Planning ahead is the key to selling your Northern Virginia home!
I can see a lot of homes in a month, and it gets easy to tell which homes are going to appeal to the pool of active buyers out there. And those active buyers can also tell when a property is going to sell fast… really fast!
So here are some quick tips on the subject of selling a home that you (yes, you!) may want to think about or work on to get maximum interest in your Northern Virginia home.
Set the stage:
- Prepare for that first impression from the car as they pull up to your home. Yes, your landscaping is important so mow the lawn, rake the leaves, plant some flowers, or add a potted plant or two. Wash down the driveway, clean the windows, maybe even paint some trim or shutters.
Your Front Door:
- Is it time to polish the brass, replace the handle and knocker or put a fresh coat of paint on? If there is a storm door, make sure it works properly and is clean.
• Inside Home Staging:
- Yes, you will need to minimize. Maybe eliminate some furniture, remove throw rugs to show off the hardwood floors, clean-off the kitchen counters, clean out the fridge (especially that old Chinese food container) and consider some fresh paint. Okay, pull out that old Pottery Barn catalog for paint ideas or what a show-home should look like. Yes, to the new buyers it is a show-home!
The Outback of Your House:
- If you have a deck, patio or yard then it is time to get to work. Power-wash the deck, weed the patio, mow the lawn… and if it is spring, summer or fall then let’s get some flowers out there. Show them how these areas are part of the house or lifestyle and your home will feel bigger than the competition!
The little things matter:
- I like to have my handy-guy Jason Mills come over and fix little issues like drywall, light fixtures, faucets that may make a home look beaten up. Even a three year-old home has wear and tear. If you want to create excitement, then make it seem ship-shape and turn-key.
Make Your Home Easy to Show:
- I have had to skip homes because they lacked electronic lock boxes, had restrictive show-times, or if it is showed “only with the listing agent present” or has a barking dog… these issues impact your marketability. There were two homes last weekend that required me to call the day before (24-hour notice) and it was still a hassle to show. So, make it easy.
Work with Home Buyer Agents:
- Before a buyer agent goes out looking at homes, did you know they will have their clients “pre-approved” with a reputable mortgage lender? So their clients are qualified to buy your home before they stroll through your front door, and can make an offer today that will close within a reasonable time frame. And that is exactly what you want, not a bunch of tire kickers strolling through your “open-house” on a Sunday afternoon!
Understand your Asking Price:
- Any buyer who has seen twenty homes knows what comparable homes are priced at on a given weekend. It may seem contrary to what you read in the press, but I am seeing well priced homes in good condition get more than one offer on the first weekend and then sell at or above asking price!
I keep a list of contractors that I have used or clients have recommended to me, or you can consult a site like Angie’s List (you will have to pay to access that site), so you can start by contacting me for a referral or two, but remember that it is extremely important to get the ball rolling early on in the process.
Let’s set up a time when we can walk through the property together and put together a winning strategy.
Do you want to read more Seller Tips…?
- Things You Should Know Before Moving to Northern Virginia (dougfrancis.com)
- Replace those brass-toned light fixtures! (dougfrancis.com)