How To Sell Your Home For More

Every seller in today's market wants to maximize their profits and minimize the stress to their lifestyle and family.  Unfortunately, meeting one of these goals could have a negative effect on the other.  However, there are ways to make your home more appealing, reducing the amount of time your home is on the market.  The faster you sell, the less stress you and your family will have to endure keeping the house ready to show. 

Top 10 Ways to Ensure You Are Getting The Most Money Out of Your Home

Enhance Your Home's Drive-Up Appeal.   First impressions are monumental when it comes to attracting buyers to your home.  What a potential buyer sees on the outside, sets their expectation for what they will see on the inside.  And if they don't like what they see on the outside, their opinion of the inside is likely to be tainted.  Improving the drive up can include planting new sod in bare spots, treating for weeds, adding mulch to landscape beds, trimming overgrown shrubs, planting seasonal color, painting the exterior trim, painting or re-staining the front door and possibly hanging a wreath and putting out a fresh welcome mat.  When you pay attention to these issues, you set the stage for a successful showing. 

Update the Interior
When considering which updates to make, always consider the cost vs. benefit.  For example, you can update your lighting fixtures for less than $1000.00, but the benefit of the upgrade can be 5x's that amount.  Why?  The majority of buyers are visual.  They buy only what they can see.  When you are trying to maximize your profits, you want to appeal to the masses.  What are buyer's looking for?  It's no surprise that buyers look first at the kitchen and the master bedroom/bathroom.  Updates in these areas bring the biggest "bang for the buck".  Other updates you will to consider are neutralizing paint colors to a warm shade, replacing or painting gold hardware and fixtures, and replacing worn and stained flooring.  Be sure to consult with your agent before embarking on a major remodel.  You want to make sure that you are investing your time and money wisely and in the areas that will bring the biggest return.

Clean, De-Clutter and De-Personalize
.  The advice I give most often to home sellers is to start packing.  The way we live in a home and the way we sell a home are two different things.  When we live in a home, we want our family photos and collections around us.  They make us feel comfortable and at home.  But when a buyer comes into your home, these items make them feel like they are in someone else's space.  We want the buyer to say, "I could live here."  In order to obtain this goal, take down the family photos, pack up your collections, and minimize your personal d├ęcor.  Let the buyer visualize "their home", not yours.  Finally, invest in a good, deep, professional cleaning before your home hits the market.  Homes that smell clean and look clean will sell for more. 


Stage The Home and Show How The Rooms Are Supposed To Be Used
.    Every homebuyer has needs that are unique to his or her situation.  It is best to show the rooms in your home as they were intended to be used.  This is especially true in the common areas of the home, i.e. living areas and dining areas.  Let the buyer decide if they can use the formal living as a game room or the formal dining as a home office.  You may need to rent a dining room set or a sofa and end tables to fill an empty room, but the return will outweigh the cost almost every time. Remember, we are trying to maximize your profit and minimize your time on the market.  These are short term inconveniences that pay out in long-term rewards.


Price it Right From The Start.  Homeowners often tell me that in order to get the most money out of their home, they need to price high and leave room for negotiating.  In fact, the opposite is true.  Home buyers today are more informed and more educated than ever before.  Almost everything they want and need to know is available with the click of a mouse.  As they search through listings in a particular market, home buyers quickly learn to recognize homes that are overpriced.  Homes in the Dallas market sell for an average of 97% of list price.  This means that if you are priced more than 3% over the anticipated sale price, you are priced too high.  In our experience, the closer your list price is to "market value", the more likely you are to sell the home at or above market value.

Make The Home Easy to Show
.  The more flexible you can be with showings, the more people you will have looking at your home.  Buyers believe that if a seller doesn't make their home available to be shown, that they just don't want to sell bad enough.  According to the National Association of Realtors Homebuyer Profile 2014, the average home buyer looked at 10 homes before they purchased.   Relocation buyers are especially influenced by this factor since they usually have a limited time to find a home.  If your home is difficult to show, they will move on to other homes that are available.  Also, you want to make sure to leave the home during showings.  We want home buyers to feel welcome and not like they are snooping around in your home.  We also want them to feel free to discuss your home among themselves and with their agent while touring the home. 


Remove Your Pets For Showings If Possible
.  If you cannot remove your pets from the home, have them crated so they are not running loose in the home during showings.  I also recommend removing or hiding dog dishes, litter boxes, toys, etc...  Some sellers choose to house their pets with family and friends during showings, others take them for a ride in the car or a walk around the block.  If you have pet odors, you will want to address them. Have your pets groomed and bathed frequently throughout the marketing period.   


Make Sure Your Property Listing is Available on All the Major Websites.  We post our listings to over 50 websites including Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, Homes.com, and all the major broker sites.  We also feature our homes on social media and our own websites.  If you're working with another agent, make sure that your home is listed and available on the top real estate portals.  Buyers use multiple sites when searching for homes.  The more often they see your home, the more likely they are to look at it in person.

Make Sure Your Listing Features Multiple Professional Photos
. According to the NAR's Profile of Home Buyer and Sellers in 2014, 97% of home buyers viewed listing photos online.  The majority of buyers select which homes they want to see based solely on the photos they see online.  It is extremely important that the photography is professional and realistic.  We want to show the home at it's best so that when the buyer walks into the home their expectations are met or exceeded from what they saw online.  Caution:  Some professionals over-exaggerate and/or over-enhance the photos.  This practice causes the buyer to be disappointed when they see the home in person and should be avoided. 


Share Neighborhood Information and What You Like Best About The Home.  
Home buyers are not just looking for a house, they want a lifestyle.  Lifestyle includes both the home as well as the surrounding neighborhood and local environment.  Make sure that your agent is knowledgeable about the area and is willing to market the neighborhood amenities, conveniences, as well as the home's features.


For more information on getting your home ready to sell, you can view our Home Staging Checklist or request a complimentary home marketing consultation with The Dunnican Team.  When you complete the form below, Cindy will contact you within a few hours to set up a convenient time to meet at your home to discuss the current real estate market as well as pricing and staging strategies that will benefit you in selling your home. 

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