When you talk to someone about the prospect of selling their home you’re likely going to see the look of dread come across their face.  My hope is that some of my tips will help make this time in your life easier to manage and dare I say stress free?  Okay, maybe that was too far.

 1. Choose the right Realtor to list your home

First and most importantly you must trust the person you are working with.  If you aren’t comfortable with the person proposing to list your home, don’t do it.  Most people’s first reaction is to find someone with the most sales or the longest career in real estate.  There is a lot to be said about track record but unfortunately just because someone has been in the business several years doesn’t mean that they are going to market your house in the best possible way to get your home sold quickly and for the highest price.  Far too often an agent will WOW you with their credentials, put a sign in your yard and then wait for someone to bring a buyer.  Make sure the person you have chosen has done their research and can provide you with the statistics they used to determine a pricing strategy for your property as well as has an action plan on how they are going to effectively market your home.


2.  You’re probably looking for a new home at the same time (if not, skip to step 3)

If you are looking to finance your next property be prepared to provide a ton of personal information.  This would be a great time to start a folder and pull together your last two tax returns, W2s, most recent paystubs and bank statements (including retirement statements).  This is the time to talk to a lender, don’t wait until you go under contract because this will only add undue stress to the process.  It’s best to know all your options, get your pre-approval and decide what your budget will be.  This will also help you to determine what your bottom line will be with the house you’re selling.


3.  Hire a cleaning company

This is something I recommend to all of my sellers and I promise I mean no disrespect.  Hire someone to come through and do a one-time thorough cleaning, something that can be done once and you can maintain while on the market. Depending on the size of your home, for under $300 you should be able to have the cabinets, appliances, base boards and windows done as well as the rest of the general cleaning.  If you’re like me, the appliances and baseboards don’t normally get the attention they really need.  There is nothing better than coming home to a squeaky clean house and if your home shows well you will more than make back that small investment!  With a spotless home and a little free time walk your property, both interior and exterior and make sure all lightbulbs are working.


4.  Declutter and Depersonalize

Time to clean up and make a few trips to Goodwill or host a yard sale.  Your new home is a fresh start so this is a great time to purge.  Also, your buyers want to see your home, not your stuff.  I love photos and have them all over my home.  This being said, if your home is overly personalized the person walking through likely won’t be able to see themselves living there.  Not only that, trust me once you pack up those personal mementos your emotional attachment to your home lessens and helps you stay focused on the goal of moving on.


5.  So you have kids…

Me too.  I understand that when it comes to last minute showing requests and showings in general this makes things a little bit more complicated.  My kids can destroy the house in 5 minutes flat!  Purchase a couple big plastic bins.  Make it a game that before bed you fill it with all of the toys they played with and neatly tuck it into their closet.  Keep toys to a minimum while you’re on the market.  I would recommend taking some of the overflow and boxing it up in the garage.  If your kids are anything like mine they will likely forget they are even gone making you question why you have so much to begin with.


6.  Morning Routine

Dishes in the sink are a turn off, always load them into the dishwasher, even if you aren’t going to run it.  Wipe down bathroom and kitchen countertops and make the beds.  Not too bad right?  If you want to go over the top and have a couple minutes vacuum any high traffic areas.


7.  We’re all human

Keep a laundry basket available that you can toss stuff into and throw into your trunk in a pinch.  Trust me, this will be a lifesaver.  As a courtesy to sellers we like to ask for 24 hour notice on showing requests but they don’t always happen.  The more showings you have the quicker you sell.  There is no shame in taking some of that clutter with you when you are in a pinch.  Out of sight, out of mind.


8.  Ask for feedback

Ask for feedback from your agent and don’t take it personally.  Everyone has different taste and needs.  That being said, some of the feedback may be very valuable in helping you sell even quicker.  Keep an open mind and try to stay focused on what an exciting time this is!  This is the time to stay positive, and enjoy the ride.  If you are priced correctly and have followed these tips, it should be a quick and painless process.


So are you ready to do this?  If you are looking for a real estate professional that understands the importance of marketing, follow through and will have your best interests in mind, contact me.  I will provide you with a FREE market analysis and a game plan to get your home sold!
I look forward to hearing from you.
-Angie Watts

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