The following information is designed to assist you in preparing your home for buyers to view. For more detailed information about your property, getting a Market Evaluation and determining the best price for your home, call me at (619) 226-BUYS or email me at Catrina@CatrinaRussell.com.
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No matter what your reasons are to sell, remember that now is no time to dawdle, the process of preparing a home for sale can take a month or more. So, here's how to start:
1. Take a Fresh Look at Your Home
Your Ocean Beach home may look good from your point of view, but a buyers perspective will be completely different. So take stop back and a fresh look at your Ocean Beach home. Here's a quick guide to getting the more objective look at your property.
- Take drive around the block, and try to visualize your home your neighborhood as if seeing it for the first time. Consider your home's "curb appeal;" does it need a now coat of paint? Is the driveway stained? Could it use a bit of landscaping?
- Pull into the driveway and take look at your property. Do the beddings need weeding? Does the inside look dark from the outside?
- Take a fresh new look inside. Take a "Walk Through" and Imagine how a real estate agent describe each room, look inside every cabinet, open doors, try the bathroom fixtures, turn on light switches. Is everything in good working order? Are there any visible signs of deterioration?
- Make a list of any potential red flags. These are issues that buyers would see. Make another list of the areas that are attractive about the house. Detach from your personal feelings and be as critical as your buyer would be.
Keep in mind that the home has become a great place for you, will be compare against other existing home as well as an array of new homes on the market. If your Ocean Beach home is in good condition, you'll be in the running to sell your home at or above market value in today's dynamic real estate market.
2. Clean Out the Clutter Before You Start to Sell
Before putting your home on the market, get rid of clutter in every area -- closets, attic storage, kitchen cabinets, drawers, bath vanities, shelves -- everywhere. Remember, this is no time to be sentimental: if you don't use it, lose it. Potential buyers are seriously put off by clutter, and most of us drag a lot more things through life than we really need.
Also, don't forget the furniture and fixtures when getting rid of clutter -- most of us put too much in too little space, which makes a buying prospect think your home is too small.
Then, have a great moving sale with all the stuff you've collected and use the proceeds for paint or whatever other materials you need for repair projects. If you just can't bear to part with some possessions, store them in the attic or some other place that's out of sight to a potential buyer.
3. To Sell, Sell, Sell -- Clean, Clean, Clean
After you've cleared out the clutter, it's time to really clean. Have the carpets professionally cleaned, strip and polish the floors, scour the bathrooms, go over the laundry room, polish the furniture, scour out the cabinets, wash the windows and window coverings, and spiff up the ceiling fans and kitchen appliances. In short, clean everything.
Don't forget the exterior; paint or pressure wash everything that needs the work. Remember, this is a ceiling-to-floor, roof-to-foundation clean-up project.
4. Get More for Your Ocean Beach Home: Repairs Pay Off
After you've cleaned the place to within an inch of its life, the next project is making all the repairs necessary to attract a buyer.
So, patch up the roof, touch up all the paint, repair the screens, spruce up the porch framing, and make your entry area really shine. Don't forget to water the lawn and landscape beds, and take the time to trim, mow, edge and get rid of sick or dying plants. Inside, fix the grout in the bathrooms and on tile floors, adjust any doors that need it, fix any scratches on the walls, cover any stains, and be sure to fix any plumbing problems. Remember, do what your home needs before the first buyer appears at your door.
Also, it's a good idea to get all this done before getting the real estate broker to make the first listing -- a good agent will advise you on what needs to be done. Also, if you have friends willing to be brutally honest about what your Ocean Beach home needs to sell, invite them to assess the fix-up needs.
There is, however, an alternative to the sweat equity you get from a total fix-up --but it carries a price. An "as-is" sale keeps you from doing all this work, but a buyer will assess about twice the price you would have paid for the repairs. Then, the buyer will deduct that amount from your asking price before making an offer.
5. Putting Your Home on the Market: Show It to Sell It
After you've, cleaned, shined, mowed, and generally whipped your property into shape, it's time to attract a buyer.
Regardless of who markets your home, you or a broker, there are other, small things you must do to attract buyers. For example, even if it's bright daylight, open the blinds and turn on the lights. Also, open all the interior doors to make the home appear more roomy. Be sure to remove all your kids and pets -- they're cute, but a prospect wants to see your home, not your pride and joy. In addition, make sure you pet's litter pan is clean so the Ocean Beach home smells clean and fresh, not like air freshener. Remember, you need to make sure your home is available to be seen by a prospective buyer with as little notice as possible. That means less than an hour, or even five minutes, if possible.
6. Get a Sense of the Market
Before you put your home on the market, take a weekend day to check out the competition: homes with similar prices and in similar neighborhoods. Remember, you don't have to go out and buy new furniture just to look like that beautiful new model in the new development -- what you want is the feel of that new model -- clean, uncluttered, and fresh.
Remember, after location, the most important item a buyer is a well-maintained home. Many flaws can be overlooked if the buyer knows he can move in without a lot of trouble and expense.
Information provided by The American Homeowners Association, Copyright© 2002
Thank you for visiting today. If this is your first visit, take your time and look around. I have plenty of information and resources available to you. If you are a return visitor, thank you. I would love to hear from you and tell you how I can serve all your real estate needs in Ocean Beach, Point Loma and throughout the County.