Strategies for a Successful Home Sale

As nerve-wracking as buying a home can be, selling can be even more stressful, especially for first-time home sellers. So much has to be considered while going through this process. Believe me, I get it. Let’s take a look at a few pearls that contribute to a smooth and successful experience.

1. Find a Top Real Estate Agent

While this seems obvious, it’s important to find a suitable agent who understands the real estate market in your neighborhood. Agents do the heavy lifting and end up saving you a lot of time, energy, and stress. Often their recommendations can lead to a higher sales price. They handle difficult negotiations, reduce fiscal and legal liability, and help sell your home faster, which ends up justifying the investment. When an agent is familiar with an area, as I am with RVA, they know the best time to put your home on the market. While spring is traditionally the most popular, in Richmond we’ve been seeing another uptick in fall in recent years too. When to sell also depends on the weather, your community, development going on nearby, and the state of the market. An agent will also help you price your home accurately by analyzing comparable sales and preparing an estimate of value.

2. It’s All About Home Staging

A big mistake that first-time home sellers often make is not getting their homes show-ready before it’s listed for sale. Here are some low-cost home improvements to consider making before selling your home:

  • • Replace outdated light fixtures
  • • Repaint rooms with neutral colors and remove wallpaper
  • • Replace outdated hardware on cabinets
  • • Professionally clean floors and/or carpeting

Let’s talk about the interior. Home staging will become your best friend. Homes tend to show better with some of the original furniture removed so it’s easy for people to walk around. Move furniture away from the walls. Use the sofa and chairs to create a conversation area. If you have a lot of family photos, take them down. This will help potential buyers see the home as a clean slate and envision their lives there. Remove or open window covers; don’t hide such a critical selling feature! And, of course, freshly cut flowers and indoor potted plants never fail to keep a home looking and smelling fresh.

3. Up the Curb Appeal

As for the exterior, it’s important that your home be memorable. Power wash the siding and keep the windows spotless. Apply a fresh coat of paint on the gables, as well as the window and door frames, maybe including a bright pop of color on the front door. During the warmer months, mow the lawn, clean up debris, and add flower pots. In the winter, make sure to clear snow and ice from the walkways and lay down salt.

4. Get a Home Inspection

There is a high chance that the buyer will have a home inspection done, so it will save time and stress to have one done before you put your house on the market. If an inspector finds an issue after you put the house on the market, potential buyers might be scared off. Beat them to the punch by getting an inspection done early. This will allow you plenty of time to make any necessary corrections. As an added bonus, sharing your inspection report and/or the repairs you’ve already made can go a long way toward developing trust between you and the buyer.

5. Home Showings and Open Houses

It may feel strange at first to have strangers roaming your house, but home showings allow a potential buyer and her/his agent to tour the house in peace. Leave the house when they arrive so it won’t seem that you’re lurking. An open house may not be the best option for every house on the market. They work best when the house is near a busy street or in a particularly hot area. Open houses draw people in from the street and encourage exploration of the house. It’s possible for someone who wasn’t in the market to see your house and fall in love. Ask your agent if she advises an open house. If so, go out and enjoy yourself for a few hours but keep your phone nearby for any questions that might pop up from prospective buyers. It’s best to provide as much information as possible while they’re still in the house.

House keychain hanging from a key in the door

6. Price Your Home Correctly

It’s critical to price your house correctly in order to attract the maximum number of potential buyers. Overpricing your house can lead to it sitting on the market for longer than necessary. Once this happens, the offers you get will probably be below the list price because buyers will assume that the seller will be motivated to sell. Be wary of reducing your house’s price, as price reductions can take three times as long to sell compared to houses without reductions. On the other hand, if your house is underpriced, you risk losing thousands of dollars on one of your biggest investments. Your real estate agent will help to price your home to best match the market.

I’d love to help you find your dream home or good investment property in RVA. Visit my website at http://www.michellerosmanrealtor.com to learn more about my background. And check out my Facebook page and new Instagram business account for more information on Richmond current events and the scoop on the local real estate landscape.

-Michelle

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