The coming new year brings new beginnings and fresh opportunities. If you’re considering selling your home in this promising time, it’s essential to begin preparations now so that it can stand out in the real estate market once listed. Our guide will walk you through expert tips to prep your home for a successful sale.
Initial Consultation and Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)
The first step in your home-selling journey should be a consultation with a real estate professional. Understanding the current market landscape is crucial. A professional provides a detailed comparative market analysis (CMA), giving you a clear picture of your home’s potential in the current market. This analysis will serve as the foundation of your selling strategy. A thorough CMA includes:
- Comparable Properties: This is a list of recently sold properties that are similar to the subject property in terms of location, size, condition, and features. These are often referred to as “comps.”
- Current Market Listings: The CMA also looks at properties currently listed for sale in the area. This gives an idea of the competition and helps in understanding current market trends.
- Pending Sales: These are properties that are under contract but have not yet closed. This information can provide insights into the current demand and potential future market trends.
- Expired Listings: Listings that did not sell while they were on the market. Analyzing why these properties didn’t sell can offer valuable insights into pricing and marketing strategies.
- Property Adjustments: Adjustments may be made for differences between the subject property and the comps, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, lot size, property condition, and unique features or upgrades.
- Market Trends and Conditions: Analysis of broader market trends, such as whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market, average days on market, sale-to-list price ratios, and seasonal trends.
- Location Analysis: Evaluation of location-specific factors like school districts, neighborhood amenities, and proximity to desirable features like parks or shopping centers.
- Historical Data: Past sale prices of the subject property and comparable properties, which can provide context for how the area’s market has evolved.
- Price Per Square Foot: Comparison of the price per square foot between the subject property and comparable sales.
- Visual Data and Maps: Maps and visual data showing the location of the subject property in relation to the comps, which can highlight location desirability.
- Recommendations for Pricing and Selling: Based on the analysis, the CMA usually concludes with a recommended price range for listing the property and may include suggestions for pre-sale improvements or staging.
A well-conducted CMA provides a solid foundation for setting a competitive and realistic price for a property, tailored to the specifics of the local market and the unique characteristics of the property itself.
Creating a Game Plan for Listing
Every home is unique, and so is every selling journey. Your real estate agent specializes in creating a personalized game plan for your listing. They will help you pinpoint the ideal time to list your home, considering both market conditions and your personal timeline. They will then help you understand what you can do to maximize the value of your home and provide guidance on how to prep your space for listing day.
Preparing Your Home
Repairs and Upgrades
- Energy Efficiency: Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances or adding smart home features can be a selling point, especially among environmentally conscious buyers.
- Fix the Basics: Address all minor repairs such as leaky faucets, squeaky doors, or chipped paint. These small fixes can make a big difference in the overall appeal.
- Consider Cosmetic Upgrades: Evaluate if certain key areas like the kitchen or bathroom could benefit from cosmetic upgrades. Simple changes like new cabinet handles, modern light fixtures, or a fresh coat of paint can be cost-effective yet impactful. Things like a kitchen upgrade can have a 67% return on investment. (Architectural Digest)
- Landscaping: Keep your lawn manicured and add some fresh mulch to garden beds. Consider planting seasonal flowers for a pop of color.
- Exterior Maintenance: Clean your home’s exterior, including windows, gutters, and siding. A well-maintained exterior suggests a well-maintained interior. Have your roof inspected and repaired to avoid costly issues during the sale – a new roof, along with a new garage door, can have a 100% return on investment. (Architectural Digest)
- Welcoming Entryway: Make the entryway inviting with a clean doormat, potted plants, and a fresh coat of paint on the front door if needed.
- Clutter-Free Spaces: Start by removing excess items from all areas of your home. This includes clearing off countertops, thinning out crowded bookshelves, and minimizing personal items like family photos and keepsakes. The goal is to create a spacious and inviting environment that buyers can picture themselves living in.
- Storage Solutions: Use storage solutions smartly. Organize closets and cabinets as potential buyers often look inside. A tidy and well-organized space can leave a positive impression.
- Safety: Ensuring that areas are clutter-free enhances the safety of your home. Having everything neatly organized and tucked away reduces tripping hazards. If you’re living in the home while showing it and space is limited, getting a storage space for a brief time can give you a safe place to store the items.
- Deep Clean: Consider a professional deep cleaning service before you begin welcoming potential buyers. A spotless home makes a strong impression.
- Neutralize Odors: Remove sources of bad odor and consider subtle air fresheners. Avoid strong scents as they can be off-putting to some people.
Marketing Your Home
With your home now meticulously prepared for the market – decluttered, repaired, and deep cleaned – the next pivotal phase begins: marketing your property and navigating the period it is listed. This is where your partnership with your real estate agent becomes even more instrumental. You and your agent will develop a customized marketing plan. This strategy should reflect your home’s unique features and align with current market trends. Essential pieces of this plan will include how to showcase your home in the best possible light, including:
- Room Purpose: Ensure each room has a clear purpose. If you’ve been using a spare bedroom as storage, consider setting it up as a guest room or office.
- Furniture Layout: Arrange furniture to maximize space and flow. Remove oversized or excess furniture that makes spaces feel cramped. If the home will be empty during the sale, consider hiring a staging company to furnish the home and create a warm and inviting space. Professionally staged homes sell for an average of $40,000 over the list price, based on a 2021 market survey. (RESA)
- Neutral Decor: Opt for neutral colors and simple decor to appeal to a wide range of buyers. Bright, bold colors might distract or deter potential buyers.
- Professional Photography: Hire a Professional: Professional photographers understand how to make spaces look inviting and spacious. Their skills can significantly enhance the appeal of your listing.
- Prepare for the Shoot: Ensure your home is clean, well-lit, and staged before the photography session. Open curtains to let in natural light and turn on all indoor lights to create a bright, welcoming atmosphere.
Navigating The Listing Period
Selling a home is a dynamic process, and the period your home is listed is critical. By working closely with your real estate agent to craft and execute a robust marketing strategy, and by staying adaptable and responsive throughout the listing period, you can navigate this phase effectively, increasing your chances of a successful and satisfactory sale.
- Maintaining Your Home’s Appeal: Keep your home in show-ready condition. This means regular cleaning, tidying, and ensuring that any temporary issues (like pet odors or clutter) are promptly addressed.
- Flexibility with Showings: Be as flexible as possible with showing times. The more accessible your home is to potential buyers, the higher the chances of receiving offers.
- Receiving Feedback: Your agent will gather feedback from showings and open houses. Be open to this feedback as it can provide valuable insights into the buyers’ perspectives and suggest potential areas for improvement.
- Adjusting Strategy if Needed: If the market responds differently than expected, be prepared to adjust your strategy. This could involve tweaking your asking price, enhancing your marketing materials, or making additional minor improvements to your home.
- Communicating Regularly with Your Agent: Maintain regular communication with your agent throughout the listing period. They will keep you updated on the market’s response, potential buyer interest, and any necessary strategy adjustments.
Selling your home is a significant decision, and early preparation is key. By partnering with an expert real estate professional, like John Farley, you gain not just a realtor but a strategic partner in your home-selling journey. Contact John today to start crafting your personalized roadmap to a successful sale.