Selling Tips to Maximize Your Home's Value

By following these Selling Tips, you can do a lot to increase the perceived value of your home and make it stand out above the competition!

Maximize Curb Appeal
Most buyers will drive by your home first before setting an appointment to view. An attractive well groomed yard catches buyers’ attention and intrigues them to set a showing appointment.  Make sure that trees and bushes are trimmed.  Have the grass clipped, edged, fertilized and green. Repair broken sprinklers and replant the grass if needed.  Walkways should be clean and swept. Clean away all debris and make sure flower beds are mulched and weed free.  When in season, plant flowers to add color.  Remove parked cars or RVs. Remember, if the buyer does not like the outside, they simply drive on to the next house. Get your home ready for drive by traffic and give folks something extra nice to look at.
A Little Painting Works Wonders
New paint makes the entire home smell clean and neat, and can bring sellers top dollar. If your home has chipped paint, exposed wood, or surfaces that look faded, it's time for new paint.  Repaint dark rooms with lighter and brighter colors that make the room look larger.  Pay close attention to corners where there is traffic wear. Touch up baseboards, trim and cabinets and cupboards.  Don't think that buyers have the money and time to freshen up a home. They typically don't.  Quite frequently buyers look for a home that they can immediately move into. They will simply look elsewhere for a home that needs less work.
Cleanliness is Key
It's a common fact that clean homes net more money. Most people are turned off by even the smallest amount of uncleanness or odor when looking at homes to purchase. Sellers lose thousands of dollars because they do not adequately clean their homes or rid them of offensive odors.  If your home is squeaky clean, you will be able to sell your home faster and net more money.  If you are planning on moving, why not get rid of clutter and junk now so that your house will appear larger?  Odors must be eliminated, especially if you have pets or a smoker in the house.   It may make sense to hire a cleaning crew to go through and thoroughly clean your home on a one-time basis.
·         Clean your entire home thoroughly including walls, sills, window screens, and blinds. Dust light fixtures and            
·         Have dirty carpets and drapes professionally cleaned or replaced. 
·         Clean the clutter from all closets, cupboards and cabinets.
·         Make your kitchen shine. Counter tops and islands should be clean and free from clutter so they look as big as
          possible. Thoroughly clean and degrease the cook top, range, and oven.  Keep your sink clean and clear of any
          dirty dishes.  Clean your refrigerator.  Organize pantry and cabinets.
·         Keep bathrooms scrubbed and tidy with fresh soap and neatly hung towels.  Clean/replace all dirty or mildew
          stained grout and caulk lines around tub, sink, and shower.  Remove stains and hard water marks from tub or
          shower enclosures.
·         Clean your garage area. Remove clutter and make it look organized and as spacious as possible. Try to have
          nothing in your garage but cars.
Repair Anything Broken
The goal here is to make sure that everything in your home is operating and functioning correctly.  Fixtures or systems in your house that do not operate correctly will be noticed by buyers or discovered by their home inspector.  It has become commonplace for the buyers to request that seller make the repairs or reduce the contracted sales price in lieu of repairs.  The idea is to make the repairs before listing your home for sale to increase its marketability.  It sounds like hard work, but many items are pretty strait forward and can be taken care of inexpensively.   
·         Make sure that all the electrical systems are operating correctly. This means all lights, wiring, switches, and outlets
          operate correctly.  Are outlets in the bathroom, kitchen, and outside installed with GFCI outlets meeting current
          building codes.  Replace or repair any broken lighting fixtures, missing or cracked switch plates. 
·         Make sure the heating and air conditioning are operating correctly.  If you haven’t changed the filters in a while make
          sure to get them changed. 
·         Make sure all plumping systems operate correctly.  This includes sink faucets, garbage disposals, bathtubs,
          showers, and toilets operate correctly and do not leak.  Do you have low flow plumbing fixtures?  Make sure to look
          under the sink for leaky valves or drain lines and correct as necessary.  If sink fixtures look dirty or warn clean or
          replace with new.  You don’t need to buy something fancy, the key here is cleanliness.  Observe how long it takes
          for the water to go down the drain, clean out or repair as necessary.  Make sure that your house’s water pressure
          regulator is operating correctly.   
·         Buyers will open everything with a handle.  Make sure all cabinets and drawers are cleaned out, open easily, and
          close properly.
·         Repair any broken windows, screens, shutters or awnings.
·         Make sure you have smoke detectors in all bedrooms and the hallway leading to the bedroom with fresh batteries. 
          Also, new state laws require carbon monoxide detector(s) must be installed in homes sold in California  
Stage Your Home To Sell!
In addition to providing agents and buyers with easy access to your property, following these simple staging guidelines before showing your home:
·         Arrange furnishing so that it is easy to walk through your home
·         Place plants or flower arrangements in strategic parts of the home. A splash of color from plants, flowers, pillows or
          small rugs can give your home some real flair
·         Keep rooms color coordinated.
·         Keep all draperies and shutters open
·         Keep all lights on, even on the sunniest of days
·         Leave soft music playing at a low level
·         Let the Realtor and clients view the home without your presence, take a short walk or drive with your children and

Pricing Your Home To Sell

Did you know the best chance for selling your property is within the within the first few weeks of putting it on the market?  It's true.  Studies have shown that the longer a property stays on the market, the less the seller will net upon the sale. It is very important to price your property at a competitive market value at the signing of your listing contract. Our local market is so competitive that even over-pricing by a few thousand dollars could mean that your house will not sell.
An Overpriced Home:
·         Minimizes offers
·         Lowers agents response
·         Limits qualified buyers
·         Lowers showings
·         Lowers prospects
·         Limits financing
·         Wastes advertising dollars
·         Nets less for the seller
To maximize your selling opportunity, it is important that your home be priced right. What is the right price? Many factors will determine your home's best asking price. Our current real estate market has a lot to do with it.  It is very important to trust your agent and rely on his or her experience, research, and judgment to help you determine the right price for your home. It’s your agent’s job help you evaluate your location, the recent sold data, current market trends, and your home's special features that set it apart from the competition.  If you can’t trust your agent to accurately price your house, then you’ve got the wrong agent.
"What's wrong with pricing my home a little high?" I’ve heard this over and over. “Let’s price it a little higher than market and then bring the price down gradually over time.”  “This way we won’t be leaving anything on the table.”  This is a poor pricing strategy.  Remember, the best opportunity to sell your home is within the first few weeks of putting it on the market.  This is when the most motivated credit worthy buyers are walking through your home.  The house must be priced accurately to sell at this time.  Buyers know what market prices are and will quickly go elsewhere to get more house for their money.  Homes on the market for a long time become stagnate, labeled as “overpriced” and attract a type of buyer that is not as motivated to buy.  These are the bargain buyers that are comfortable where they live now but would move up if they found a “good deal”.  They are the vultures of the market testing sellers’ motivation by submitting low below market offers.  These types of buyers can also be difficult in escrow since they are usually not as motivated to quickly close the escrow and move in.  
To rectify the situation and regenerate buyer interest, a substantial price reduction is necessary often below market if the seller is time pressured to sell quickly and relocate.  If you add up the money spent paying the mortgage, property tax, and insurance, the wasted time, and the wasted opportunity cost on your future home it makes sense to price it right the first time and sell it quick.    

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