A Special Report from The Pujals Team, Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley
Selling a home is both exciting and stressful. It means big changes are coming in your life, exciting adventures await, or new beginnings are right around the corner. At the same time, you have to deal with strangers in your home, lots of uncertainty, and sometimes a mountain of paperwork. It’s bittersweet, to say the least.
When you’re selling your home, you obviously want to get the highest price possible. Over the years, we at The Pujals Team have helped thousands of homeowners sell their home for top dollar. Of course, every seller has the same questions: “How do I attract the best buyers who will meet and possibly even exceed my asking price?” “How do I keep my sanity during the home sale process?” and “How can I have a successful home sale?” The key is to be smart about such things as staging, listing, and pricing your home.
Whether it’s a seller’s market or a buyer’s market, and whether you need a fast sale or have plenty of time before you must move, following are our top 5 suggestions for getting the highest price for your home and having a successful home sale.
Home Sale Tip #1: Find the right agent
Having the right agent to represent you is vital. You want someone who has a track record of success, who knows the local area, who can pinpoint both the strengths and weaknesses of your home, and who believes in open communication, mutual trust, and respect. Research any agents you are thinking of working with. Meet with them before signing a listing agreement and actually interview them. Some great questions to ask include:
- How long have you been in real estate?
- How many homes do you sell each year on average?
- What is the average number of days your listed properties are on the market?
- How do you market the properties you represent?
- What is the average ratio between the listing price and the final selling price for homes you market?
- What’s the biggest value you will bring to selling my home?
Whatever you do, don’t pick a realtor just because their office is nearby, they like the same football team as you, or they are a friend of a friend. Choose someone who is looking out for you and who has proven they have the skills and know-how to get the job done.
Home Sale Tip #2: Remain objective
Selling anything, including your home, is a business transaction. Therefore, it should be treated as such and viewed from a logical business perspective, not an emotional one. Sure, you have many great memories and fond feelings of your home, but you’re not selling those. You’re selling the physical dwelling.
Some people who are very attached to their home find it necessary to take the time to say “goodbye” to their home before listing it. They may take lots of pictures of each room before doing any staging so they can always remember “the way it was.” Others actually walk from room to room with their family and talk about memories in each room before giving the room a final farewell. Do whatever you must to ensure you approach the home sale from an objective perspective.
Remaining objective will prevent you from insisting on an unrealistic selling price. It will also help you see what aspects of your home may not appeal to today’s buyers so you can update or stage your home appropriately. Finally, staying objective will keep you level-headed when negotiating.
Home Sale Tip #3: Stage the home before going on the market
Home staging is vital in order to get the most money from your home. You want your home to look updated and modern, no matter when it was built or the last time you did renovations. While there are many online resources dedicated to home staging, here are some general recommendations to keep in mind.
- Keep the walls neutral. Even though you may love bold or bright colors on the walls, buyers prefer to see spaces that are light, airy, and neutral. If your walls are painted colors like crimson red or eggplant purple, repaint them to a neutral light color, even if you think it’s boring. Living with boring walls for a few weeks will pay off big later.
- Remove personal items. Get a jump start on packing and remove all the family photos or other highly personal things, like your collection of rooster statues or your kids’ clay handprints. Also pack up the clutter and knick-knacks, keeping only a few key items to decorate shelves. You want your buyers to focus on the space and not what they perceive as clutter.
- Show off your windows. Don’t hide your windows behind heavy drapes or drawn blinds. Make sure the windows are clean and unobstructed so the natural light shines in. Buyers prefer spaces that have lots of natural light, as it makes a home feel open and inviting.
- Speaking of lighting … Whether your home feels warm and inviting or cold and unapproachable depends a lot on your home’s lighting. Make sure the lights in each room match. In other words, don’t have “soft white” bulbs in one lamp and “bright white” in another. For home staging, “warm white” or “bright white” bulbs are best because they cast a warm yet neutral glow. Also, make sure you have the appropriate wattage to adequately showcase your home; look for 750 lumens or more.
There’s no need for home staging to cost a lot of money. By simply clearing the clutter and depersonalizing your home, you can have more buyers eager to make an offer.
Home Sale Tip #4: Price the home right
When you price your home correctly from the start, you can garner multiple offers quickly. To begin, work with your Realtor and look at what has recently sold, not what is currently listed. While most sellers know the importance of looking at comparable listings, many look only at homes that are currently listed for sale. Unfortunately, this is not the best data to rely on.
A better approach is to look at what has recently sold. Why? Sold listings tell you what buyers are willing to pay in your area, while active listings, especially those that have been on the market for weeks or even months, tell you what the seller hopes to get, not necessarily what the current market will bear.
Realize that you can list your home for any price you want. But that doesn’t mean a buyer will be willing to pay that. Therefore, focusing on what has sold is most important.
Home Sale Tip #5: Manage stress
People who are overly stressed don’t always make the best decisions. Did you know that selling your home is regarded as one of the most stressful life experiences? In fact, it’s ranked right up there with divorce, bankruptcy, and even the loss of a loved one. If you think about it, it makes sense. After all, no one likes strangers roaming through their home, engaging in contracts and price negotiations, working against deadlines, or even dealing with the whole moving process in general. It’s enough to make even the calmest person feel stressed.
To keep your stress levels under control so you can think clearly and make smart decisions about any offers you receive, remember why you’re doing this. Chances are you’re moving for a reason that is important to you. What is it? Are you needing more space for a growing family? Downsizing so you can travel the world? Embarking on an exciting career in new city? Whatever your reason for selling, keep that “why” firmly in mind as you navigate stressful times. By doing so you’ll be more motivated to stay the course and in control of the process … and that will lead to more dollars in your pocket.
From “For Sale” to SOLD!
As you’re going through the home sale process, remember that your Realtor has been through hundreds if not thousands of real estate transactions. He or she has “seen it all,” and can probably offer much advice on everything from pricing and negotiations to home staging and interacting with buyers. If you have a good Realtor working for you, you’re on your way to a successful home sale.
Let us help you sell your home for top dollar. When you’re ready to make your move, contact us 707.249.0518 or firstname.lastname@example.org.