When Less is More in Real Estate

Of all the things that can be most damaging in real estate, clutter tops the list. For many, this just means that the house needs tidied or the shelves need to be cleaned up a bit or even removed. For others, some major outdoor and indoor work may be necessary. The goal here is to maximize the concept of space. Even a large room looks small when it’s cluttered, but even a small room can look large when it’s not cluttered. Use the tips here, but listen to specifics from your real estate agent, who has to experience to know what really matters in your home specifically.


De-Personalize the House


You may enjoy collecting all sorts of things, but you aren’t trying to impress a buyer with your decorating skills. Instead, you are trying to offer a buyer an open canvas, a place where he or she can imagine their own collections and how they would personalize the space. Consider removing shelves and pictures from the wall, but also make sure to clean up the marks to give a smooth, open appearance.


Manage the Landscaping


Take a walk around your house, starting at the front. This is the first impression that people have when they come to see if your house is the one they want to invest in. Make sure to clean up any clutter and put away most of the decorations. This is especially true if you happen to have religious decorations. It may be difficult, but you need to keep your personal beliefs out of the buyer’s mind so they can focus on the major aspects of the house itself.


Once you have the front yard covered, try cleaning up the back. It’s fine to have your patio furniture out, especially if it goes with the house. Just try to avoid the decorations. It might even be a great time to thin the flowers so they can see what is there, but also see that there is plenty of room for their own interests.


Keep in mind that the buyer is looking for a home that fits them and their interests. They want to see if they can make this property fit their lifestyle, not if they can move in to your lifestyle.

The Last Minute Home Visit Survival Guide

Home visits are a welcome sign that your property is drawing prospective buyers. However, last minute visits are often a home-for-sale nightmare. When it is time to sell, but you need to still live there until it sells, buyers sometimes show up at inconvenient moments. There are survival tips to make the best of the situation, even on a moment’s notice.


Be open and honest, but smart: As the homeowner, the ability is there to not allow showings during different times of the day or to turn away last minute requests. Sellers are well within their rights to set boundaries with their real estate agents and request a few hours notice for showings. However, keep in mind that turning away a buyer is turning away a potential sale. Be honest with your agent about your expectations, but consider that there may be times when a buyer is available on short notice.


Start packing: In today’s market, there is a supply shortage of great homes. Do not expect your house to languish in the real estate market listings for months at a time. Packing all the items that are not completely essential for daily living will not only get a jump start on your move, but will greatly reduce clutter around the home. This leads to less last minute clean-up time and fewer moments spent scrambling when you get the call or an unexpected knock on the door from a buyer or her agent.


Clean as you go: Living a somewhat minimalist lifestyle while packing will make the constant clean-up a little easier. Not allowing the bathroom towels to be strewn about or the beds to remain unmade all day will make the last minute straightening go much more quickly and simply. It is worth the effort to not be caught off guard.


Arrange to have a quick get-a-way: Whether through an open arrangement with a neighbor or friend to pop by on short notice or a regular seat at the local coffee house: have places in mind to visit during showings. While it is tempting to want to be home when strangers are mulling through your halls, it is best to not be there. Buyers are going to be less candid about their opinions in front of the seller and will have difficulty picturing themselves as the owners with the current owner present. So, take some time for yourself. It will help you survive with style!


Why You Shouldn’t Try a For-Sale-By-Owner Sale

Why You Shouldn’t Try a For-Sale-By-Owner Sale

On the one hand, selling your home “for sale by owner” can save you a ton of money when it comes to the percentage a real estate agent might take in commission. While you’d still have to pay the buyer’s agent a fee, you stand to walk away a few thousand dollars better off than if you had hired a professional. But is it really worth it?

You Have a Job

A real job. A job other than selling your own home. Selling homes is a full-time job and you may not really have the time in each day to dedicate to showing your home (during hours that work for buyers), marketing your home, or dealing with all of the legalities associated with making a final sale. Unless you are a real estate agent already, selling your own home may end up translating to hours and hours of unpaid work.

A Weak Internet Strategy

People used to be able to put a listing in the paper and a sign on the lawn and people would find and be interested in their homes. It’s not the same anymore. Even if you spend time listing your home on real estate listing services, you won’t have as much luck spreading the word about the house you have for sale. Why? Because real estate agents have a network of contacts – other industry professionals and clients looking for homes. They can email them, direct them to listings, and make more efficient use of every listing put up on the web.

Protecting Your Interests

Most of the people looking at your home will have an agent and that agent only has the buyer’s interests at heart. For-sale-by-owner (FSOB) sellers do have a bit of a negative reputation within the industry, too – as people who are difficult or who will not be realistic when it comes to making a sale. Because of this, some buyer’s agents won’t even attempt to show your home.

Your own agent, on the other hand, is interested in protecting you and selling your home. She’ll make sure you’ve staged properly, set a realistic price point, and don’t seem over-eager in negotiations.

You Probably Won’t Save Money

We started out by saying you might save money on your own, but is that really true? Even if you don’t have to pay commission to a real estate agent, will your home sell for the same amount as it would have if an agent were involved? Will you accept an offer that is too low or end up spending more on other fees? Studies show that FSBO sales typically work out better in markets with lower price points, but you may end up hurting yourself if you live in a more affluent area where competition is hotter.

Selling your own home seems like it makes sense, but there is a lot more to it than many might realize. Hiring a real estate agent may not only net a greater selling price, but will prevent you from legal liability if the process doesn’t go smoothly.