Pam Gentile's Blog
Although your real estate agent will do the lion's share of the work involved in selling your home, there are several things you, the homeowner, can do to help move things along.
By making sure your home is always ready to be shown at a moments notice to prospective buyers, you will be helping to "tip the scales" in the direction of a faster sale. Since making a great first impression is crucial to the sales process, it's important that your home always looks its best -- both inside and out. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you decide to put your home on the market.
Order versus chaos: Every time your real estate agent sets up a showing of your house, it's an opportunity to attract and engage potential buyers. When your house and property look organized, clean, and well cared for, it sends a series of positive messages to prospects.
Admittedly, it can be a little bit of a hassle to keep your house looking (and smelling) immaculate all the time, but doing so can definitely work in your favor when it comes to making a great impression and getting your house sold faster.
To the extent that it's possible, try to eliminate or significantly reduce anything that could be described as "clutter." Clutter can include anything from excessive furniture and wall hangings to knick-knacks on your shelves and too many containers on kitchen countertops.
The ultimate effect you want to achieve is one of spaciousness, tastefulness, and organization. Anything which detracts from those desirable qualities could potentially work against you. As the classic 1980s TV commercial for a well-known dandruff shampoo reminds us: "You never get a second chance to make a first impression!"
Remember curb appeal: Actually the real first impression happens before prospective buyers even enter your home or step on your property. In many cases, it occurs before they even get out of their cars!
Making sure your house and property look as impeccable as possible from the street can help attract potential buyers and put them in a more receptive state of mind. Maintaining a manicured, clutter-free lawn, highlighted by a few splashes of floral color, can be an effective way to create eye-appeal and make a positive first impression.
One thing home sellers are either unaware of or forget about is the fact that prospective buyers sometimes do a preliminary "drive by" before picking up the phone and calling your (or their) real estate agent to schedule a showing. If they do not like what they see from their car, they probably are not going to take the next step and arrange a full tour of your home.
When you come to the realization that every person who drives by or visits your home is a potential buyer, you'll be more motivated to take care of the many details that either attract of send away prospective buyers.
The home selling journey sometimes is filled with hurdles that make it tough for an individual to optimize his or her property sale earnings. Fortunately, there are several shortcuts that a home seller can take to boost the likelihood of enjoying a profitable property selling experience. These shortcuts include:
1. Hire a Home Cleaning Company
A home cleaning company can help you transform your house's interior from drab to fab. That way, this company can help you clean your home from top to bottom and ensure buyers can fall in love with your residence as soon as they walk through the front door.
Of course, not all home cleaning companies are created equal, so you'll want to research local options. If you allocate time and resources to assess the home cleaning companies in your area, you can find a business that provides quality services at a budget-friendly price.
2. Employ a Professional Landscaper
If your lawn is filled with high grass and weeds, it may be tough to alleviate these issues on your own. Thankfully, professional landscapers are available in cities and towns nationwide. With a professional landscaper at your side, you can get the help you need to bolster your house's curb appeal.
Remember, your home only gets one chance to make a positive first impression on prospective buyers. If you hire a professional landscaper to mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform other lawn care tasks, you can quickly and effortlessly improve your residence's curb appeal. And as a result, your home will make a distinct impression on prospective buyers, which may lead to a fast, profitable home sale down the line.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of selling a home and is happy to share his or her housing market expertise with you. By doing so, a real estate agent will help you enjoy a seamless property selling experience.
Typically, a real estate agent will learn about you and your home selling goals and craft a personalized property selling strategy for you. A real estate agent next will promote your residence to buyers, along with host home showings and open house events. Then, if a buyer submits an offer to purchase your residence, a real estate agent will help you analyze this proposal and determine how to proceed.
Let's not forget about the comprehensive support that a real estate agent provides throughout the home selling journey, either. If you ever have concerns at any point during the home selling journey, a real estate agent is available to respond to them. He or she will help you make informed home selling decisions, and ultimately, achieve your desired results.
For home sellers who want to remove the guesswork commonly associated with the property selling journey, there is no need to worry. By using the aforementioned shortcuts, a home seller can streamline the process of selling his or her house.
If you plan to sell your house in the near future, now may be a great time to host a garage sale. That way, you can get rid of excess items, declutter your house and earn extra cash at the same time.
Ultimately, hosting a successful garage sale can be easy – here are three best practices to help you get ready for a garage sale.
1. Organize Your Inventory
A garage sale provides an excellent opportunity to sell a broad range of items – everything from kitchen appliances to gym equipment. As such, you'll want to sort through your belongings and separate must-keep items from those you can live without.
Organize belongings based on where they go in a home – you'll be glad you did. This will enable you to plan ahead for how you'll showcase various items during your garage sale.
Moreover, if you find some items are no longer usable, you should get rid of them altogether. Dispose of any damaged items, and you can immediately remove clutter from your residence.
2. Price Your Items Competitively
One person's junk is another person's treasure, and if you understand the true value of your belongings, you'll be able to price them competitively during a garage sale.
If you plan to sell electronics, jewelry or other high-end items at your garage sale, it often pays to perform research to learn about the true value of these items. Performing an online search of an item will help you see how various sellers around the globe are pricing the same item. Or, you can always contact local retailers directly for expert pricing insights as well.
