We’ve turned the calendar to the new year, and now it’s time to start thinking about selling your home this spring. Here are five tips to make the sale process go well.
GET THE CURB UNDER CONTROL! Here in Wisconsin we’ll be facing the early spring thaw, which brings minor destruction to the landscape around our homes. The advice here is to make sure the view from the street is what you want it to be: landscape is neat and tidy; wood portions of the exterior of your home are painted; the deck is stained; siding is washed; windows look clear. As a real estate agent these items will help us sell your home faster.
CLEAR THE CLUTTER! We’re all guilty. The holidays have passed, and we’ve got a little extra inventory in our homes, right? Selling your home means you want to give the impression to your potential buyers that you have extra space, and the house is tidy. Donating a truck load to a local charity, taking another to the landfill, having a rummage sale, or even filling a dumpster will go a long way to helping you create space and get organized for the quick home sale.
GET IT REPAIRED! You know that light bulb that went out at the top of the stairs? And the loose cabinet handles in the kitchen? What about the piece of trim that needs replacing in the kids’ bathroom? We all live with a few minor, un-resolved home repair issues. We just deal with it. However, now it’s time to sell your home, and that means getting them repaired so your home shows well. Hire a handyman if you don’t have time, but get those items written on a list and start checking them off.
PRICE MATTERS! Know your numbers prior to meeting and interviewing real estate agents: call the bank for your payoff amount; check any other debt on the home such as a HELOC; and figure any other money items you need. After that you’ll be ready to discuss price with the real estate agent you select. The two of you can formulate a plan based on your needs, and the agent’s knowledge of market conditions and other sale factors affecting your home and location. Pricing too high may mean ending with a stale listing. Pricing too low may short change your bottom line. Take the time to do it right.
HIRE A MARKETING WHIZ! Because you know a real estate agent, or heard about one from a friend, doesn’t mean they’re a good real estate agent. Take time and hire the best agent you can find. That means you should interview a few, and end with an agent that can market your home for a quick sale. Yes, they should be a good personality fit for you and your family. Yes, you should be able to trust them immediately (that gut feeling, right?). Yes, listing through them should push your home to hundreds of real estate websites. Yes, hiring that agent should result in sharing information, video, and images of your home on dozens of locally controlled, closely managed social media platforms. Yes, your real estate agent should show you a marketing plan for your home. Yes, your marketing whiz should be shaking hands in their own network, sending letters to the neighborhood announcing your home for sale, and leaning into their sphere to push your home the old fashioned way, outside of digital.
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Brian Lawton is a licensed Wisconsin REALTOR®, real estate investor, industry blogger, entrepreneur, and Director of EXIT Realty HGM’s Janesville, Wisconsin offices, where he lives with his family. Connect with him: LinkedIn.