When you make up your mind to sell your home, why not prepare it to be “buyer ready?” Today’s buyers are super savvy and know what they want – and they don’t want to waste a lot of time finding it. In fact, about 80% of all buyers start their search on-line, often reviewing listings side by side, so it’s important your property stand out from the rest. Here are 10 tips to help you prepare to sell your home in a competitive market.

  1. Reduce and simplify. Start packing! Nothing says, “I want to sell my home” like packed boxes in the garage. Start removing items that you no longer use, like that old rocking chair or the bean bag you’ve had since high school. Remove personal photographs and family items to create a neutral setting so buyers don’t get distracted by ‘who lives here’.
  2. Contact a real estate agent. Start compiling a list of questions to interview your agent. Your real estate agent will be trained to assist you with listing your home and can provide critical information about the local real estate market. The agent’s analysis and expertise will help formulate your asking price, determine the competition, and create a marketing plan to get your listing in front of as many active potential buyers as possible.
  3. Tell your neighbors. Before the sign goes up in the yard, contact your neighbors and let them know you plan to list your home. Chances are, the folks next door or across the street will appreciate the courtesy and may be instrumental in finding the next new resident in the neighborhood.
  4. Clean from top to bottom. Buyers have a critical eye when it comes to cleanliness and can be turned off quickly if they see dirt, stains, or mildew lurking about. After reducing your belongings, give your house a thorough cleaning or have it professionally cleaned. Once cleaned, keep it tidy at all times and be prepared for daily showings.   Avoid cooking foods that leave lingering odors, like fish or bacon and instead use room enhancing fragrances that appeal to the senses like lavender and vanilla.
  5. Staging the scene. Reduce your furnishings to the bare minimum to give buyers the opportunity to envision the space with their belongings. If your home is full of furniture and the walls are covered with objects, buyers may struggle to ‘look past’ the stuff to see the potential space. A fresh coat of paint can work wonders to bring a room back to life-use a neutral color palette for a bright and natural look.
  6. Be pet smart. If you have pets, it adds an extra challenge to showing your home to potential buyers. Create a space or room to contain pets during showings. Make sure your real estate agent mentions to other agents showing your home there are pets inside and provide instructions accordingly.
  7. Curb appeal. Drive by your home, what is your first impression? Does it look dark and dingy or warm and inviting? Either way, start with cleaning up leaves and debris around the front entrance and consider a fresh coat of paint on the front door. Your entrance sets the mood of your home; make it memorable.
  8. Buyer ready inspections. To avoid any surprises at contract time, consider a home inspection prior to listing your home on the market. Home inspectors are trained to reveal structural and mechanical issues and defects and will provide a detailed report of their findings. Offer your home inspection report – along with a list repairs or improvements, as an added benefit and savings to the buyer.
  9. Be open to an “Open House.”  Talk with your real estate agent about hosting an Open House. Advertise the event on social media outlets like Facebook and ask your friends to help you promote it. Offer refreshments like fresh baked cookies, which also adds a delightful smell that makes your home feel even more inviting. Provide a home history document telling your house story or time line of improvements made during your ownership.
  10. Be patient. Be sentimental. There is a buyer out there for your home. Remember why you fell in love with your home and share the story with others, it may inspire them to do the same.

Selling your home is a big commitment and the results can be life-changing. Are you ready to sell your home to move onto bigger and better things– or maybe downsize to a simpler lifestyle? Whatever your reason, it’s time to talk to a professional that can offer sound advice – contact the George Papakostas Group to take the next step or call 202-997-2515 today!

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