Getting Ready

Creating a Plan

Your agent will help you create a marketing plan that will make it easier to sell your home at the best price possible in the shortest amount of time.


Adding Value to your Home

Tips that will add value to your home.

1. Clean, organize, and neutralize your space: Unclutter your house to make it look bigger and cleaner. Buyers need to be able to envision their own belongings in the home; so, avoid using bright colors and too many personal effects.

2. Keep Your Lawn Green: Get your lawn in shape. A patchy lawn takes away from the home's overall appearance.

3. Add insulation to save energy: The most inexpensive way to increase your home's energy is to add insulation, which can reduce heating and cooling costs by more than 25%.

4. Update kitchen appliances: The kitchen is often the room that buyers gravitate towards first, and an updated kitchen can help sell your home. You don't have to remodel your kitchen to give it a new look. Updating your appliances to the current standard and replacing cabinet doors and hardware can make a big impact at a relatively low cost.

5. Update bathroom fixtures: A little change can go a long way when it comes to the look of your bathroom. Updating simple fixtures such as your sink and faucet can give any outdated bathroom style.

6. Build a fence: If you're trying to sell a house, the appearance of a fence adds value to the home overall. Buyers with children or pets will appreciate the privacy and security of an enclosed backyard.

7. Repair the gutter: Ensuring that your gutter is clean is crucial in protecting your home against water damage.

8. Light up the outside: An easy and inexpensive way to increase your home's outdoor space is to add lighting. It makes it more appealing and safer.

9. Store and organize: Ample storage space is a plus, especially when it comes to garages and closets. Efficient closet structures can help keep your clothes organized and can save space.

10. Polish off the basement: Rather than adding an additional room, it is more cost-efficient to remodel your basement. This adds value and usable space.

Setting the Price

A key part of your marketing plan is setting the list price. Quite simply, if a home is priced too low, you miss out on potential profit. If a home is priced too high, qualified buyers will look elsewhere.

To determine the best asking price, review the prices of recently sold, comparable homes in the area. Our sales professionals have ready access to this information, and can provide the big picture to help you determine the right asking price.

It is also helpful to discuss with your agent other terms and conditions that can be included in the sale of the home to make it more attractive to potential buyers. For example, an owner can offer to pay closing cost or complete a major repair - such as a new roof - to make the deal more appealing. A home warranty is another useful marketing tool, providing protection if an appliance or other covered item fails after closing. Home warranties are a relatively inexpensive way for a seller to add value to a property.

Other important items:

  • Real estate is local. Your agent can explain current market factors in your community, including what's selling, what isn't selling, and why. This information is critical to setting an optimal price and terms.
  • If your house is located in a desirable area you will be able to get a higher price than you can for the same house in a less desirable area.
  • If a house has amenities that are currently popular in the marketplace, it will bring a higher price. Your agent can help identify top trends.
  • A house that has been better maintained and "shows" better will always sell for more than one that has had deferred (neglected) maintenance and needs work.
  • Buyers expect everything to work. It's an important trust factor, and worth the time and expense to make basic repairs.
  • Markets differ by location and time. When interest rates are low and the local job base is growing, it's great to be a seller. But when times are slack and mortgage rates are rising, homes also sell. The trick is to be realistic, to get as much as market conditions will allow.

Showing Your Home

Staging your home is an important part of the sales process and these home showing tips can help boost a home's curb appeal and create a lasting first impression. You want potential buyers to feel at home from the minute they walk up the driveway. Give them a canvas to fill. It's showtime!

Start with a good cleaning, eliminate clutter, put away the knickknacks and add fresh coats of a neutral-colored paint to brighten rooms. Oh, and tidy up the yard. Your agent can give you all sorts of tips to help boost your home's curb appeal and impress potential buyers once they're inside. Here are a few basics:

  • If the weather permits, open the windows (if there is too much noise outside, close them). If it's cold enough to wear a sweater to stay warm, turn on the heat. You want the temperature inside to be comfortable and to give the buyer more of a reason to linger, especially on hot or cold days!
  • Light a fire in the fireplace, have chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven, or use lightly scented aromatherapy - such as lavender - to set the scene for a tranquil home.
  • Open all the window coverings to let in light. If a particular window overlooks undesirable scenery or obstructed views, keep the blinds partially closed.
  • Turn on every light in the house, including appliance lights and closet lights. Brighten dark rooms with few windows by placing spotlights on the floor behind furniture.
  • Move your cars to an alternate location, and allow your real estate agent to conduct the tour: potential buyers usually feel more comfortable - and less pressured - when the owners are not present.