When it comes time to sell your home, planning ahead can help make the process smoother, the transaction faster, and the price better. It takes time and effort, but the results can make a big difference in the experience and the outcome even in markets that have seen a significant jump in housing demand going into the summer months.

First, enlist the help of a qualified real estate professional. He or she will be your representative in the home selling process, and is therefore beholden to work in your best interest as the listing agent. Your agent will help you price the house realistically, taking into account aspects of your local real estate market, your neighborhood, and how your home compares to similar properties that have recently sold (“comp sales”). A professional who is familiar with your local area will have valuable insight as to what may make potential buyers pay attention to your listing. He or she will also be responsible for marketing your home, including multiple listing service (MLS), advertising, promoting your property to buyers’ agents, and open house scheduling. The listing agent will also help you through the complex transaction process that comes with selling a home.

A professional pre-listing home inspection will help identify existing and potential problems with your home that can be addressed prior to putting the home on the market. The inspection should cover heating and cooling systems, the electrical system, plumbing, built-in appliances, the roof, and basement and crawlspace areas. An inspection report will then be issued with complete, objective findings. If you choose not to make needed repairs or system upgrades, this may need to be reflected in the selling price, or a credit may need to be given for the additional amount that the new owner will need to spend to have the work done. Your listing agent can recommend a qualified professional home inspector in your area. 

Before your home hits the market, it needs to be de-cluttered in order to show well. If the home is already vacant, consider having it staged to showcase its potential to prospective buyers. Staging is usually done with furniture, lamps, indoor plants, and a few accessory props, but is kept clean and spare overall to highlight the spaces. If you are still living in the home, minimize distractions by removing excess furniture, accessories, and personal belongings from each room. Understandably, you may want potential buyers to see how you live in your home, but they will want to envision themselves and their family in the home instead of focusing on the details of your life there.

Take a look around the outside of your home, too. Consider its curb appeal – what a buyer will see when they first drive up to – or by – your home. Maybe it can use a fresh coat of paint, or at the very least make sure that the trim around windows and doors is in good shape. Clean the exterior windows to brighten the overall appearance. Don’t ignore the landscaping; take some time to trim shrubs, mow the lawn, rake up leaves, and remove weeds. Seal any cracks in the driveway and walkways. Bright flowers near the street and front door are an easy and inexpensive way to welcome potential buyers.

By planning ahead and utilizing the help of your listing agent, your home may sell faster and at a better price, a winning combination.

Questions? Comments? Looking to buy or sell a house in Miami or Sarasota, Florida? Contact Kijner & Sons International Realty at info@kijner.com

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Source: 30th Edition of CRS Consumer Article (June 28th, 2013) - CRS-Pillar To Post Partnership - Article courtesy of Pillar To Post Professional Home Inspection