Jeremy McElwain's Blog
One of the many challenges of putting your home on the market is keeping it clean!
That task can be even more difficult if you have kids, pets, and a busy schedule. If everyone is always rushing off to their jobs, classes, lunch dates, meetings, practices, or appointments, it's hard to keep your home in a perpetual state of cleanliness and order.
Probably the first step to keeping your house ready for real estate showings is to remind your family to clean up after themselves. While this may require more than one reminder, any amount of cooperation will help keep messes to a minimum. Implementing some sort of reward system or even a competition among siblings, can go a long way toward maintaining a semblance of order in the house. Some parents even post a calendar of assigned chores to make sure everyone does their fair share.
Professional Help May Be Needed!
Getting your home ready for real estate showings can feel like a monumental task, especially if you have a large house and a messy family! The good news is that you can hire some outside help without depleting your kids' college funds! Many households already have a house cleaning person or service that comes in at least a couple times a month to keep things looking civilized. If your house is actively being shown to prospective buyers, however, you might want to consider having your housekeeper clean the house a little more frequently than usual. That way, you only have to do some minor tidying up when your real estate agent notifies you about a scheduled house showing in a few hours or tomorrow morning.
If any of your rooms are carpeted and the floors haven't been professionally steam-cleaned for as long as you can remember, it may be time to hire a carpet cleaning service. Carpeted floors have an unfortunate tendancy of locking in stains, allergens, and ground-in dirt for months, if not years! Although you can often improve the appearance of your carpets by cleaning them yourself, it often requires the services of a professional carpet cleaning service to really get those stubborn stains out. You can often get recommendations from neighbors, friends, relatives, or coworkers, and can look for online reviews of carpet cleaners on social media websites.
Once you've cleaned, dusted, and sanitized the inside of your house, there may be one more area to tackle before you're ready to have your house shown: its exterior! Your home's siding may be covered with filmy layers of dust, grime, splatters, and environmental pollutants -- a condition which thankfully can be reversed by using the services of a local power-washing company. While not all power-washing services are created equal, a reliable one can remove years of accumulated filmy deposits from pollen, birds, spider webs, acid rain, snow blower splatters, rust, smoky emissions from backyard barbeques, vehicle exhaust emissions, and other miscellaneous air pollution.
So even though the environment, your family, and the wear and tear of normal, everyday use will take its toll on the appearance of your home, there are many things you can do to reverse that process and restore many aspects of your home's original freshness, charm, and appeal!
Selling a home for the first time can be tricky. In fact, first-time home sellers often make mistakes that prolong the home selling process. Perhaps even worse, these errors may cause a home seller to miss out on opportunities to optimize the value of his or her residence.
Now, let's take a look at three common mistakes that first-time home sellers make, as well as ways to avoid these problems.
1. Setting an Unrealistic Initial Asking Price
Although you might have paid a hefty sum for your house a few years ago, what your home was worth then is unlikely to match its current value. However, if you set an unrealistic initial asking price for your residence, you risk alienating dozens of potential buyers.
Before you set a price for your house, it pays to perform plenty of housing market research. That way, you can see how your home stacks up against the competition and price it based on the current real estate sector's conditions.
Furthermore, you may want to conduct a home appraisal prior to listing your house. Following a home appraisal, you'll receive a property valuation to help you establish a competitive price for your residence.
2. Failing to Provide Full Details About Your House
No home is perfect, and a home seller who withholds information about his or her residence risks wasting precious time and resources. To better understand why this may be the case, let's consider an example.
If a home seller fails to include information about a faulty heating and cooling system in a home listing, a buyer will be unaware of the problem. A buyer then may submit an offer on this house that a seller accepts. But during a home inspection, a property inspector likely will discover the defective heating and cooling system, which leads the buyer to rescind his or her offer. And at this point, the seller will have to restart the home selling process from square one.
When it comes to selling a home, it helps to be honest. If you provide full details about your residence, you can help a buyer make an informed decision and reduce the risk of that a purchase agreement will fall apart after a home inspection.
3. Choosing an Ineffective Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent should have a seller's best interests in mind. As such, this housing market professional will collaborate with a seller throughout the home selling journey to ensure a seller can optimize his or her earnings.
Unfortunately, not all real estate agents possess the same skills. But if you evaluate a variety of real estate agents, you can increase the likelihood of finding one who matches or exceeds your expectations.
Employ a real estate agent with a proven reputation. And if you're uncertain about whether a real estate agent can help you achieve your home selling goals, it usually helps to request client referrals from this housing market professional.
Streamline the process of selling your home – avoid the aforementioned first-time home seller mistakes, and you can boost your chances of enjoying a quick, profitable home selling experience.
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