Top 5 Things to Do to Sell Your House
Seeing “For Sale” signs up in your neighborhood and thinking about making a change yourself? We sat down with local real estate agent Shelley Moore of The Attias Group to find out what you need to know before you put your house on the market.
According to Shelley, Spring is the best time of the year to put your house on the market and Spring 2017 is an especially good time to sell. Absorption rates in towns throughout Massachusetts indicate that we are in a “Seller’s Market” where a shortage of inventory means that there are more buyers looking for homes than there are houses for sale. But before you rush out and put a “For Sale” sign in your own yard, make sure you do these five things.
You have more belongings that you realize. Likely more than you need. Trust me. Go through your home and clear out the closets, play rooms, basements, and garages. If you haven’t touched it in five years, send it on its way. Pack off-season items or extras into boxes and stack them neatly in the basement or garage. If it starts to look cluttered, then rent some offsite storage until you move into the new house. You need to pack up anyway to move, why not get a head start? The key is to make your home look spacious, open, and to show buyers that there is plenty of space for them to easily move in and keep their own stuff.
Believe it or not, not everyone in Massachusetts loves the Patriots. I know, hard to imagine – but the point is that you want to remove anything from your home that could cause buyers to have an emotional reaction. This includes family photos and anything that you’ve been proudly displaying on the refrigerator. While your kids are adorable (I know mine are…), you don’t want anything that is going to distract a buyer. You want buyers to be able to picture themselves in the home, which means a blank slate.
Give it Purpose:
Make sure the purpose of each room is clear and makes sense. A defined purpose for a room – dining, living, sleeping, working, music, crafting – helps buyers see how they would use the space themselves. Move exercise equipment from your bedroom to the basement, take the desk out of the dining room, and organize and store the toys in a dedicated playroom or defined play space. If you have noticeably empty space, then stage it to give it a purpose. It’s better to have something in a room than to leave it empty and sad.
Prioritize Space & Light:
Go into each room and remove three things. Big furniture pieces, extra seating, or a large bed make rooms look smaller. Remove large carpets to reveal hardware floors underneath. Less is more because you want each room to look as spacious as possible. Big furniture pieces and carpets are magnified in photographs, which can make even spacious rooms look smaller. Light is also very important and you want the rooms to have as much light as possible. Remove heavy draperies and shades to showcase the window underneath and let in the natural light. It may feel stark to you, but remember that how you best show a home is much different than how you live in a home day to day. Speaking of light – change those light bulbs! Make sure every light fixture is clean and has working bulbs and, very importantly, that those bulbs are bright enough. Some energy efficient bulbs can take a long time to “warm up” – consider replacements that are at full brightness right away. Dimly lit spaces are not welcoming.
Engage a Professional:
Have a professional Realtor walk through your home and give you feedback. An experienced Realtor will quickly pick out things about your home that you may not see since you live there. A Realtor’s inspection can also give you a head start on minor home repairs that should be done before a buyer’s own home inspection. Also, a Realtor in your area sees properties in your market every week and is familiar with what buyers are currently looking for in a home. That Realtor may even have a buyer client perfect for your property right now!
A career in real estate was natural for Shelley Moore. An extension of her MBA concentrations in Finance and Marketing, Shelley’s analytical skillset and innovative marketing strategies give her buyer and seller clients a distinct advantage. Her previous career in venture capital and software product management benefits her clients by enabling her to analyze market potential and negotiate favorable deals for them. Given her experience buying, renovating, and selling properties – from her first condominium in Boston to the renovated antique home in which she lives now – Shelley is able to help her clients to visualize a property’s potential, whether they are sellers seeking a return on investment or buyers looking for a dream home.