Archives for May 2012

Getting Your Home Ready To Sell

Presentation is first and foremost when selling a home for top dollar.  Buyers are looking for a clean, spacious home to make their own.  Recall the feeling you had when purchasing your home.  This is the same feeling you want to exude to your potential buyers.  Some sellers have no clue where to start in preparing their home for sale.

John and Megan want their home to sell quickly.  They are a little overwhelmed about how to get their home ready for the big sale.  They hear about Susie down the street that sold her home in less than a month.  Before Susie put her home on the market, her knickknacks made the home look cluttered and the yard was in disarray.  During the open house John and Megan “happened” to drop by the house and noticed how the home sparkled from the manicured landscaping to the open feeling in the home.  They were dumbfounded on what Susie’s agent sold the home for and wanted the same result.

Here are some easy steps to get your home ready to sell:

  1. The first step is usually the hardest.  You must say goodbye to your home.  Realizing the property is no longer your home, but merely a house.  Some things to dissociate yourself is to say goodbye to every room or think about your future home.
  2. As a seller, you need to remove personal objects, such as family photos and family heirlooms that associate you with the home.  Buyers have a hard time seeing themselves in the home when the seller’s possessions are at every turn.
  3. Since your agent will be showing your home to many guests it is always a wise decision to put expensive, easily accessible items in a safe or  better yet a storage facility.
  4. To make your home aesthetically pleasing to the buyer, remove all pieces of excess furniture, knickknacks and other items that are cluttering the overall look of the house.  Consider that you will be doing this eventually anyway, so might as well start now.  If you have not used an item in a year, Goodwill is recommended.
  5. Now it’s time to organize.  Buyers like to snoop around opening doors and such.  In your closet, color organize your shirts, pants, etc along with lining up your shoes.  In the kitchen stack your plates, bowls and even your tuber-ware.  Make sure that you have a place for everything.
  6. After you are organized you will clearly be able to identify the objects that you would like to keep.  Remove and replace these objects, such as window coverings, appliances, fountains or other fixtures, so the buyer doesn’t have the option to mention your great-grandmother’s drapes in the purchase contract.
  7. Most sellers have possessions that need to be removed from the home, but they are in a dilemma about where to put these items.  The best choice is a storage unit, but in a last ditch effort you could try stuffing everything in your garage.  After this step, all your walking paths should be clear and there should be just enough furniture in each room to showcase it’s purpose.
  8. Fix any minor repairs.  Go through your house checking to see that everything works.  The last thing you want is a buyer irritated by a leaky faucet or a broken doorknob.
  9. Now it’s time to make your home shine.  Wash all the walls top to bottom. Dust everything. Open up and clean those windows.  Re-caulk that grimy tub. Wax and vacuum floors.  Wash your linens and towels.  Anything that looks dirty needs to be cleaned thoroughly.  These small touches will make your home light and bright.
  10. Now it’s time to check out your curb appeal.  Check that your bushes are trimmed, sidewalks and driveways are clear, lawn is mowed and that your house number is visible from the street.  The color yellow promotes buyers to pull the trigger, so plant some of your favorite yellow flowers, such as inexpensive marigolds.
  11. Well you are almost finished.  Go through your home inside and out to judge whether your home is welcoming.  Make sure that your home sparkles.
  12. Lastly invite your most detailed, critical friend or real estate agent over to check out the house with a fine tooth comb.

If you have any more questions on how to prepare your home to sell, do not hesitate to contact me at (818) 447-1024.

JoAnna Selby



Reasons Why To Sell Or Rent Your Home

 There are many reasons why a homeowner chooses to sell.  Did you ever suspect it would be beneficial for a homeowner to sell in today’s market?

Here are various cases why selling would be the best option from a financial perspective:

  • The seller’s current home needs upgrading or deferred maintenance and the homeowner would like to purchase a home that is turn-key.
  • Their starter home is too small, so the sellers would like to purchase a larger home more suitable for their lifestyle.
  • The homeowner’s neighborhood is no longer ideal.  The sellers are planning on moving to an better location.
  • Some homeowners feel they purchased a home that no longer suits their needs.  They are considering another home with a backyard, open floor plan, etc.

Notice how in the preceding cases the homeowners wanted to sell their property, and buy a more expensive home.

Since these sellers want to “move up”, they have an advantage in the marketplace.  Hypothetically let’s say that their current house sold for $400,ooo 5 years ago, and its current market value is $320,000.  These homeowners are thinking about purchasing a home worth $500,000, which sold for $625,000 5 years ago.  While the seller is losing $80,000 in the sale of their home, the market value gained on purchasing a better home is $45,000.  All the houses took a hit of about 20 percent in the marketplace not just the seller’s property.

Some other instances in selling need further evaluation.

  • Death of a family member
  • Divorce
  • Marriage
  • Being closer or further from family or friends
  • Health problems with back or joints preventing the seller from climbing stairs
  • Flipping a house

These sellers need to evaluate whether they are moving up or down in market value on their next home.  If their market value will decrease, another option is to rent out their home.  They could rent until the market eventually increases with inflation or they increase their equity to move up in market value.

If you are interested in selling or renting your home, please feel free to call me at (818) 447-1024 .

JoAnna Selby