You’ve made the decision to put your house on the market but while you may feel educated about the real estate process and have done your homework on comps in your neighborhood, assessed the current inventory market in Maplewood and South Orange, and are actively following the Fed for any hints of rising interest rates, you may not be prepared for some of the following issues. Here are the 6 things no one will tell you before you sell your house:
- You’ve acquired too much stuff! Now you need to go through it, organize, box it up, and get it out of the house! Move the boxes into your parents’ basement, stash them in storage, or call Goodwill. The houses that sell the fastest look sparse, as if no one is living there. Remove all personal items from a room including picture frames and small tchotchkes. You want the buyer to look at the room, not the pictures of your wedding. You want them to envision themselves living in your house…not curious about your life. So pack up your belongings and make your home look as sterile as possible—and strongly consider having your house home-staged to make the best first impression. For more on how home-staging can help sell your home faster, click here. [vr_spacer size=”30″]
- Your house is a commodity to buyers, not the loving home full of memories that you view it as. Which means, you can’t get defensive or offended if people say they don’t like your kitchen color, your master bedroom closet is too small, or your street is too busy. There’s a buyer for every house, so if the first five people through the front door don’t fall in love, don’t get disheartened. If your home is priced correctly with the help of your real estate agent, sit tight. The perfect buyer who will fall in love with your house and write up a contract is out there—they just haven’t walked through the door yet. [vr_spacer size=”30″]
- Accommodate the buyer’s schedule, not yours. The market is strong, which means there are many people looking—and many people coming through your home. And they may be coming through at inconvenient times. But if you’re serious about selling, you’ll be flexible and allow them to come through when it works for their schedule, not yours. Couples working in Manhattan and relocating from Brooklyn or Queens may only be able to view homes on weeknights—or only on Sunday mornings. Whatever they’re requesting, do your best to make your home as available as possible—even if it gets in the way of the baby’s nap, your online yoga class, the dog walker, or much-needed weekend sleep. The more flexible you are with showings, the more people will see your home, which leads to a higher chance of a faster sale. The listings that specify “Showings only on Sundays between 1 and 3” minimize your chances…and completely miss out on the out-of-town cash buyer who flew in on a Friday, toured homes all day, and signed a contract that night. [vr_spacer size=”30″]
- Your neighbors will be coming through the open house, looking at your listing and pictures online, talking about your listing price (and how much you pay in taxes), and seeing what you ultimately sold your house for. Chalk this one up to human nature (come on, you’ve done it also!)…and put your best foot forward. Don’t worry what everyone else in your neighborhood thinks or is talking about. Getting the best return on your investment has nothing to do with gossip, so just ignore this part of the selling process! [vr_spacer size=”30″]
- You don’t have to have an open house. A lot of sellers don’t like the disruption to their weekend schedules caused by an open house, while others may be concerned about safety and theft. According to the National Association of Realtors, only 9 percent of buyers found their house through an open house. But what if your buyer is one of the 9 percent? Wouldn’t a few open houses be worth these odds? Consult with your real estate agent about this particular marketing strategy, but we’ve found that the more exposure you have, the greater your chance of selling your home. [vr_spacer size=”30″]
- Selling your home is one of the most stressful times in your life. Death, divorce, birth, and moving are some of the most stressful times in your life. In order to minimize the stress, it’s so important to have an experienced realtor working for you who can properly price your home from the beginning and manage the entire process for you—minimizing the stress as much as possible.