Now that Spring is here, the busy home selling season is upon us. Are you thinking about putting your house on the market? If you are ready to make the leap, there are several smart steps you can take to save a significant amount of money, time, and hassle.
Since we’ve found that almost every single home seller we’ve worked with is looking to maximize profits, sell in the quickest timeframe possible and have someone else manage and overlook the many details of a home sale transaction, keep reading to learn what smart sellers know. And don’t forget to contact us if you’re thinking of selling your home.
1. Spruce It Up
If you’ve been in your house for a while, there are likely a few little things (and maybe some bigger ones, too) that need fixing. If you’re not handy, hire a local repair person to tackle these tasks. Every light fixture and outlet should work, faucets shouldn’t drip or squeak, doors should open and close easily, and locks should fasten and open with keys without issue. Broken items should be repaired, replaced, or removed. Anything that you’ve created a “work-around” for should be remedied before the home goes up for sale.
2. Scour and Scrub
Get your house shiny and clean, shimmering and glimmering for everyone who walks through your front door. Before that “For Sale” sign goes up, you (or someone you hire) should be deep cleaning your house so that it looks stellar the moment that first potential buyer arrives at your doorstep. Clear out cabinets and closets, drawers and cubbies, nooks and crannies of excess clutter. Clean every space, including corners, windows, fixtures and more. Get ready to show your house, not your dust or your stuff!
3. Stage It
After all is clean and fixed, it’s time to stage and sell. This is where you – or hired professionals – create welcoming vignettes in each room, enticing buyers to linger and get excited about your home, creating a vision for buyers so they can imagine themselves living comfortably and happily there. Less is often more, so don’t be surprised if a stager only uses half of your furniture and requests that you put the other half in storage!
4. Start the Clock
Figure out your timeline and constraints for your home sale. If you need to stay in your house until a specific date, convey that information to us immediately. We will work with your timeline to have the buyers accept your limitations while still remaining flexible to accommodate offers and varied schedules of would-be buyers.
5. Smart Pricing
Price is paramount. A real estate professional – like us – can advise you on the value of your home. To support your home’s listing price, we’ll compare recent sales, examine current inventory, determine the condition of your home, check out your home’s amenities, and then arrive at a price that is likely to entice buyers to buy your home in the quickest amount of time, and for the highest price.
6. Secure a Professional
Before you make a move to sell, you need to secure the services of a real estate professional. We can help you before listing to explain what fix-ups make sense, what amenities buyers are looking for in our market and how to price to sell. During the time the house is for sale, we can provide feedback from all buyer visits to your home, evaluate all purchase offers and negotiate for the best price and terms. After the sale we’re here to help you find a new home. And, if you’re moving further than our area, our referral network is available to assist you no matter where you next choose to put down roots.
If you keep records, schedule appointments and carry on other such activities from your home office, some common home-office expenses, such as utilities, insurance, repairs, cleaning and depreciation, may qualify for a deduction, even if you do the actual work in another location. Be aware, however, any depreciation claimed after May 6th, 1997, will be taxed at 25% if the residence is sold for a gain, whether or not the property has been converted for personal use.
There is a simplified home office deduction calculation that was introduced to bypass maintaining detailed expense records. Simply deduct $5 for every square foot of home office space is used, up to a maximum of 300 square feet or $1,500. This simplified expense is recorded on Schedule C rather than Form 8829 which allows you to separately deduct mortgage interest and real estate taxes on Schedule A.
TIP: If you (or your family) use your home office for non-business purposes, it cannot be claimed on your tax return. To claim home-office deductions, the space must be used regularly and exclusively for business purposes.
Want to attract multiple offers? Not every seller – or every property – is suited for a bidding war strategy. First, you’ll need a sought-after location, attractive schools, family-friendly amenities, and a desirable property – all of which are often beyond your control.
Here, though, are some steps that you can take that are in your control:
1. Price slightly under market. By using price trends, comparables, and perhaps a paid appraisal, we’ll help you fine-tune a price that attracts local buyers. Local data will help you arrive at the most attractive price.
2. Stage your home. Great staging means creating inviting online photos that make each room look move-in ready. Professional staging boosts curb appeal and that critical walk-through wow-factor to grab “pre-sold” buyers who liked what they saw first online.
3. Coordinate marketing. To maximize exposure during the critical first days of your listing, we’ll position your home with a crafted marketing plan that spreads the word to local brokers working with active buyers, and maximizes online and offline exposure to reach serious buyers fast.
4. Call for offers. Using our professional network of local agents, we may call for “highest and best” offers from buyers, asking them to submit final offers at their highest price. Then you can evaluate the best offer for you.
You’ve made your home a labor of love. Now is the time to get the highest price possible! Let us show you how.