The Ugly And The Beautiful About Selling Your Home

Dated: 09/12/2017

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Selling your house while you still live in it can be challenging. And it can be even more challenging when you add your spouse, kids, pets and your stuff.  If you want to sell your home for top dollar in any market there are some ugly truths you should know about. And, some beautiful ways that you can make it happen more quickly.

Let's cover the ugly truths first shall we?

Ugly Truth #1 - Your Home’s Interior Needs to Be Mega Clean . When you have your home listed for sale and you want to get top dollar for it,  you should keep it spotless.  Not just picked up and neat, but pristine. To get top dollar, it really should be so sparkling clean that there is no evidence that human beings live there. We’re talking no dishes in the sink, no toothbrush on the bathroom counter, no hair in the bathtub, no spots on the mirrors and no clutter on your counters. You want to be thinking  “model home” as that is the mindset of many home buyers.

Ugly Truth #2 - Your Home’s Exterior Needs to Be as Beautiful As The Interior.
 What does that mean? The lawn should be mowed, edged and green.  There should be no weeds, no leaves, no spider webs or clogged gutters. Your home needs to have great curb appeal. It needs to look like a dream for your buyers!

Ugly Truth #3 - You must leave when you have showings. Not only must you leave, but your animals must leave too. Many people are cat lovers but 9 out of 10 people do not want to see a litter box in your home when they come to see it. I can only count on one hand the number of people that were excited to see a litter box in a home when I showed it to them. And Killer, your chihuahua, has got to go too. Buyers may be dog lovers, but they do not want to smell dog when they come into your home and they do not want to have to avoid landmines (dog poop) in your yard. Plus, some people are legitimately afraid of dogs. Even if they hear the barking of a dog before they enter, they may choose to bypass your home. If they don’t tour your home, they aren’t going to buy it, right? So when you have a showing you, your spouse, your kids and your animals need to pack yourselves into your Honda Odyssey and make yourself scarce while your home is being shown. Also, as we’ve suggested before, make sure you have a couple of storage bins that you can toss toys, dishes, and everything else into so that the home is ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Ugly Truth #4 - You may get a ludicrous offer
. The buyer will ask for crazy things, like for you to pay all of their closing costs, or for you to leave your brand new refrigerator and patio set. They may ask for you to leave your cherry '65 Mustang or your two Alaskan Malamutes.  What are the buyers thinking? You are selling your HOUSE, not your entire life! But understand this, no matter how ridiculous an offer is, or even lowball it is, you should never reject it.  Yes, that is right, you should ALWAYS counter it. The reason is that even if you counter back at full price you still have an offer in hand.  This could be just the thing to bring in other interested buyers into the mix. 

So, after hearing about some of the ugly truths about the challenges of having your home on the market you might be thinking why would anyone ever want to sell? Well, it might be because you want, or need to relocate. Maybe you want, or need a larger home or to downsize. Maybe you want to be closer to your work, or closer to family. So, what’s the answer? How can we make this process easier, as stress free and as fast as possible… while still getting the most money for your house?  Let's cover the beautiful ways to make your home sell more quickly.

Before your home goes on the market do the following;

Beautiful Way #1 - Have your home professionally staged. Hire a professional stager.  Put away all of your clutter. Pack up half of your stuff and store it in the garage or even better a storage facility. Make sure closets aren’t full and messy and your bedrooms don’t feel crowded. De-personalize your home with things like family photos that often make it impossible for a buyer to imagine the home as theirs.

Beautiful Way #2 - Make sure your listing photos are remarkable. A professional photographer, with professional pictures are a necessity. 98% of buyers will use photos to decide if they want to see your home in person. You would be surprised by some of the photos agents put on the MLS of homes. It is downright scary. Sometimes they take photos of the commode or
Beautiful Way #3 -  Price your home reasonably.
People will pass over your home if it is over priced. Buyers don’t like to deal with irrational sellers, so be sensible from the beginning. Don’t dig your feet in during negotiations. Go for the win/win. Make sure there is a strategy for pricing your home.  The list price should be supported with recent comparable sales and with market knowledge. There is no problem going for maximum price on your home as long as there is an agreement to lower the price quickly if there are few showings and no offers.

While you’re on the market do the following;

Beautiful Way #4 - Make your home as available as possible - Real estate agents might not be able to give you 24 hours notice. Sometimes buyers don’t give realtors much lead time for touring homes they want to see. Sometimes they will just be driving the neighborhood and will call from us from your driveway. In fact, there are new apps like the ShowMe App and Umzie that offer home shoppers an opportunity to contact an agent to show your home within 15 minutes or 20 minutes. So, make your home ready to show at all times.  Try to avoid not making your listing “appointment only.”  Allow your agent to install a sign and a lockbox. Make it as easy as humanly possible for your home to be shown.

Beautiful Way #5 - Make your home very cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Your home should be inviting when a buyer walks in. I can't tell you how many times I have walked into a home and the home was chillier inside than outside because the seller refused to heat the home during the winter.  Or, it was like walking into a dry sauna in the summer because the seller refused to keep the home cool.  Make sure you home feels good, smells good, and is as enjoyable as possible for the buyers while they are in your home. And believe me, the longer a buyer stays in your home the better.

After you’ve accepted an offer do the following;

Beautiful Way #6  - Expect to make repairs to your house - Most of the time a home inspection will be done and there are always some issues. This is also where a skilled realtor can help you negotiate.  If your home has multiple offers you have leverage here. If your home doesn’t have more than one offer, you may have to make some repairs. Make sure you understand this before you accept an offer.

Beautiful Way #7 - Pack up, move out, and leave a clean home for the new owners…by the closing day. Leave your extra keys, garage remotes, mailbox location and keys, warranties, and any “good to know” info for the new owners. Leave a positive wake. Then, you can move on to your next home knowing you just completed an amazing win/win sale!

We're here to help—if you want agents that will take care of you and treat you right please give us a call at 916-838-8745 or find The Real Estate Report with Brent Gove and Robert Lewis on Facebook and message us.  Or, go to the website