Back when the the market was hot (pre-2007), all sellers would have do is list their home, and if wasn’t about to fall down, more than likely they would get a flood of offers.
Oh, have times changed! Sellers today have much more competition. Although pricing a house right is extremely important, so are first impressions. Whether a house is going on broker caravan, regular open house or is being shown by a buyer’s agent, that first impression of the outside AND the inside is very important.
As far as the outside goes, cleaning up the yard and painting the house can go a long way. The same goes for the inside. Cleaning carpets (or replacing them), painting, replacing an appliance or two can go a long way in getting you top dollar (for maximum net proceeds) for your home. And before you scoff at the foreclosure down the street remember this, many banks are allowing their listing agents to go in and paint,put in new carpet, and many times install new appliances, fixtures, etc., because banks want to get back as much money as they can while getting the property off their books.
Earlier this summer, Jennifer Davies of the Union-Tribune provided common sense tips on how to bring you home up to the next level, allowing the seller to the best chance of bringing in reasonable offers quickly.
Staging is discussed, which is a topic brought up by prospective sellers. Staging is always an excellent selling tool for the seller and listing agent. Another route is to hire a consultant to come in and work with the seller on doing some reasonable upgrades.
I recently referred a consultant to a client of mine to prepare the home to go on the market. The consultant asked questions regarding budget and goals. The seller decided to do some modest upgrades of the home along with doing a little decluttering and rearranging of some existing furniture.
Sellers who take this initiative will in the end get their homes sold faster and probably end up netting more money.