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The First Step In Preparing Your Home For Sale

STEP ONE : DE-CLUTTERING

What is often the hardest step in getting ready to sell your home is de-cluttering and getting rid of your excess ‘stuff’. Face it… we tend to fill the space we have, sometimes to the point of overflowing. Whether it’s messy clutter… or very neat but just too much… it has to go so potential buyers can focus on how they would use the space.

When you list your home for sale you want to wow your potential buyer so they can see themselves living there… so they want to live there! You want enough ‘stuff’ so they can see how to use the space… but not so much that they focus on your ‘stuff’ rather than the house. After all, you are selling your house, not your things!

This de-cluttering step can be so hard that it sometimes stops the process before it ever gets started. If you have a lot to do, accept that it’s ok to ask for help… from family and friends, or hire an expert to help… just ask your Realtor for a recommendation.

Especially if you plan to downsize, de-cluttering can be the longest part of the process of getting your home ready to sell… and may be the most difficult. If you have lived in your home for a long time, your things are likely associated with many memories over the years… a good reason to share some of those treasures with people dear to you. A good place to start can be going through your things and selecting what you want to keep first… then giving things away to family and friends, donating to a worthy cause (for a tax deduction) or having an estate sale for the rest.

De-cluttering to get your home ready for staging often takes multiple sweeps… going through it an initial time… then again… then again… You want to get down to the basic structure of your home so potential buyers can experience the space… and visualize moving in their stuff.

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The Second Step In Preparing Your Home For Sale

STEP TWO – FIXES & UPDATES 

Once you have de-cluttered and removed all your excess stuff, it’s time to move on to the next step…fix ups, updates and painting. You may discover some fixes that you were unaware or have simply forgotten about. The most important part of this step is not to become overwhelmed. As your Realtor, we are always happy to assist in this process with years of experience in what buyers are looking for!

If there are any inspections required prior to selling where you live, this is the time to have it done, such as a Title 5 Inspection.  Some sellers also have their own buyer’s inspection done at this point so they aren’t surprised by things that turn up after getting an offer.

Whether your city requires an inspection or not, the state of Massachusetts does require smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarm be inspected by your local fire department. Now is the time to take a look at your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure they are updated and working properly.

If you have an inspection, make that the start of your ‘to do’ list and then go through and add to your list room by room. You’ll want to look at the ceiling, floors, walls, corners, closets, windows and coverings, light fixtures, doors, plumbing, etc with a critical eye. Visualize yourself seeing each room for the first time and note what stands out. Keep in mind that buyers usually focus first on the kitchen so this is an important area to consider when thinking about any updates or fixes.

Most people do at least some painting and often some flooring when getting ready to sell. Focus on getting a good, consistent flow of color throughout the house can maximize the feeling of spaciousness. Your Realtor can help you with suggestions for this or point you in the direction of a stager, someone who specializes in showcasing your home using your temporary furniture, decor, etc. 

Finally, don’t forget to also look outside… curb appeal includes condition of the property itself, as well as landscaping and accessories. You can prevent a buyer from even coming in the front door if they don’t like what they see outside! It sets the stage for what they expect to see inside.

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5 Signs That It’s Time For A Price Reduction On Your Listing

You have prepared your home so it is in good condition, it is well staged and has a good Internet presence… but it still hasn’t sold… now what?

Here are five clues it may be time for a price reduction…

1. You aren’t getting many showings

2. You are getting showings but consistent feedback is that the price is above market value

3. You are getting showings with feedback that buyers are interested, but don’t get any second showings or offers

4. You are getting showings that say your property is in good condition and shows well, is priced at market value, but… they don’t like the location, the floor plan is awkward, the rooms are too small, etc

5. Your price per square foot is higher than comparable properties that have sold recentlyPrice is the most important factor in the sale of your home because it takes everything into account. You can’t control the market or where it is located, but you can control the price.

Remember…

  • Your Realtor will compare your price to recent comparable sales, not just active listings…..active listings that haven’t sold.
  • Price overcomes objections so consider this when discussing a price reduction.
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What is a Comparative Market Analysis?

What Exactly is a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) and why do I need one?

Known in the real estate business simply by its acronym, a CMA is a powerful tool that rounds up similar properties in your area to help determine your home’s value.

Since no two homes are the same, a well-executed CMA is equal parts art and science, comparing raw data, such as your square footage and home address, with the less tangibles, like your home’s proximity to noisy streets. It’s an absolute essential when nailing down an initial asking price, and important for buyers making offers, too.

Your realtor will prepare a CMA by examining several properties that are comparable to your own home in location and size to figure out an appropriate asking price. Getting a CMA from your realtor is often one of the first steps you’ll take in listing your property.

The importance of pricing your home right the first time can’t be understated.

There are obvious downsides to listing a property too low, but too high can be detrimental to the selling process. Buyers will often conduct their own CMAs and will be able to easily spot an incorrectly priced listing. This could result in your home sitting on the market longer than is needed and thus causing even fewer buyers taking an interest as time goes on.

What Makes A Good Comparative Market Analysis?

The Comparative Market Analysis Starts With Location, Location, Location

The most important step in a CMA is accurately defining your neighborhood. One common mistake is drawing a perfect circle radius around your home, but that’s not always the most accurate approach. If you go across a set of train tracks or even over a few streets, it’s easy to see that often the homes or area is priced very differently. Your realtor can always explain why this may or may not be the case.