Selling Your Property? Start Now!

If you’re thinking about making a move to a new home this year, starting in January can create a greater profit margin and a smoother transaction.  If you need to sell your current property to make the move, here are some factors to consider:

  1. What do you see when you drive up? Do you want to go into your home? Is it inviting?  When you walk in the front door?  Do you feel comfortable?  Impressed?  What are your ideas about the property?  Do you need to trim, plant, paint, add a shutter or remove some dated bottle glass next to the front door?  Make a list for review your list with your Realtor
  2. Call in your realtor and ask them for their punch list on your home.  It’s usually different than yours.  You live in the property and are used to its idiosyncrasies, or irritated by items that may not be high selling factors to new buyers. You make think you need to improve or replace things that won’t increase your return or conversely, you may be inclined to ignore something that may be a detriment to obtaining the best offer on your home.  Sometimes it’s just a matter of knowing what buyers are responding to in the current real estate market place and being able to put a couple small touches onto an already desirable home.  Your Realtor should be able to tell you what kind of return you will receive for the improvements done.
  3. Depending upon the age and condition of your home, the agent will probably recommend a “Structural Pest Control Inspection” (commonly called a Termite Report), and maybe a “Home Inspection”, that further investigates the structure and the mechanical systems as well.  The laws now require Sellers to provide Geological, Earthquake, Hot Water Heater, Smoke Detector and Hazardous Material Disclosures to the Buyers.  There are reasonably priced professional services that will provide these reports for you and lessen the liability in your sale. If you live in a Planned Unit Development there is documentation from the Homeowner Association that you need to provide to the Buyer and this usually takes 10 days or so to obtain.  If there are other obvious problem areas, such as roof, wells, or other items, the agent will probably recommend inspections or estimates for repairs prior to placing the property on the market.  This can save you many some steps and inconveniences later.  For instance, if you plan to paint and  you get these inspections first, then you won’t have a painter paint over dryrot in the eves, only later to discover later in the “Termite” report  the wood has to be replaced and re-painted
  4. Once you have any and all reports completed, meet with your Realtor again.  Determine which work to go ahead and complete, which work should be included into the Marketing price as an allowance for repair or replacement, and when to market the property for sale in it’s present condition if repairs and/or replacements are not possible or economically realistic.  Note it is almost always to a Seller’s advantage to know what the cost of a repair or replacement is prior to marketing the property.
  5. Once you have an overall program plan, you can schedule the workers (or your time if you plan to do it yourself).  No matter how you do the preparation, it usually takes longer that you hoped, but then that’s whey we started in January!!!  When you can actually see the end, call your Realtor one more time.  Now they can complete their market analysis based on the finished results.  They can orchestrate some marketing impact by coordinating the advertising schedule, the Realtor tour and the property showings.  Please BEWARE of putting your property on the market before it’s completed.  It almost always hurts the offering prices you will receive.   When your property gets exposed to the market before it’s ready, it is then for sale for an extended time and starts to get “shop worn".  While it’s tempting as a Seller to think someone will see your property and want to finish it they, they almost always want a price break to do so.  Maximize your return; finish it up before you put it on the market.  You may be able to visualize, but many buyers can’t or don’t the time to do so.
  6. When all is said and done, you might even do as one set of my clients did; they got everything ready, boarded the dog and cat, took the toddler and went on vacation for 10 days.  They happily came home to hear the offers waiting for them.  However you decide to actually orchestrate your sale, you will reduce your stress by early planning and allowing your self adequate time to get your home ready.