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Mark’s Top Tips For Sellers

So you’ve made the decision…you’re ready to downsize, move to a different town or buy your dream home.  But first you have to sell the house you’re in.  It often feels like you’re at the mercy of the housing market but the truth is there are things you can do to make selling your home just a little bit easier. 

Use a Realtor – Call Mark Murakami

The housing market is cyclical and conditions can change quickly.  Interest rates, employment, new construction and political changes are all factors that can cause the market to shift quickly, so potential sellers should be prepared to act while the market is in their favour and the opportunity is good!

Education and market awareness are key, and this is where hiring a realtor comes in.  Sometimes, sellers try to sell property without hiring a real estate professional, because they believe it will save money in the long run. I firmly believe that a good realtor will save you both money and time, as well as reducing potential worry and headaches.  I am a Real Estate professional and I know the local market like the back of my hand, I know our neighbourhoods well and I’m aware of details that non-residents could overlook.  Your realtor should make sure you’re familiar with market values and recent comparable sales in your area in order to ensure you set a realistic sale price for your property.  Call me to ensure you’re getting the best representation possible.

A properly priced home will garner attention and get more activity than a home that is priced too high. Getting greedy and over inflating your asking price can result in extended days on the market, eventual price reductions, or even the loss of a prospective buyer, ultimately resulting in having to sell for a lower dollar amount than a properly priced home of equal value, or even worse, not selling at all.

A well staged home will still bring you maximum dollars, so it is worthwhile to continue to pay attention to detail and keep your property clean, tidy and looking sharp.  Don’t get lazy or complacent.  Consider a fresh coat of paint or completing any minor repairs that could be visible to potential buyers.

Improve Curb Appeal & Staging

You know what they say, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”.  Consider what a potential home buyer may think as he or she drives up to your property for the very first time.  Is your property attractive, clean, and well-kept, or is it obvious that some maintenance work is needed?   When your home is on the market, you’re competing with every other listing in your area so keeping your garden well-groomed, your property neat and tidy and your lawn mowed can give you an advantage in the eyes of potential buyers. 

If you put some time and effort (and a little bit of money where necessary) into cleaning up the outside of your home, I can guarantee that buyers will be more likely to take a tour of the inside. Remember that curb appeal is what draws buyers in, helps maintain their interest, and sets your home apart from the competition.  Of course there will be exceptions, but in general, prospective homebuyers won’t want to buy a house that looks like it needs a lot of work.

Declutter

Try to put yourself in your buyer’s shoes…what does your “stuff” look like to them?  Could it prevent a buyer from seeing what a gem your home is? The key is to simplify and neutralize your home as if it were a model home, because that’s exactly what it is while it’s on the market.  Buyers want to visualize your house being their house – and it’s difficult for them to do that with all your personal items marking the territory as yours.

Storage space is something every buyer is looking for these days. Consider removing some off season belongings from your closets/storage spaces and then neatly organize what’s left. Buyers have the right to take a look, so be sure to keep all your closets and cabinets clean and tidy. Anything that is taking up room in closet/storage space, on a counter or a table and is not being used regularly should be thrown out, donated or packed away…after all, you’re going to be moving out soon.

Don’t Ignore Necessary Repairs

In the majority of cases, your potential buyers will make their offer contingent upon a satisfactory home inspection.  Not only do lenders frequently require it, buyers also want the peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly what they’re agreeing to purchase.  That being the case, it is beneficial to you to make sure you and your home are as prepared for that inspection as possible ahead of time.

Do not try to ignore necessary repairs that could be a red flag to a home inspector or a mortgage company. These include major problems–such as an outdated electrical system or a leaky roof–as well as minor ones, such as sticky windows and leaky faucets.

If you don’t address needed repairs, you’re risking a negative impact on your sale when/if problems turn up on a home inspector’s report. Depending on the wording of your purchase/sale agreement, the buyer could require you to complete the necessary repairs within a certain period of time, request a price reduction so that they can make the necessary repairs after taking possession of the home or they could use any deficiency as a way to walk away, freeing them up to by somebody else’s home.

Be Available and Be Ready

Houses that don’t get shown don’t get sold.  Don’t make it difficult for agents to get their clients into your home – if they have to make appointments way in advance, or can only show it during a very restrictive time frame, they will likely just cross your place off the list and go show the places that are easy to get into.

Your house should be “show-ready” at all times – you never know when your buyer is going to walk through the door. You have to be available whenever a buyer wants to come see the place and it has to be in tip-top shape. Don’t leave dishes in the sink, keep the dishwasher cleaned out, the bathrooms sparkling and make sure there are no dust bunnies in the corners. It may feel inconvenient, but it will get your house sold.

If you have any questions about any of these tips, or would like to talk about your own property or your search for your next home, please contact me via phone (519-9245-2950), email (mmurakami@royallepage.ca) or through my website (www.greycountyhomes.com) or on facebook (Mark Murakami Royal LePage) and I will be happy to chat.