Selling a house can be an emotional experience as you say goodbye to a place you have called home, especially if you have many good memories there. Therefore, there are some things you need to know to ensure that your interests are protected and your emotions don’t impede your decision-making.
1. Price it Right to Begin With
getting home ready for saleHow many houses have you driven by with a “Reduced” sign slapped over the For Sale Sign. The best approach is to start out with the right price – a price 5% to 10% less than what your house is valued, which attracts hordes of buyers. A bidding war will ensues, driving the price over what it’s worth, which means more money in your parent’s pocket. It’s a risk all too many sellers aren’t willing to take, but right now, it’s your best strategy.
2. Create the Illusion of Storage Space
We all want more space because no matter how many times we declutter and throw things away, we end up with more ‘stuff’. Buyers look for big closets, expansive attics and more cabinet space. To create the appearance of more space, pack away half the items in closes, shelves and cabinets, and then tidy the remaining contents.
3. Stage to Impress
Rearrange furniture to make the rooms look larger, pack away personal affects, add fresh flowers and candles, repaint walls in a neutral color, etc. And it’s important to have the staging complete just before you list online, where 90% of buyers look first, according to Realtor.com.
4. Let there Be Light
Buyers want lots of light – natural or otherwise. It makes a room seem more open and airy. Make sure all the light bulbs throughout your house are working, dust lamp shades – replace them if they’re dense and dark. Remove curtains, wash windows and keep window blinds open. If you have trees or shrubs obstructing windows, trim them back.
5. Find the Right Agent
You want someone experienced, especially experienced in your particular neighborhood. Select an agent that uses all the social media and technical tools of the trade to help get the most exposure for your parent’s house. Your Next Move specializes in senior relocation and transition and matches you with two Realtors in your area who will provide you with a price opinion on your help, then review the price options with you to help you select the agent who best suits your needs.
6. Contain Your Pets
No, not everyone is love with your Fido. Not to mention, some folks are extremely allergic to pet dander. Don’t give potential buyers the impression that you’re operating a kennel in your home. Scoop out the liter box, put away the dog food and make arrangements for your animals, or take them with you, before a showing. If you can’t take them away from the house, contain them somewhere on the property and be sure and let your agent know.
7. Don’t Overdo the Upgrades
Minor fixes and repairs are essential to getting a good price for your parent’s home, but it’s not advisable to take on a major renovation project – you most likely won’t get your money back out of it. Instead concentrate on the things that do make a difference and don’t strain the pocket book like a fresh coat of neutral paint throughout, fix leaky faucets, faulty appliances, holes in walls, broken door handles or fixtures, etc.
8. Remove Your Personality
It’s difficult for a potential home buyer to visualize living in a space if the walls are covered with wedding photos, children’s school pictures and framed baseball card collection. Pack away about one-third of your personal items, so the house isn’t completely bare, so buyers can see themselves in your parent’s home.
9. Update a Kitchen
If one room in the house deserves an update, it’s the kitchen. In fact, it’s the one remodel project where you could get as much as 85% of your investment back when the house is sold. You can upgrade old countertops for an instance refresh. The easiest, least expensive way to update a kitchen is new paint, cabinet hardware and fixtures.
10. Keep the House Show-Ready at all Times
Your agent could contact you at the drop of a hat to let you know she’s bringing a potential buyer over in 20 minutes. So you aren’t running around like a crazy person tidying and decluttering, keep the house show-ready at all times.