For the past week we’ve been providing tips on getting your home sold quickly in ten easy steps. Now that your home has been decluttered, staged and all those pesky little problems have been finally fixed, your home is finally ready for it’s close up.
Tip #6: Picture Perfect!
One of the key distinguishing factors between getting your home sold quickly and having a home that sits on the market a lot longer is how it’s presented to the public. A professional photographer truly makes a huge difference in accomplishing your goal to get your house sold fast and for the most money. Trust me- a few hastily snapped shots from your iPhone will not do the trick. Your home is now a supermodel and with that comes professional lighting, touch ups and a punishing diet (just kidding on that last part). The only way to treat a model of your home’s caliber is to hire a team of experienced professionals to shoot it well and portray it at its best. These photos are the first things potential buyers see so the goal is to make them as picture perfect as possible.
What’s the smartest strategy get your home sold quickly and efficiently in ten easy steps? We’ve already covered steps 1-4: You’ve priced it well, gotten it staged, fixed small problems and skipped inspections. Today we’re covering the fifth step so that is good news! You are already half way to a successful home sale!
#5: It’s show easy:
One of the most important roles you have as a home seller is to make your property easy to show. Often times, potential buyers need to see a house without a lot of notice. This can be tough on a seller but it’s a crucial element to getting your home seen by as many interested parties as possible. One way to make a house easy to show is to declutter and simplify your furnishings (which you have already done in previous steps) thereby making tidying up a lot less daunting. Of course, a trustworthy broker never would send potential buyers to your property unaccompanied and it’s easy to explain away a little mess here and there (please- I understand what it’s like to have a house on the market with small children. Even decluttered, it’s next to impossible to keep clean and show-worthy!)
But it’s important to remember that every time a seller says: “No, sorry, it’s just not a good time for me right now- the house is a mess and I don’t feel ready!” A realtor hears: “I don’t really want to sell my house too much after all.”
So far we’ve covered the first three steps our “How to get your home sold quickly” series : you’ve gotten it staged, priced it appropriately and made some minor cosmetic fixes. The fourth thing you need to do:
This is a touchy area and here is why. Every inspector will find something ‘wrong’ with your home. This is normal. Everything that is found during an inspection, though, whether small or large needs to be disclosed to any buyer. Keep in mind, anything you have knowledge of that a buyer would consider material in their decision making process needs to be brought to their attention. You might as well not bother with getting an inspection because any buyer during their due diligence period will discover the details about your home via inspections anyway. Why waste money ‘fixing’ these problems in advance of the sale if the buyer’s inspector might mind fault with the way it was repaired and ask for it to be redone? At this stage of the game, it’s better to put your home on the market “as is” and deal with the findings of the buyer’s inspections once you are in escrow.
When it comes to how to get your home sold quickly, ten easy steps are really all it takes to bring your property to market. We’ve talked about the first two steps already: pricing it well and getting it staged. That leads us to today’s tip:
While your stager has just addressed major design and appearance fixes, now it’s time to call your handyman (and we know of several who are smart, trustworthy, efficient and inexpensive) and deal with all those little problems that you’ve lived with for years. You know what I’m talking about! All those tiny holes in the walls left behind after rearranging framed artwork? It’s now time to patch them up. It’s also your chance to tighten loose doorknobs, replace fixtures, repaint major scuffs, address long ignored dead lightbulbs, stubborn doorjambs and figure out why some of those light switches stopped working. It’s pretty embarrassing as a realtor to show a home and not be able to open up closets or doors because someone didn’t come through to fix all of those quirks beforehand. Especially, too, because they’re often so fixable! It’s crazy to not address these small issues because once a potential buyer thinks something ‘doesn’t work,’ then psychologically he’ll think the house isn’t worth asking price or just walk from the deal before even making an offer. So make a list, check it twice, and fix it up well before bringing your house to market.
We’ve been exploring in 10 easy steps how to get your home sold quickly. Yesterday we talked about step number 1 which is pricing it correctly. The second step to successfully selling your house is:
2. Get it Professionally Staged!
When an actor prepares for the stage, he wears a costume, right? Well, this is really no different. When we live in our own house, it’s easy to get comfortable with its little quirks and nuances. The way our furniture has always been laid out, the stacks of newspapers in the corner we’ve been holding on to for too long, the treasures and mementos gathering dust on the shelves… a professional stager (and I work with and can recommend some excellent ones) is like a fresh pair of eyes that can quickly size up what needs to be done cosmetically and aesthetically to get your home ready to be put on the market. Maybe it’s nothing more than some paint touch-ups and a few strategically placed throw pillows. Some jobs may require more extensive intervention and still other homes may be so darn perfect the stager wouldn’t have to do anything at all.
