Home Selling Guide
All You Need
Your Guide to Selling Your Home
One of the biggest listing mistakes people make is not adequately preparing for their home sale. That’s why we’re here to guide you through the process. This guide is meant to direct you through the pre-listing process by educating and empowering you to make the best decisions for your home sale. Below you’ll find all aspects of preparing your home for the market, including tips on staging, packing, vendor resources, and timeline management. We’ve also provided a number of quick links to helpful tools and resources to help you prepare. We’re here to reduce any uncertainty or stress you’re having about the process and are always a phone call or email away to answer your questions. Happy Listing!
The average amount our homes are sold above asking price.
The typical number of days it takes for our properties to get under contract.
Transactions we’ve completed since we were established in 2003.
Getting Bids & Negotiating
2. Always make sure you are checking a contractor’s license status. Contractors need to renew their licenses annually, and if they have not done so, their work is not certiﬁed. You can check the status of a contractor’s license here.
3. When negotiating a contract with a licensed and bonded contractor, always include a completion date and the scope of work to be performed. A thoughtful practice is to also tie damages to each day that a contractor does not complete the work, including removing their tools and cleaning up.
4. Please run choices in materials and paint colors by your real estate broker, as they will be more familiar with what types of trends are occurring that might inﬂuence buying decisions. Remember that what you might like is not necessarily the most appropriate material or amenity for the majority of the buyers out there.
Asking the Right Questions
Never take a bid over the phone—a good contractor will always come to do a walkthrough of the project and provide you with a bid and scope of work. Take time to review the scope of work—make sure all instructions are clear and communicated. Make sure you have a start and end date, make all payment arrangements upfront and ask the following questions:
- What is your availability?
- When can you start? (Be sure to nail down an end date as well)
- Are you licensed and bonded? May I have your contractors license number?
- How do you accept payment? Can you be paid at closing as part of our agreement?
- Will my job be the only job you are working on at that time?
- What are your working hours?
- Will you be at my house every day until the work is completed?
- Do you perform the work yourself, or do you rely on subcontractors?
- Do you have a list of referrals?
- Is this type of work the kind you like to do?
- How do you handle changes that might have to be made during the project?
- How often do you not come in on budget and what assurances can you make me that we will not go over budget? Do you see any unknowns we should be talking about?
- How do you handle changes that might need to be added to a project? Insist on change orders with all contractors.
Questions? Get in touch with us!
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Transforming Your Home for Potential Buyers
The moment that you commit to marketing your home for sale, you must also commit to transforming and decluttering your home, making it a place where potential buyers can easily picture themselves living. The goal of staging is to make the home speak to everyone in a compelling and positive way.
Homes that are staged for the market are likely to sell more quickly and at a higher price than homes that are listed as is. This is why we provide a staging consultation with a qualiﬁed staging company to our clients as part of our marketing plan for your home. What this means is that prior to your list date, a staging consultant will do a walkthrough of your home and make recommendations regarding furniture placement, paint colors, and other aesthetics that may inﬂuence the impressions that buyers will have upon entering your home.
Removing clutter is step number one in preparing your home to sell. Potential buyers want to be able to visualize their own possessions in your home.
Group your furniture with plenty of space for walking. Eliminate unnecessary furniture to make your home feel bigger.
LIGHTING IT UP
Increase the wattage in your lamps and ﬁxtures for warmth. Don’t depend on one or two ﬁxtures per room, make sure you have three types of lighting – ambient, task, and accent when possible. Try to keep light bulb temperatures consistent.
Have the home professionally cleaned prior to listing photos, including windows. This should include both the inside and outside of your home.
Paint rooms fresh and neutral colors. Bold wall colors have a way of reducing room sizes, so make sure there are neutrals in small spaces in particular. Do away with unique colors that might have more limited appeal on a general scale, or which might make it hard for buyers to picture their furniture in your home.
MAKING VISUAL REPAIRS
Make all visual repairs suggested by your realtor. This may include, but is not limited to: handles, doors, holes in walls, painting, reﬁnishing wood ﬂoors, cleaning or replacing worn carpeting, etc.
Curb appeal forms a potential buyer’s ﬁrst impression of your home. Ideally, the best time to start preparing the outside of your house is one month before you put your home on the market, depending on the time of year. Follow these tips for adding the most to the outside of your house:
- Clean and spruce up any of your outdoor containers.
- Touch up and add new mulch.
- Plant color wherever possible.
- Shape up overgrown and unsightly trees and shrubs. Prune away 18” from the house and roof.
- Tend to perennial beds.
- Clean out gutters.
- Power wash sidewalks, steps, and driveways. Consider staging outdoor areas to allow people to have the vision of how functional certain outdoor spaces are or can be.
In addition to making your landscaping stellar, ensuring your home is at its best is an extremely important part of the staging process. The following steps will help you best utilize your curb appeal:
- Make sure your roof is clear of moss, and request a roof certiﬁcation if the roof is older. If necessary, you may want to put a new roof on your home, as this can present hardships during a transaction.
- Repaint trim, siding, and porches where necessary.
- Open curtains and remove window coverings to allow more light and to highlight windows when appropriate. Houses sell better when bright and light.
- Outdoor lighting should be working and easy on the eyes. Many potential buyers will drive by at night to get a sense of the neighborhood vibe.