Preparing Your Home For The Market

Deciding to put your house up for sale can be a difficult decision to make. It can feel both scary and exciting. When you’re ready, investing some time to declutter and make small repairs can be beneficial and help you get your home market-ready.

All sellers want their homes to do well when it hits the market, and speaking with a professional real estate agent is the first step to getting ready. They can help you determine what exactly needs to be done before you sign a listing agreement and put that for sale sign in the yard.

To help you get ahead of the game, let’s review 5 easy ways you can prep your home when you’re getting ready to sell it.

1. Organize and Purge Your Space

Home buyers love seeing a place that shows off how much space is available in a house. Kitchens, bathrooms, and storage space are often selling points in homes, and clean, organized areas can stand out.
For example, buyers look at the following when viewing a home:

  • How big of a kitchen they’ll have to cook meals in.
  • How nice the bathroom is.
  • How much closet space they’ll have for their necessities.

These things can help a buyer decide on whether they submit an offer or choose to look at other properties.

Cleaning up and decluttering can make a huge impression on buyers. To make things easy, try starting with your closets and cabinets by getting rid of, selling, or donating items that are old, out of date, or are things that you no longer need.

The slightest improvement to these areas can help you tidy things up as well as ease any anxiety you may be feeling about putting your home on the market. From there, work outwards towards the rest of the space in your home. Aim for your living room, garage, and any open spaces where you can eliminate clutter.

During this process, it can be beneficial to invest in storage bins, baskets, or cubbies that can be easily tucked away or stacked neatly. Not only can this help make an impression on buyers, but when a professional real estate photographer comes to capture the beauty of the home it’ll show in the pictures.

One additional benefit is that decluttering can also assist you with packing when it comes time to move.

2. Identify Needed Repairs and Get Estimates for Fixing Them

Believe it or not, a fresh coat of paint doesn’t always equate to being a ‘home improvement’. In the mindset of ‘if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it’, painting isn’t always a necessity.

Depending on the current market and your specific situation, your REALTOR® may tell you not to worry about painting before listing the place. This is because many homebuyers have specific colors, shades, or hues that they’re dreaming of when they look at a home. They may paint over the colors that are currently there as soon as they close on the property, which can defeat the purpose of you putting in all of that hard work in the first place.

The best rule of thumb is that if you want to touch up some areas, that’s fine, but if it’s not desperately in need of a paint job then you can save yourself time and money.

Hinging on your time and ability to do so, making everyday or major repairs isn’t always something you need to do before selling your home. Cost-efficient and quick fixes that may benefit viewings once your home is listed include:

  • Changing out dim or dull lightbulbs
  • Pressure wash the siding of your home, garage doors, and porches
  • Patch small holes or cracks in walls and ceiling

For major repairs, you may not want to or be able to fix them right away, but you can get estimates on the cost of fixing them for potential buyers. This can help home buyers with seeing the potential in the home, and some may want to handle the repairs themselves.

Potential issues to check for are:

  • Leaky Faucets
  • Test all appliances to see if any aren’t fully operational
  • Faulty electrical outlets
  • Wear and tear on shingles
  • Standing water in attic spaces and crawlspaces

Making any repairs is entirely your choice. When you list a property, you can always choose to sell the place as is, but small things that are easy to fix can help market your home.

When a good offer comes in, there will likely be a negotiation period to address concerns and discuss potential repairs following an inspection. Your real estate agent can assist you with deciding how to negotiate.

3. Utilize Your Green Thumb in the Yard

Everybody loves a green yard. It’s the first thing you notice when you pull into a driveway and the last thing you see when you leave. You may not be a magician when it comes to plants and bushes, but you don’t have to be to get your yard market-ready.

As you’re getting your house ready to list, completing simple tasks such as mowing the grass, trimming back hedges, and getting rid of any weeds or adding fresh mulch can make a big impact.

The yard helps highlight the house. It accentuates the place by making that important first impression, and home buyers will notice a home more if the yard is tidy and well kept.

You don’t need a professional landscaper to come in and completely redo everything, but if you have the ability to plant a few colorful flowers, it can really help make the small details pop.

Bonus Tip: Check for Warranties

Depending on how long you’ve had your appliances, it can make a home buyer feel like you’ve gone the extra mile if you’ve compiled any warranties for appliances you’re considering leaving behind. If you’ve had any roof repairs, landscaping, foundation, or general construction done on or in the home within the last few years, you might also find that those services are still under warranty.

Want more tips on how to get your home ready to put on the market? Give me a call today and we’ll discuss what you can do to prepare.