The bottom line is this: when preparing your home for sale, it’s extremely helpful to get an outsider’s nonbiased and expert opinion on how to brush up and polish the interiors. You would never take the stage without a costume, right?? Well, your house shouldn’t either!
So, not only do you want to know how to get your home sold, you also want to get it done in record time. Congratulations! Don’t be overwhelmed. Preparing your home for sale is actually a lot simpler than you may think and we’ve even narrowed it down to ten simple steps, so that the right buyer comes along in no time. Let’s start with the first step today and we’ll talk about another tomorrow. So, after ten days your house will be ready to be put on the market. How exciting!
First Step to getting your home ready for sale:
One of the most important steps to this easy process is to determine a price. You owe it to yourself and your largest investment to price your home aggressively yet competitively. But, not to worry because this is where we sit down together and have a lengthy chat about a variety of things.
We’ll talk about your goals in terms of what you hope to achieve financially by selling your home and then we will talk further about dozens of other factors including comparables, where the market is at the present time, the size of both your home and its lot, its location, the upgrades you have made to your home and more.
The key here to remember is the price of your home should not be determined by Zillow or any similar online real estate sites. Websites like that can provide a ballpark figure, maybe, but certainly not be relied upon for an accurate assessment of how much money you can expect to get for your home. Priced too high, your house could grow stale on the market. Priced too low, you’re leaving money on the table. Priced just right and, all of a sudden, heightened interest abounds, leading to a greater possibility of multiple offers resulting in the most amount of money you can get for your home.
The MLS just released the First Quarter Market Climate Map for the Greater Los Angeles Area. This map and chart (See below) compare the LA sales volume of single-family homes from the first quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015 in the different areas of Los Angeles. Click on the image below to zoom in.
If you would like more information about the current real estate market in your neighborhood, or would like a obligation free home value quote, please do no hesitate to contact me!
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We’ve got a few moving tips for you, because let’s face it, the very word “MOVING” conjures up feelings of either excitement or total and utter panic. My family has spent most of the month balanced somewhere between the two emotions. On the one hand, we are very excited to start fresh in a newer, larger house that we created from the ground up. It’s on a lovely street and only a few blocks from where we now live in Cheviot Hills.
Inhabiting this new home, however, is the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Before getting to live there, much work in our current home had to be done. Unless you are the one in a million
who lives in an immaculate home with zero flaws, for the rest of the 99.9 percent of us, getting a house into shape before selling it can be all consuming. Eliminating clutter, touching up paint, sprucing up the landscaping and keeping it neat is no easy task, especially if you have young children.
We had actually done a good job maintaining the infrastructure of our 1920s home but still asked Julie Manz, a professional stager that is part of my team, to assess what we had to do to get the inside ready for “show time.” She walked my wife and I from room to room and like a general on the battlefield, authoritatively commanded what furniture should stay and what should go. She pointed out dings that needed repairing and personal artifacts that had no business being on display for the world to see.
Yes, this is my profession and I am an expert in all matters real estate, however, you know what they say about doctors being the worst patients? When it comes to turning a critical eye to my own home, it was hard to be impartial especially when every item I own is a beautiful, treasured piece of priceless perfection!
Clearly we needed serious marching orders and Julie whipped us into shape. It actually felt good to let go of some things we had no use for and weeks after starting this process, on our first Sunday open, our beautiful home was almost unrecognizable it was so pristine. We received multiple offers that day and felt the success was in large part due to our preparing as best we could to present the finest product possible.
Our house sold quickly (the easy part), but the next obstacle: to continue the arduous task of further decluttering before actually boxing everything up to move out. My wife would not entertain my usual delaying tactic of saying, “Let’s just pack it all and we’ll deal with it when we get there.”
Nope — the time to get rid of everything non-essential and non-sentimental was now. Not an easy task but the reward would be worth the effort. It would feel so good to move to our clean slate of a home and start amassing all priceless, perfect treasures all over again. Because that’s what we do. We collect, we admire, we enjoy, we put in the garage and then we forget until the next time we decide to move.
Hopefully, though, we are officially settled down and won’t have to go through this again for a long time.
When it’s all said and done, the destination will be worth all the trouble, but getting there really
isn’t half the fun.