1.Make a “I’ll Miss List!” There are several items you’ll probably miss when you leave your house. These items are normally excellent marketing featured to promote to potential buyers. Take time to make note of the things you enjoy and will miss when the sale is completed and you’ve moved from your house. Items you appreciate are items someone else will enjoy too!
2. Know the Facts! Most buyers will have questions about taxes, lot size, utility costs and other pertinent information about your property. It’s always a good idea to know the facts and to have this information available for potential consumers looking at your real estate. Take time to research this information and have it readily available for buyers and or real estate agents.
3.Recent Repairs. Most borrowers need to know about any recent updates or repairs or additions you’ve made to your home. For example, a new roof, furnace or central air, hot water heater are all important to note. If so, what was the cost, when was it installed and who did the work are all note worthy features to have for buyers and agents while selling your property. Any items of repair or newly added during your tenure should be listed on a separate sheet if at all possible. It’s also a good idea to furnish copies of paid receipts if you choose on the items repaired or installed with the property to validate these costs. Sometimes placing this information in a binder is a good idea and marketing feature to show buyers and agents.
4.Replace Light Bulbs. Changing light bulbs to a higher wattage can be an aid in brightening rooms and giving a more spacious feel to your rooms. Always check the light fixture and the maximum wattage and do not add bulbs above the recommended usage. You can also add a drop of vanilla extract to bulbs on lamps to aid in providing a fresh smell to rooms if needed.
5.Remove Any Heirlooms or Keepsakes. Many times sellers will want to keep certain items that have sentimental value to them such as a light fixture or wall mirror that has been affixed to the property. If you have an item that you plan to replace so you can keep then you should do so prior to any showings. Once buyers visit your property and begin making offers to purchase on your property it’s generally hard to negotiate these items off of the offer to purchase.
6.clean the Gutters and Add Extensions Where Needed. You never know when your property may be shown and if it’s a day that is raining the last thing you want to portray is a house where the water is gushing over the gutters and downspouts. Making sure the gutters are cleaned and extensions move the water away from your foundation is always a good idea for continued maintenance of your home and shows buyers your commitment to caring for your home and keeping it in tip top shape.
7.Hire a Building Inspection. Let’s face it; you want to sell your home. If so, it’s probably not a bad idea to have a building inspector look at your home and make a list of repairs or items they feel need to be fixed prior to marketing your property. After all many homebuyers will have a home inspection too so this type of pre-inspection will help to get any potential problems a future inspector might have corrected in advance. Many buyers will also get “cold” feet if the inspection shows too many needed repairs on their report. By fixing these issues in advance you can ward off these potential future problems.
8.Don’t appear to Anxious! Many sellers will sometimes point out too many facts or features about the home and often sound too anxious or the need to sell quickly. This attitude can hurt you with your negotiating with the buyers and often cost you several thousands of dollars. You might note that this is one reason many sellers feel the need to hire a real estate agent to help with the negotiations with the buyers.
9.Have Your House Appraised. It’s usually a good idea to hire an independent appraiser when you’re selling on your own. This way you’ll know and feel certain that you are getting top dollar for your home. According to the National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Buyers and Sellers, 2006 Edition, most for-sale-by-owners could have sold their homes for more money if they had been assisted by a real estate agent.
10.Call Me If You Have Questions. If you do have any questions or concerns that arise in the near future please don’t hesitate to give me a call. Although I am limited on what advice or help I can provide under our state real estate license law and rules and regulations I will be glad to assist on small or minor questions that are permissible. If you decide to list your home in the future, I would love to help there too, just give me a call!
This article has been written by John D. Mayfield ABR, ABRM, GRI, e-PRO, CRB