In addition, consider the age and condition of an item before you price it. If an item looks brand new and performs great, you may be able to earn a significant profit from it. On the other hand, if an item shows signs of aging, you may want to lower your pricing expectations.
3. Promote Your Garage Sale to the Right Audience
Create flyers that you can post around your neighborhood to promote your garage sale. These flyers should include information about the date, time and location of your garage sale, thereby making it easy for those who see the flyers to find your event.
Don't forget to post details about your garage sale online too. Share information about your garage sale with family members and friends on social networks, and you should no trouble stirring up plenty of interest in your event.
Lastly, if you're planning to sell your house and need help getting your residence show-ready, you may want to consult with a real estate agent.
A real estate agent can offer expert tips to help you declutter your residence and ensure that your house is an attractive option to homebuyers. Furthermore, a real estate agent may even be able to help you prep for a garage sale, increasing the likelihood that you can make this event an instant success.
Putting your home up for sale can elicit a myriad of emotions from you and your spouse -- everything from excitement and anticipation to fear and sadness. It's only natural to feel a mixture of emotions, especially if your home represents years of memories, countless milestones, and stages of family growth.
A cautionary note to keep in mind is that it's easy to get caught up in emotion-based decisions that could derail your chances for making a fast sale.
A primary example would be pricing your home higher than it might actually be worth. Despite the fact that you've experienced great family memories there and spent tens of thousands of dollars to maintain, upgrade, and beautify your home, those factors usually do not translate into a sale price that exceeds the property's appraised value. Your perspective, which may be based on subjective criteria, such as all the "blood, sweat, and tears" you put into your house -- not to mention the "TLC" that went into it -- does not hold water in the minds of would-be buyers.
What Does Determine a Home's Value?
The unvarnished truth is that the value of your home is mostly based on prevailing market conditions, the price at which comparable homes in your neighborhood recently sold, and what the market will bear. Effectively setting a price that will bring in the most money without driving away qualified and otherwise-interested buyers is a delicate balance. The homeowner rarely has the objectivity or the specialized knowledge to accurately set the right price. That's where real estate agents comes in, and why it's advisable to sell your home through a licensed agent, rather than attempting a "For Sale By Owner" approach.
Minimizing Bumps in the Road
A good real estate agent will work on your behalf to effectively market your home, collaborate with other agents in the area to schedule showings and spread the word about your listing, and advise you on ways to improve both the curb appeal of your home and its interior appearance. Your agent can also provide indispensable negotiating help, as well as guidance about seller disclosure requirements and other government regulations.
The bottom line is that real estate agents are well-versed in the intricate process of listing, marketing, and selling residential property. Since there are a lot of forms to sign, deadlines to meet, agreements to reach, and formalities to handle, those are among the many sound reasons to enlist the help of a professional.
Although the process of selling a residential property often involves delays, setbacks, and obstacles, most real estate agents are quite adept at solving problems and getting past difficulties. In addition to the marketing, networking, and strategizing they're doing on your behalf, a good agent can also be counted on to provide you with regular progress reports and boost your spirits when you're feeling discouraged.
If you’re a health nut, where you live may be a big factor for you. The neighborhood that you choose could have some impact on your health and lifestyle choices. Your neighborhood will need the amenities that you crave like places for exercise, access to healthy food, and sidewalks for walking. These aspects also add to the community sense that you feel within the neighborhood. Children’s parks, people who go on frequent strolls, and a sense of people spending time outside often are all signs of a “healthy” neighborhood. Below, we’ll delve into these key factors.
Sidewalks And Bike Trails
Being able to do daily errands on foot along with access to easy outdoor exercise is important to a healthy lifestyle. These amenities provide safety and the ability to access what you need without a car. You can even find public transportation easier to get to and from. As a bonus, you’ll be doing something good for the environment, saving gas and staying out of traffic.
Nature Is Abundant
Don’t underestimate how much healthier being around nature can make you feel. From lush trees, to parks, gardens, hiking trails, even golf courses all provide access to active activities and natural beauty. Even community gardens are a part of nature that can be good for your health. Having the opportunity to grow or even be around the inspiration of people growing and caring for their own food sources is good for you. The more access you have to nature in the place that you’re living, the healthier that you’ll be.
Check Out The Social Scene
Sometimes you can get a sense of a neighborhood just by observing it. Are people making connections and out and about together, or do people seem to go off more on their own? Socializing is an important part of health and well-being. Some signs of socially friendly neighborhoods:
- People are out walking their dogs, chatting
- Neighbors are out together gathering in a front yard
Gyms And Healthy Food Are Readily Available
Do you see your favorite organic grocery store nearby? Having access to the type and quality of food you crave is important. Maybe there is an abundance of vegetarian and vegan restaurant options nearby. For those days that a workout outside just won’t do, having a gym close by is also a sign of a healthy neighborhood.
Check Out The Traffic
A neighborhood can have all of the above, yet if it has a lot of traffic, you could have a huge issue. Lots of traffic brings two different kinds of pollution- noise and air. Not having access to quiet spaces can often increase stress levels. If you have allergies or asthma, being around a lot of traffic pollution may not help your condition much either. While traffic seems like a small detail, it’s something to consider when you’re looking for a healthy neighborhood.