One of the biggest challenges of putting your house on the market is keeping it clean, organized, and ready for the next showing!
This is no easy task, especially if you have pets, messy kids, and/or a hectic schedule. If you're like most people, you're probably contending with all three conditions!
Although it's human nature to get immersed in our own view of the world, it's helpful to try and see things through the eyes of prospective home buyers. When buyers walk into your house for the first time, they're not going to immediately know about all the improvements you've made to your property or the many ways your home has served your family's needs for all these years. They're not aware of the "big picture" and may never be. They only know what they see, hear, and smell during their brief visit to your home.
Anything which makes a negative impression can sour them on the idea of buying your house. It's a delicate balance and it doesn't take that much to tip the scales in either direction. That's why it's so important for sellers to get into a routine of keeping their house clean, orderly, and well maintained.
It's amazing what a difference 24-hours (or less) can make on the appearance and cleanliness of your home. Rest assured, if you've said or thought the words, "But I just cleaned it, yesterday!" -- you're not alone! Cleaning your house when it's on the market is a lot like shaving: It doesn't take too long for that "five o'clock shadow" to start creeping in!
Reminding everyone in your family to clean up after themselves is the first step to being ready, but it also pays to have a checklist to refer to when preparing for a real estate showing. If you don't use a task list, chances are you'll forget something important -- like wiping off the kitchen counter, sanitizing the toilets, putting away dirty dishes, or cleaning the bathroom sink. Floors almost always require a quick sweeping, mopping, or vacuuming, and waste baskets need to be emptied. Crumpled towels, bath mats, and bedspreads may also be in desperate need of straightening and smoothing out! If you own pets that tend to have "accidents" or kids who haven't quite mastered the art of cleaning up after themselves, you might also want to allow a few extra minutes in your routine to take care of the "unexpected."
While it's true that you want your house to have a "lived in" appearance, it's all-too-easy to cross that thin line into a whole different category! No reasonable house hunter will expect your home to be spotless and perfect in every way, but if it looks messy, disheveled, or neglected, then that could be a potential deal breaker!
When it comes to making your home and property safer for your family and others, the Boy Scouts motto says it all: "Be prepared!"
While it's next to impossible to completely eliminate all risks and potential hazards in and around your home, there are dozens of things you can do to make your property safer.
Every family's safety needs are unique, but here are a few basic precautions that can help reduce the chances of home accidents occurring -- both large and small.
Stair safety: All things being equal, it's riskier to walk down a flight of stairs than it is to walk on level ground. While that may seem obvious, most people don't stop and think about the potential risks of descending stairs as they're about to do it. Although tripping and falling on stairs can be injurious to just about anyone, it's especially dangerous for elderly people. From a homeowner's standpoint, there are several things you can do to reduce the risk of family or friends stumbling on your stairs. On an ongoing basis, it's necessary to make sure there are no loose objects on the stairs that could cause someone to lose their footing. Keeping stairs clear of toys, building blocks, and slipping hazards can be challenging if you have young children. Until they're taught to pick up after themselves -- which might occur sometime between now and college -- stair safety is an important issue to be aware of. Another key strategy for preventing household accidents is to make sure railings are properly installed and firmly anchored. Basement stairs can pose additional risks because they're sometimes inadequately lighted. Concrete floors at the bottom of some staircases can make a fall even more hazardous (not to mention painful). Increasing lighting, if needed, and making the bottom step more visible so that it's not accidentally skipped, are two preventative measures for reducing the chances of anyone falling on basement stairs.
Fire safety: Most people are aware that it's essential to have several working smoke detectors placed in strategic locations in your kitchen, bedroom area, and other parts of your house. Even though it's common knowledge, people don't always remember to install enough of them, replace worn out batteries when necessary, or test them every few months to make sure they're in good working condition. Some people remove the battery to silence smoke alarms while they're cooking, which can be dangerous if they don't remember to put them back afterwards. If your kitchen smoke detector has a "push to hush" button, then that can be a safer way to temporarily quiet a smoke detector when you're cooking dinner. Home fire safety also entails several other precautions, including having a fire extinguisher in the kitchen (and other areas), having a second-floor fire-escape ladder available, and teaching children how to avoid and respond to potential fire dangers. More detailed information and educational materials on fire safety is available from government agencies and non-profit organizations like the American Red Cross and the National Fire Protection Association.
