sitter for the day. During showings, take them with you as you exit the house, or consider crating them for their safety and buyers’ comfort.
Half-Empty Closets and the Pantry
Storage is something every buyer is looking for and can never have enough of. Many SaddleBrooke homebuyers hail from states where basement and attic storage abounds. Take half the stuff out of your closets then neatly organize what’s left in there. Be sure to leave empty closet hanging space— it will give the impression of sufficient space. Buyers will snoop, so be sure to keep all your closets and cabinets clean and tidy.
Light it up
Maximize the light in your home. After location and view, good light is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Take down the drapes, remove view-blocking dated cornices, clean the windows, change the lampshades, swap out your halogen and incandescent light bulbs for energy saving, mood-enhancing LED bulbs, and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. Do what is needed to make your house bright and cheery – it will make it more sellable.
Price it Right
Setting the right price for your home is the single most important decision you will make when deciding to sell. Go too high, and you risk turning off every buyer in the marketplace, go too low, and you leave money on the table.
One simple but effective technique for pricing your home is to spend time looking at comparable homes. That doesn’t mean the same floor plan. Don’t compare your Topaz to other Topazes; rather, look for homes with similar amenities to yours: location (views & privacy), upgrades, renovations, and age of systems.
You’ll start to see the world through a buyers’ eyes and gain a better understanding of what a reasonable listing price for your home should look like. Be brutally honest with yourself. Compared to the competition, what price would position your home as the best value proposition for buyers in our market?
This is when having an experienced agent who knows the market and how today's typical SaddleBrooke buyer responds comes in handy. Much like an appraiser, an experienced local agent can help identify the most apt comparables— and dig deeper through the seller disclosures of those comps to know which properties have newer roofs or heating and cooling systems— items that attract resale buyers and increase their appraisal price. Have an honest conversation with your agent, relate your timeline and budget goals, and price your home accordingly for best result.