Did you know that, as a seller, your behavior and actions could affect the sale of your home? It may not seem like a huge deal, but trust your Realtor® when they say that every aspect of the home selling process is scrutinized by potential buyers.
There are plenty of things you can do to ensure the smooth and speedy sale of your home. We asked our agents here at HomeCity Real Estate what they advise their seller clients to do to put themselves (and their home) in the most favorable light.
1. Leave the property. Let’s be honest; most Realtors® agree that sellers should not be lurking around the property when it’s being shown. “Sellers, please leave the property when it is being shown to a buyer,” says Seth Thompson, Broker at HomeCity. It makes potential buyers feel uncomfortable and inhibits their ability to picture themselves in the home. If at all possible take your pets as well, not everyone likes pets, and it could make for a stressful situation (for the buyer and the pet!)
2. De-personalize the home. “Start packing and de-cluttering as much as possible – clean and sparse is key,” advises Jessica Kasper, Realtor®. As we said before, you want a seller to be able to imagine themselves in your house easily; your personal items will get in the way of that. “De-clutter, take down family photos, and the big name signs in the kid's bedrooms,” says Realtor® Amy Vallejo. “Sellers should make their beds, put their dishes away and keep their lawn mowed and smelling fresh – also, don’t forget to answer your phone ASAP when someone wants to show,” adds Laura Tumulty, Realtor®, CNE.
3. Hide all confidential items, but leave out helpful ones. “Sellers, please put away (in a safe place) all medications, credit cards, tax information, etc. before showing your home,” warns Susan Ledesma, Realtor®. However, it is great etiquette to leave out things that a potential buyer may want to reference during a walkthrough. Things like home inspection reports, appraisals, home warranty, and any proof of major repairs are great to leave in an easy-to-find spot.
4. Smell is key. “Too much of a candle or freshener can turn buyers off and make them think you’re trying to cover something,” says Realtor® Jonathan Bane. “If there is a bad smell, it can turn buyers off to many of the great features of your home. Use vanilla, citrus, or fresh cotton as your smells. If it is the holidays, pine or cinnamon can help make your home feel cozier.” Also - try not to cook anything stinky before showing your home.
5. Clean the property THOROUGHLY. While it’s common knowledge to clean a home before attempting to sell it, you may not realize how important that aspect really is. “First impressions matter – deep clean the home very well,” advises Laura Rosales, Realtor®, SRS. “Once it’s listed, it’s best to see the home as an investment you will be receiving a gain from and not ‘my house.'” This includes not only the inside of the home but the outside as well. “The front yard is the first impression a prospective buyer will have when visiting your home,” says Tracy Kilpatrick, Realtor®, e-Pro. “The entire family needs to do their part to make the home ‘show ready.'”
6. Patiently wait for feedback. Of course, you want to know what the seller thought of your home, but that information may come a few days after the viewing (especially if they did not put in an offer). It can take time to process information when a seller has seen many homes, so don’t pester the seller’s agent for feedback right away.
7. Compromise is essential. Don’t get greedy when negotiating. This can possibly kill a deal and keep your home on the market for longer than you’d like. “Buyers have a lot on their plate too, and a lot of outs in the contract," warns Realtor® Matt Witte. "When negotiating, compromise. Let them have little wins during the transaction, and they’ll be more inclined to stick with you.”