So, you’ve decided it’s time to sell your home… now what?
Selling a home, even when the world is not in the middle of a global pandemic, can be a complicated and expensive process. Hubzu is here to turn complex strategies into simple steps and offer affordable alternatives for major expenses.
We want to help as many homeowners as possible during these trying times, so we’ve put together this handy guide to help you prepare for and get the most from your home sale.
Step 1: Evaluate the condition of your home
Before putting your home up for sale, you’ll want to thoroughly assess its condition. Doing so will give you a better understanding of potential repairs or changes that need to be made. Depending on your state’s disclosure laws, you may have to explicitly communicate these issues to buyers.
If you need help evaluating your home’s condition, it may be a good idea to get a professional pre-listing home inspection to uncover underlying issues that are difficult to detect.
For your initial examination, it’s good to be aware of the common issues that arise with many properties. The older the home is, the more important it is to thoroughly assess these areas.
Heating and cooling systems, furnaces, roofing and appliances are all due for updates around the 15-to-20-year mark. This doesn’t mean that houses older than a decade are a lost cause. As with anything, routine maintenance is the key to longevity. If these core systems have never been updated or maintained, you may need to make a few repairs.
Foundation issues, structural infestations (like carpenter ants or termites) and mold can put a damper on your home’s aesthetic. Pay extra attention to what lies beneath to ensure your home doesn’t have these hidden issues.
Here are a few other common issues to watch out for when evaluating the condition of your home:
- Bad surface grading or drainage can cause water to seep into the home.
- Roof damage from old or damaged shingles is a common issue that can be remedied with the help of a professional.
- Plumbing problems aren’t irregular and are known to be an issue with older homes.
- Electrical wiring should be thoroughly checked in older homes, but all properties benefit from having their systems checked. Keep in mind that this area can be particularly dangerous. It’s best to have it checked out by a professional.
Step 2: Stage for photos and tours
After you’ve determined the condition of your home and made any necessary repairs, you can start staging. Staging is a big part of effectively marketing your home so it’s attractive to buyers in photos and during showings. To stage your home for maximum appeal:
Buyers want to see how much space your home offers, not how much stuff you own. Get rid of any clutter you have lying around that can make the interior look small or diminish the appearance of an open space. This includes minimizing items on kitchen and bathroom counters as much as possible. Also, clean out closets and leave closet doors open so potential buyers can see how much space is inside.
Give your home a deep cleaning by getting the carpets professionally cleaned, scrubbing and polishing kitchen appliances and bathroom fixtures and wiping fingerprints and dust from your windows. This applies to furniture too. Make sure there aren’t any stains or blemishes that can hurt your home’s appearance. Next, work on eliminating or minimizing odors throughout the property. This is especially true if you own pets, have children or smoke inside the home. Dull strong odors by lighting scented candles before potential buyers take a tour.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to continuously clean the entire time your home is on the market because you never know when the perfect buyer may come along.
When you’re ready to start staging, open the blinds and let in as much natural light as possible. If a window has a particularly unattractive view, utilize sheer window coverings to obscure it while still allowing light to come in. If there are areas in the home with no access to natural light, use a lamp to brighten up the room. Add more space to walkways and rooms by arranging furniture so it’s not obstructing the flow of traffic.
You should also depersonalize your home as much as possible by removing photos, monogrammed items, fridge art, toys, crafts and anything else that indicates the home is currently inhabited.
Lastly, you’ll want to hide any wallpapers and paint over any walls that don’t have warm, neutral colors. Your specific style may be off-putting to certain buyers and it could make it difficult for them to envision implementing their own style.
4. Add curb appeal
Your home’s exterior is extremely important because it’s the first thing potential buyers will see when they tour your home virtually or in person. If the exterior is in bad shape, they may write-off the entire property. Here are a few ways you can make your home tour-ready:
- Hide bikes, toys or debilitated outdoor furniture.
- Remove trash cans from sight.
- Discard any trash, dirt or loose items from the driveway, walkways and front porch.
- Repaint your mailbox or buy a new one if needed.
- Take photos of the exterior, view them closely and handle any immediate issues you see.
- You could put flower boxes in your windows and your front porches for a nice added touch.
- Install outdoor lighting around walkways and entryways to brighten the atmosphere.
Step 3: Take pictures
Once your home is staged and ready for viewing, take a few photos to post along with your listing. High-quality photos taken with your smartphone or camera can increase buyer interest and lead to more offers.
In a time where searching for homes online has become a necessity, having great photos will really help your listing stand out. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
These tips will help you capture your home at its best:
1. Shoot in the afternoon
The afternoon and early evening are ideal for taking exterior photos because the sun isn’t directly overhead creating harsh shadows. For the best exposure, keep the sun at the back of the frame and fill the center with what you want to show off. Be sure to take a variety of exterior shots that showcase street-view angles, add-ons like a garage or shed and specialty features such as landscaped walkways or gardens.
2. Showcase every room
Create an immersive experience for potential buyers with pictures of every room in the home. Turn on all lights and open window coverings to take advantage of natural light and make each room feel bright and airy. In tight spaces like walk-in closets or bathrooms, try to angle your phone or camera to capture a sufficient wall-to-wall view.
3. Use gadgets and features
Whether you’re using your phone, a point-and-shoot or a DSLR, a tripod can give you the extra support you need to shoot sharp, level photos. Consider also using your device’s self-timing feature or remote controls to perfectly frame and time your photos and achieve the best shots possible.
4. Show different seasons and weather conditions
If possible, take pictures of your home in various seasons and weather conditions. Photos with green lawns and blooming flower beds are typically the most appealing but seeing the way your home fares during a snowy winter or searing summer can help buyers envision themselves there year-round.
Ready to Sell?
Now that your home is ready for sale, it’s time to explore your marketing options.
With Hubzu’s Signature SellerTM program, you have the opportunity to market your home to over 1.9 million investors and buyers. Online auction marketing can help you create competition for your home through nationwide marketing exposure to millions of potential buyers.
Becoming a Signature SellerTM is simple. Registration is free and only takes a few minutes. Just complete a registration form and a Hubzu representative will reach out to walk you through the program.
When your account is up and running, we can also help you find a Hubzu Preferred real estate agent where available. Remember, with Signature SellerTM you’re in complete control of the process and can accept or decline any offer you receive.
Click here to get started!