Agent Maralee – (706)-498-0943

3 Rooms Buyers Pay The Most Attention To

Putting your house on the market can be nerve-wracking. It’s a big step in the right direction towards major change. While it can leave you feeling a little anxious, it can also be filled with excitement for the next chapter as a homeowner.

When you get ready to talk with a real estate agent about putting your house up for sale, knowing what buyers are looking for can make a world of difference in helping you prepare.

Things like a tidy space can definitely make an impression on buyers when they view the property, just as much as a well-kept yard can. However, many homebuyers look at homes with the mindset that they’ll change the aesthetics of a living space to meet their desires as a homeowner.

What a lot of buyers are looking for when they view homes are:

  1. How much space is available
  2. What kinds of repairs need to be done
  3. What’s the curb appeal of the home
  4. Where’s the property located

In addition to these things, here’s a fun fact: buyers prioritize three rooms over the rest of a house when looking. Can you guess what they are? It may seem like pretty easy answers, but the results might surprise you.

1. Kitchen Galore

A key component of any home is a functioning kitchen. It doesn’t have to be picture perfect, but having a nice space to prepare home-cooked meals is a perk. 73% of homeowners enjoy cooking in their kitchen because it provides them with a sense of accomplishment.

This could be one of the many reasons why the kitchen space is one of the first rooms in a home that buyers look at, but it’s definitely not the only reason.

Whether you’re single, married, have kids, or don’t have kids – the whole shebang – cooking at home is a great way to save money, eat healthy, and test out your master chef skills. The kitchen is often one of the most utilized rooms in a home, often being visited more frequently than bedrooms and bathrooms combined.

Home buyers look for a nice kitchen when hunting for their dream house because most of us spend a lot of time there. It’s a comfortable setting and the home base for many nights of entertainment, fun, and dining.

2. Primary Bathroom

Every buyer checks out the primary bathroom when they’re viewing a home. It’s a place of comfort and safety, the one place we all unwind. Often, the bathroom is where most of us begin and end our day. It’s a space of cleanliness, relaxation, and one of the biggest deal makers when buyers are looking at homes.

As odd as it sounds, the primary bathroom in a home is the place that sort of sees everything. This is why it’s such a key player in buyers making their decision whether or not to make an offer on a property.

3. Pantry and Storage Space

While the number of bedrooms in a home, and the primary bedroom can play a huge part in a buyer’s ultimate decision, storage space actually plays a more important role. The pantry isn’t always a separate room in a home, but it is commonly a closet space where we keep the essentials.

Home buyers pay close attention to how much room they’ll have to store items they don’t consider everyday necessities, and how well they can use that space to organize items to keep the main rooms of the home tidy.

How Can I Use These Rooms to Market My Home?

As you prepare to list your home, the best way to highlight these rooms for potential home buyers is by keeping them clean.

Most buyers recognize and understand that homes they’re looking at are often currently lived in, so don’t feel an overwhelming sense of pressure to deep clean every aspect of the space before a showing.

However, it can be beneficial to do things such as going through your kitchen and bathroom to store away items you don’t use daily. Try to get rid of outdated foods, donate items you no longer use and declutter a little bit.

This can make your space stand out more when an agent shows the property, and it can also help you start the process of organizing and packing for the big day when your house sells.

Do you have questions about your home’s equity, how to best get ready to list it, or want to better understand what’s going on in today’s real estate market? Contact me today and let’s chat.

How Professional Photography Can Make Your Home Stand Out on the Market

Real estate photographers are more than your run-of-the-mill photography gurus. They’re experts that’ve honed their skills to provide you with high-dynamic media that will optimize the way a home can be promoted across all social media platforms.

What many people may not realize is that real estate photographers do more than stand behind a camera and click a button. They focus on perfecting each angle, use natural lighting to their benefit, and spend hours behind the computer working with editing software to perfect the results.

The goal isn’t to adjust and alter an image so that it misguides or takes away from the natural beauty of a property, but to enunciate the things that make a home so perfect. From HDR images to virtual tours, real estate photographers encompass many hidden talents behind the lens.

When your REALTOR® recommends scheduling a professional photographer to come out before putting your home on the market, you can mark that off your checklist of marketing expertise.

When your REALTOR® recommends scheduling a professional photographer to come out before putting your home on the market, you can mark that off your checklist of marketing expertise.

By having a professional real estate photographer on call it can benefit you by:

  • Increasing the likelihood of receiving offers right away (research shows listed homes using professional photography sell almost 50% faster than homes marketed with poor imagery).
  • Consistency in showing off the areas of your home that will draw in the attention of buyers.
  • Triple the marketing material available (we’re talking more than 2D images. Think bigger, virtual tours, aerial footage, floor plans, and more).

