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Help me sell my house
Are you getting your home ready to add to the MLS list of local homes for sale in Roseville CA or the surrounding Sacramento area. Have you started asking yourself, “who can I call to help me sell my house for a great price?” Perhaps you are wondering, “How can I sell my home fast?”
House selling tips
Of course, there are no guarantees in life for how fast you can sell your home at a good price but there are proactive steps you can take to help you do just that.
1. Start with a licensed REALTOR!
Real estate agents have access to the MLS where local homes for sale are added to it every day. There are over 3000 real estate agents in Placer County alone, many of whom are checking the MLS daily to find just the right home for their current clients. Homeowners selling their homes as “for sale by owner,” also known as FSBO homes, have far fewer eyes on their properties than home sellers using our professional resources and services.
You also would be wise to pick an agent with a website that offers an MLS home search. That can be another great way of sharing information about your home for sale. Not to mention an agent who is tech-savvy, has a free mobile app to attract more home buyers, and will blog about it as well as sharing it on various social media sites. (YES! I do all of that – above and below 😉 )
Plus you want a REALTOR who will also:
- hold open houses for your MLS listed home (if you are comfortable with that)
- take flyers around to neighbors near and far to help spread the word
- help you with staging your home
- provide you with high-quality well-lit photos of your home – inside and out VITAL!
- create your home flyer for online and offline sharing
- and more!
In fact, it can be wise to talk to your real estate agent even before you are ready so you can discuss needed repairs, upgrades, staging ideas as well as providing you with your area market analysis to help you with pricing. That will be a big help when you get to #2.
2. Prep your home-Cleaning & pre-staging
Clean, organize, declutter and de-personalize. This is crucial for preparing to sell the house. Also, as much as we love our beloved pets, include their toys and other items in this right along with any kids' toys. The goal is to make the house look as much like one of those cool new model houses for sale as possible with as little of your family's personality showing as you can. That way, home buyers can walk in and easily envision themselves in your house, becoming emotionally attached and ready, willing and maybe even panting to make you a great offer. That's especially important now as there are hints that our seller's market may be stalling a bit. That makes it vital for you to make your home for sale in the local area look GREAT.
3. Prepare your home – Repairs
Walk through your home with an eagle eye. A scratch here, a scrape there – tidy it up with a touch of paint. Or if it has been a while, perhaps repaint the whole house in and out. Check out the flooring. Studies have proven that homes for sale with a new, inexpensive carpet will have much better results than washing the current carpet and offering an allowance for the buyers to purchase their own in the colors they'd prefer. Crazy as it sounds, it really is true. (I know, I'd rather pick my own carpeting too! But I actually proved this out with one of MY own houses for sale, so I had to quit arguing about it. 🙂 ) Many home sellers will have a home inspector and pest inspector come to help them determine what items need to be repaired and get that out of the way before they even put their home on the market. That can definitely boost your sales potential!
4. Stage your home
Staging your home can run the gamut from simple DIY touches to ultra-fancy (and ultra-expensive). I have two Pinterest boards on this topic to help you – Budget-friendly DIY ideas and Home Staging is Grand. This is the time to triple-check that each room looks as spacious as possible. If, after cleaning and weeding, you still have a lot of furniture and family items, it may be a good idea to borrow someone's garage or rent a storage unit for a few months. (You can often get great deals on storage unit rentals for the first few months!)
Walk through each room, and remove any items you can live without. Extra chairs, footstools, other furniture, etc. Check the walls. A few non-personal pictures/decor can be great. But only a few per room. While looking through several pages of homes that had expired without selling, I was reminded of that rule big time. One house was absolutely beautiful. BUT there were non-personal items to the max on all the walls, shelves, fireplace mantel, etc. When I first took a quick glance, I thought it was just a really messy house. Then I looked closer and realized they were actually lovely decorator items. There were so many, though, it just made it hard to see the room. Even though it wasn't anything personal, the seller's taste was really “loud.” Again, you want home buyers to come into a room with a minimum of decor, just enough to see what the room is for. Then they can start picturing where their items will go. Also, ask your real estate agent for ideas and tell them to be totally honest. Yes, sometimes the truth may sting. But having your house sit on the market for months or expire hurts a lot more.
