Planning on selling your home during the hot summer real estate market? Don’t wait until you are about to list to determine what needs to be done. Plan ahead to keep your sanity and maximize your listing price options. Here are key items on what to do now to sell your property this summer in Santa Clara & Alameda County.
Talk to a Realtor
I know what you’re thinking, “If I call a realtor now, he’ll just want to list it immediately.” Hear me out on this one. Have a realtor walk through your house with you, perform a market assessment and help you set realistic goals. In fact, have a few realtors do this to help you find the one you gel with best. This will also give you a good idea of what to expect in terms of finding a listing price that meets your selling goals.
Understand that realtors work on commission and they will work hard to earn your business. Consider how prepared the realtor comes to the meeting, what his anticipated marketing strategy is and how well he follows up with you after the meeting. Successful real estate transactions require clear marketing efforts and an agent who is responsive. Great realtors want to build relationships with people because referrals are their number one source of new clients.
Assess the Property
Ideally, the realtor walked through your property with you and gave you some ideas of what to work on. You don’t need to remodel the entire kitchen to sell the home but look for the things most in need of fixing and updating. A well maintained newer home might just need a deep cleaning whereas a home lived happily in for the past 50 years might need to remove old dated wallpaper or updating flooring.
Consider the curb appeal. Landscaping should be attractive and inviting. Make sure nothing is overgrown and allows buyers to see the home. Trimming trees and shrubs near windows help the inside look as well, allowing light in and making rooms feel bigger.
If there are any significant issues such as heating problems or plumbing problems, it is probably best to start addressing these before you list the property. Not only is it a selling point to talk about the new or updated items, it saves you from nickel-and-dime negotiations in the escrow inspection period.
Update and Fix What Makes Sense
Updating and fixing what makes sense means one of two things: either you will get more money for doing it or it will be easier to sell. As we already mentioned with certain home repairs like fixing a broken heater, this is important. Sure you might spend some money to get it done, but people will assume the house isn’t well cared for without working heat. You’ll get low-ball offers or it will be negotiated against you in escrow.
Take the time and energy to give walls a fresh coat of paint. This just makes a home look cleaner and is more attractive. Keep colors neutral so prospective buyers can visualize how they would finish the blank canvas. Evaluate the cost and potential return on the investment. If buying new carpet for the bedroom costs $600, this might be worth it if the realtor feels the return is more than $1,000 on it.
Start to Purge
If you are planning for a summer sale, start to get rid of clutter now. This reduces overwhelming stress by doing it all at once. Go systematically through each room. Start with closets and get rid of clothes you don’t use. Plan a couple of garage sales through the spring to get some cash for home fixes and clear out things you don’t plan on moving with anyway.