The reality is that we’re living in a digitally run world. When you’re thinking of putting your home on the market, you need an expert in all things SEO content, visualization, and media play.

Consider this when looking at the best ways to market your home – over 80% of home buyers won’t think about viewing a property that doesn’t have listing photos. That means that without visual media showing them what a place looks like, they won’t take the time to even contemplate making an appointment, much less making an offer.

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reported that 87% of home buyers rely on photos and digital media to help make decisions on whether they want to view a home. That only leaves you with 13% of home buyers that may or may not schedule an appointment to check out your property regardless of what they can find online.

The days of using newspapers and magazines to promote a listing are outdated. While putting ads in local papers can reach a different demographic, visual media and social media are leading the way for the future of real estate.

Most home buyers rely on social media platforms to bring them the latest updates on the local real estate industry. The convenience of shopping for a home from the comfort of a phone/computer has forever changed how homes are marketed and advertised.

I’ll leave you with one final perk of using a professional real estate photographer when you’re preparing to list your home. High-quality images and visual media allow real estate agents to efficiently and successfully advertise your property to home buyers all over the world. It breaks down the barriers of reaching buyers that might be relocating and otherwise not see your home is up for sale. This only further increases your chances of selling.

If you’re considering putting your home on the market, give me a call. I’d love to talk with you about how I’ve teamed up with leading photography experts such as Greyroom Industry to bring my clients the best opportunities for visual aid advertisement.

I’ve found that their team of photographers produce consistent results, are detail oriented, and always go above and beyond to show off the highlights of each unique property.

How Can Dual Agency be a Mistake

Whether you’re planning to put your house on the market or looking to buy your dream home, it’s important to have expert representation. After all, you want somebody that understands the ins and outs of the industry to be in your corner when it comes time to negotiate offers.

When you’re working with an agent, there are a million and one things that need your attention, and it can be hard to keep up with all the finer details going on between contracts and negotiations. That’s where agent representation comes in.

Ideally, you want to be working with a real estate agent that doesn’t do dual agency. This can save you money, ensure you’re being properly represented, and help you stay on top of the important steps of buying or selling a home.

What is Dual Agency?

Representation is key to any good real estate transaction and having an agent that only represents your side of the sale can be essential.

Dual Agency occurs when an agent is representing both sides of the transaction, both the buyer and the seller. While it may seem like having a single agent handle the transaction can be beneficial and help smooth out the process, it can sometimes lead to a conflict of interest.

Let’s look at the reasons it can be a mistake and review how you can make sure you’re being properly represented.

Dual Agency: Lack of Representation in the Real Estate Market

It’s true that good homes come and go from the market in the blink of an eye, but that doesn’t mean you should settle for less than you deserve. In many scenarios, having an agent that works on behalf of both the buyer and seller can be risky due to the lack of actual representation.

When an agent lists a home, they’ve agreed to represent the sellers as a client. As the seller, you can decide whether you’ll allow them to also represent the buyer as a client or be what’s known as a dual agent.

When a real estate agent represents both parties, they cannot share certain information or give certain advice to either party, otherwise it becomes a conflict of representation for the opposing party.

Ways to avoid dual agency is to ask the agent if they could put you in touch with another agent that can represent you. This is called designated agency and allows you to ask for advice and opinions from your agent without compromising either party’s interest.

Avoiding Conflict, Avoiding Dual Agency

Dual agency makes room for a rocky road filled with conflict. The agent must act as a neutral party throughout the entirety of the transaction. Think of them as a mediator of sorts. They’re not allowed to give advice to either party and will be tiptoeing around the hard truths of the transaction.

An agent working in this position can have a difficult time answering questions for either party without it being considered advice, which can leave you with half-hearted answers or more confusion than when you started. It can create tension between the buyers and sellers, and it can make it difficult to know if you’re making the right decision during negotiations.

Dual agency often leaves everyone involved with a bad experience. It leads to more conflict than benefits and can make everyone involved feel as if they didn’t get the best end of the deal.

In fact, dual agency has caused so many issues with transactions that several states have made it illegal for a real estate agent to represent both parties.

Things to Remember

In the long run, dual agency can be more harmful than helpful for all parties involved. It doesn’t allow you to receive the representation you deserve, and it can leave you struggling to figure out when to accept an offer, when to counter, and when to walk away.

The real estate industry can be confusing, and even some of the best agents don’t always get it right.

If you’re looking to put your home on the market, or you’re on the hunt for your dream home, it can be important to ask your real estate agent of choice whether they do dual agency or not.

Still have questions about representation? Call me today and we can discuss your concerns in depth.