If you are wondering about holiday decor, yes, that can be a good idea. But again, in very small doses. A small tree here, a cute pumpkin there, a lovely flag flying. Simple, tasteful home decor that won't cause buyers to feel overwhelmed (so maybe skip the haunted house this year? 😉 )
5. Make your home extra attractive for showing
I know that having people come by with little or no notice is not easy. And if you have elderly parents living with you who have health issues, or small kids who need naps, you will probably need to schedule times the home for sale can be shown. But the more it is available, the more people will see it and the more likely it is that you will be happily proclaiming, “YES! We did sell my house!”
It's always best to leave the home if you know home buyers are coming to see it. Be sure to tidy up and, if at all possible, pack the pets up along with your kids, parents, and anyone else. Again, that leaves the prospective buyers able to picture themselves in your home which can lead to a lovely offer.
Be sure to have your home clean and tidy each day. Check the scents in your home as well. Ask a friend or your REALTOR for their honest opinion. As much as I love my granddogs, sometimes they can smell like, “I need a bath.” You want to be sure the whole house doesn't smell like that! (Nope, theirs do not. 😉 ).
You have to be prepared every day, throughout the day, as you never know when buyers will decide to come. And be warned, even if you put specific showing times into the MLS, an occasional agent might show up unannounced and without an appointment. We did this a couple of times when looking at a home for sale with an agent helping us buy a new home. I felt so guilty, I must say. I had no idea what the seller's request was in the MLS until we got there. So even if that happens, stay cool, calm and collected. Smile a lot and pop outside, if you can, while the buyers look at your home. If you absolutely cannot leave due to a sick child or other issue, relax in one room with all your family and pets and smile sweetly. You never know, they might be just the home buyers who will buy your home OR they might mention it to someone else who might buy it OR the agent might recommend it to another of his clients or a fellow agent. 😉 You just never know.
6. Share your house for sale-including online
Tell everyone you know about your home for sale. Get a photo of the flyer your agent makes for you and share that on social media. Give regular “sell my house” news updates on how it is going. When your REALTOR shares something about it on social media, make sure you “like it” and re-share that as well. Word of mouth is vital. And friends will often share your info more broadly – getting still more eyes on it!
7. Make buying YOUR home extra attractive
Whether your home is priced for first time buyers, move up buyers, etc., buying a house is expensive. And most people are on a budget, some tighter than others. So be willing to be creative to help home buyers who are interested in your house. Be open to all types of loans, even if some are a bit pickier or a bit slower, like FHA and VA. Be sure your local real estate agent puts that in the MLS. I always check on whether a home can go FHA or VA for my home buyers who will be going that route, even if it isn't listed in the MLS. But not all buyers' agents may think to do that. So if they don't see it offered, they might not come see your home!
Another great way to make your house extra attractive is to offer a 1 year home service warranty. That can help many people – teetering between your home and one that is a bit less expensive – to choose YOURS.
Put these plans to work NOW so you can say “I DID sell my house!”
Right now, we are in a seller's market. That could be changing. Even if it doesn't, not all houses sell right away, or at all. In the past year, Placer and Sacramento Counties combined had almost 2000 home listings expire. Many probably re-listed and then sold. Many others never did.
These recommendations aren't guarantees. But they are good, solid proactive plans to help your house NOT be one those homes for sale that turned into expired listings. Instead, my goal for you – as with all my real estate clients – is for you to happily start sharing that “We did sell my house! And I can't WAIT to move into my lovely new home!”
P.S. Are you ready to sell your house? Give me a call at 916-768-0127 or email us at KayeSwainRealEstate@gmail.com. We'd love to help you with all your real estate needs!