As we discussed in our last blog, there is quite a bit to learn when buying your first home in the Memphis area. In the same way, there are also rules to follow when the time comes to sell your home.
With your Marx-Bensdorf, REALTOR by your side, you will be guided through the entire selling process. Your real estate agent can help you identify areas that need work, can put you in contact with services to improve your house (and, therefore, its resale value), and will help you market it to the right buyers.
If you are thinking of selling your home, contact one of our agents now. To get a sense of what you will need to do before selling your home, read along!
An Outsider’s View
Why is it that on some streets, a house jumps out at us and makes us say “what a pretty house”? The answer is simple: curb appeal.
The National Association of Realtors® has numerous, proven statistics that say curb appeal can increase sales potential by 50%. When curb appeal is combined with appropriate pricing, that figure can increase to 90%.
When a prospective home buyer sees the exterior of a beautiful home, they are immediately intrigued and curious about the home’s interior. Already, even before seeing more of the house or knowing how many bedrooms it has, the person is visualizing living in the best house on the block.
But how do you achieve something so important, yet so elusive, as curb appeal? There are a few ways to get started:
- Cut and edge lawns
- Trim or replant shrubs
- Weed and edge beds
- Add new mulch
- Pick up litter
- Clear walkways and driveway
- Repair gutters, eaves, downspouts
- Clean out garage
- Touch up exterior paint
- Clean and repair windows
Although you will have to put some work and expense into updating your home, your return on investment is guaranteed. Without this investment, you could be looking at a prolonged selling process and a reduced sale price.
First Impressions Count
As the old saying goes, you only get to make one first impression. Buyers, as discussed above, will see the exterior of your home first; but why stop with making a good impression there?
Once home buyers are in your house, you want them to stay and visualize living there. Too often, potential buyers walk into a home, turn around, and walk away. Since buying a home is a huge investment, buyers want to walk in and feel instantly at home.
Make viewers feel welcome as soon as they enter your home. A few ways to do this are:
- Tidy your entrance area
- Have a functional doorbell
- Freshen the front door
- Polish the door’s hardware
- Add a nice, neutral welcome mat or plant to the entrance of your home
- Turn on lights, or open drapes during the daytime to maximize natural lighting
- Play low music in the background
- Use unscented room deodorizers, and eliminate pet, tobacco, and any other odors.
A pleasant entrance to your home alleviates home buyers’ concerns by, bringing them into a space that is calm, clean, and even more captivating than it appears from the outside.
All In The Details
As the home’s owner, you are in the house each day. Sometimes, we overlook and ignore the negative details and quirks of our home, since we live with them all the time. With the help of your real estate agent, you can take an objective look at your home with a fresh set of eyes.
Giving special attention to the details of your home can make a big difference to a buyer. Knowing that they are coming into a home that is loved, well-maintained, and unique, a potential buyer is more likely to see themselves moving in and caring for your home, too.
A few tips for sprucing up your home’s little details are:
- Oil squeaky doors
- Tighten door knobs
- Replace old light bulbs (and increase wattage if necessary)
- Touch up chipped paint
- Repair cracked plaster
- Vacuum or replace pan under water heater
- Repair leaking taps and toilets
- Repair seals on tub and basin
- Shampoo carpet
- Clean refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher (particularly if appliances are staying in home)
- Clean and freshen bathrooms
- If there is a fireplace, light it (when the season is appropriate)
- Place fresh, non-fragrant flowers and plants in the home
An “Open” House
While your real estate agent may host an “open house” to welcome potential buyers, you want your home to feel “open” at all times. By this, we mean that your home should feel open to new possibilities, where a potential buyer can see themselves living in your space one day.
The way to achieve this openness can be done in a few ways. We recommend making your space less personalized, so it no longer feels like “your” home. Remember, you are not on display; your home is.
Here are a few ideas to get started:
- Remove photos of your family and friends
- Clean any clutter, such as pieces of mail like bills or magazines
- Take down anything that may be controversial (from taxidermy pieces on walls to flags supporting your favorite college football team!)
- Make sure pets – and their toys, beds, litter boxes, etc. – are not present
We also mean “open” in a literal sense: make your space feel wide open. If rooms have too much furniture, remove some. And make sure to emphasize views and outdoor spaces, when appropriate, by opening blinds and draperies. Not only does this make the home feel bigger, but it also leaves more room for imagination. Potential buyers are much more likely to visualize living in your home (sparking conversations like “our couch can go right here!”) when the decor is minimalistic and neutral.
A few ways to guarantee an open feel are:
- Clear stairs and halls
- Remove any excess furniture
- Choose neutral colors if you are re-painting or touching up interior walls
- Clean out closets, especially in bedrooms
Ready To Sell?
When you're ready to sell your home, there is no better place to start than Marx-Bensdorf, REALTORS. Voted by Memphians as the Best Real Estate Agency in the Commercial Appeal's Memphis Most Awards, 2014, 2015, 2016. We know how to help you prepare your home for the best sale possible.
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Contact a Marx-Bensdorf, REALTORS agent today for help through every step of your home selling process.