Stay tuned to this blog for more helpful tips, pointers, and ideas for keeping your home safer and more secure.
Selling a house may prove to be a long, complicated process. Fortunately, those who craft a house selling strategy can determine the steps they will need to take to accomplish their desired results.
A home selling strategy may prove to be a must-have. Because if you enter the real estate market with a plan in place to sell your residence, you could boost the likelihood of getting the best price for your home.
Ultimately, there are several factors you need to consider as you develop a house selling strategy, and these include:
1. Your Home's Condition
For those who want to speed up the home selling journey, it generally helps to perform property upgrades. That way, you can ensure your house stands out to dozens of potential buyers.
To upgrade your home's curb appeal, you should mow the lawn, trim the hedges and repair any cracked or damaged siding. These improvements usually are simple to complete and may help you make your residence more attractive than comparable available houses.
Meanwhile, to enhance your home's interior, you should clean as much as you can. With a neat, tidy home interior, your house can make a positive impression on buyers as soon as they walk through the front door.
2. Your Initial Asking Price
The initial asking price for your home may have far-flung effects on your house selling experience. Because if your initial home asking price is too high, you risk alienating potential buyers. Worst of all, your home may linger on the real estate market for many weeks or months, and you may need to lower your residence's price to facilitate a sale.
To price your home competitively, it typically is helpful to study the local housing sector. Find out how your residence stacks up against comparable available houses in your area, and you can determine how to price your home.
You also may want to conduct a home appraisal. By doing so, you can obtain a property valuation to help you decide the optimal initial home asking price.
3. Your Home Selling Timeline
Consider how much time you have to sell your residence – you will be happy you did. If you understand your house selling timeline, you can find ways to maximize the time and resources at your disposal.
If you need to move from your current home as soon as possible, for instance, you may need to be aggressive to promote your residence to buyers. On the other hand, if you can afford to be patient, you may be able to take a wait-and-see approach to obtain the best-possible offer to purchase your residence.
Lastly, as you get set to sell your home, you may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can teach you what it takes to sell a home in any city or town. He or she will even help you craft an effective house selling strategy, thereby ensuring you can quickly and effortlessly sell your house any time you choose.
If you intend to list your house in the weeks or months to come, it usually pays to assess real estate market data. In fact, there are many reasons why you should conduct housing market data analysis, and these include:
1. You can learn about the ins and outs of the real estate market.
Let's face it – navigating the home selling process can be difficult, regardless of whether you've sold houses in the past or plan to list a home for the first time. Fortunately, housing market data can help you better understand the real estate sector, increasing the likelihood that you'll make informed decisions at each stage of the home selling journey.
Remember, evaluating the prices of available houses in your area, finding out how long these residences have been listed and reviewing other pertinent housing market data can make a world of difference. If you use this information to understand the current state of the real estate market, you can boost your chances of enjoying a fast, profitable home selling experience.
2. You can determine a competitive price for your house.
What you originally paid for your house is unlikely to match your home's current value. Luckily, you can analyze real estate market data to find out how your house stacks up against the competition and price your residence appropriately.
Look at the prices of local residences that are similar to your own – you'll be glad you did. If you study this pricing data closely, you can narrow the price range for your house. Then, you can establish a competitive initial asking price for your house.
3. You can reduce the risk of encountering home selling pitfalls.
Want to avoid setting an initial home asking price that is too high or too low? Or, do you want to ensure that your house is buyer-ready from the moment that you add it to the real estate market? If you evaluate housing market data, you can obtain the insights that you need to avoid potential problems during the home selling journey.
Lastly, if you need extra help as you prepare to sell your house, you may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can provide you with a wealth of real estate market data and offer expert home selling recommendations. That way, you can optimize the value of all of the housing market data at your disposal.
Let's not forget about the comprehensive assistance that a real estate agent offers as the home selling journey progresses, either. A real estate agent will help you list your house, promote it to the right groups of buyers and negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf. And if you ever have home selling concerns or questions, a real estate agent will gladly respond to them.
Take a data-driven approach to selling your house – perform real estate market data analysis, and you can gain the home selling insights that you need to succeed.