When you’re selling your home there’s so much to do. It’s no wonder that sometimes things fall between the cracks. Due to being so busy sellers may not spot really important things they need to do (especially things that may end up on the home inspection or appraisal). These issues are worth the time it’ll take to get done. If you take this advice, there is a possibility that you’ll find selling your house not nearly as stressful as it could be if not done.
1. Check your address info on Google
Nearly 90% of all buyers start their search online, and with virtual home tours becoming popular it’s even more important to be aware of what your listing looks like online. I make it a point to review the seller’s tax records with them in just case the information is wrong. Incorrect information on Zillow, Redfin, Realtor.com and other sites can give a different estimated value than your asking price. Once the listing is uploaded and starts to show up on Google, check your address info to make sure it reflects the correct information about the property.
2. Account for improvements and issues
Make a list of all the improvements you’ve made to the property while you've lived there and any current issues that may become a problem down the line during or after the sale. In most states, sellers must disclose any known defects about their home, including defects that may not be readily be seen during a home inspection that may fail or malfunction and affect the value of the home.
3. Insist on social media marketing
You staged your home beautifully, picked a competitive price, have great property photos, and listed the property, but there’s something else that needs to be done. Your house needs to be seen on as many social media sites as possible, including the agent’s company site, their personal website, YouTube (owned by Google), Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. The seller agent’s role is to get as many people to see the home using all avenues possible to attract the right buyer, possibly before an appointment is even made to tour the house.
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4. Repair the obvious
First impressions make all the difference. Not doing little cosmetic repairs gives the impression that if buyers see that if you can’t be bothered to repair minor things, they’re going to think about what else may need fixing. This could create a negative view of the property and could cost you the sale.
From the time the buyer steps onto the curb, a home that looks like it’s been taken good care of gives the impression that the seller takes pride in the home. This may assure the buyer that there will be few problems, if any, if they decide to buy the house.
5. Clean everything
Sellers, buyers are going to check out everything! They will look inside ovens, refrigerators, closets, cabinets, drawers, and even the dishwasher. Make sure that the house is show-ready inside and out – meaning that everything is clean. Even if you’ve scrubbed and swept everything, dust, crumbs, spider webs and places that we don't even think of need to be cleaned out even in small spaces. By the way, have you cleaned behind your stove lately? (don't answer that, lol!)
I find that when showing homes, at times ovens aren’t cleaned well. A buyer may try to use this as a bargaining chip to get a brand new oven! If possible, it’s best to hire a service to clean your home. This attention to detail may translate into more money in your pocket at closing.
6. Clarify which items are not included
I am not a fan of “virtual staging.” The items in the house that you see online, which make the house look great, really aren’t there. Some sellers have staged the home with brand new appliances, only for the buyer to find out that they don’t come with the house. The last thing you want to happen in such a situation is for the buyer to fall in love with your house, wind up disappointed after it's disclosed, and back out of the sale. Such a stressful situation can be easily avoided!
To avoid problems, even legal proceedings down the line, be sure the contract and MLS remarks disclose that these items are not part of the sale, such as your double wide stainless steel refrigerator you want to take with you, your flat-screen TV that's attached to the wall, a chandelier, or other items you want to take.
Also, don’t leave anything behind, as the buyers may not think you’re doing them a favor – especially if they didn’t ask for them. If the buyer and seller agree to an item that the seller is willing to part with, a bill of sale can be drafted up between both parties to cover this. Other than that, the house should be broom swept clean prior to walk through.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me.