Before you list your home for sale, you should prepare your home so that it shows well to potential buyers. This includes improving your home in ways that do not involve capital investments (which you are unlikely to recover). Cosmetic improvements (painting your home, landscaping, etc) are a good place to start. You'll also want to de-clutter your home, which involves cleaning your home and putting away things that sit out and make a space look busier. If you have kitchen items that you store on top of the counter, for example, you can put them in cabinets or drawers instead. This will make the countertop appear larger and neater. It's okay to leave out a few pictures here and there, but it's best to put photos away too. Aside from taking up space, pictures inhibit buyers from imagining your home as their own.
Next, you should hire a REALTOR, which is a real estate agent who belongs to the National Association of Relators (N.A.R.). REALTORS abide by a code of ethics, have access to a broad range of learning and certification opportunities, and serve as community experts. Feel free to meet with multiple REALTORS to see who you feel most comfortable listing with. Ask important questions, such as "what services do you offer? What experience do you have with the area I live in? How will you price and market my home? What is your fee?" If you are selling a home in Central Ohio, contact me to set up an initial meeting! I have experience in many communities, including but not limited to Dublin, Hilliard, Powell, Upper Arlington, Westerville and Worthington. You can also find a REALTOR on Realtor.com Once you've chosen a REALTOR, she or he will work with you to set the list price. Naturally, sellers want to get the most money they can for their home. However, an overpriced home is the number one reason that home doesn't sell. The listing price should reflect many factors, including location, competitiveness of the housing market, economic conditions, and owner needs (do you need to sell your house in a month because you are moving, or can you afford to wait a bit longer until a more attractive offer comes in?).
Your RELATOR may suggest further improvements or repairs that will help your home sell faster. Your REALTOR will then market your home, which entails listing it on the MLS, hosting open houses, sending out direct mailings, reaching out to other real estate agents who have potential buyers, taking photos and videos, etc. Ask your REALTOR to show you his or her marketing plan upon an initial meeting. How can you help? Provide your REALTOR with community information (amenities or sports leagues, for example) so he or she can better know the area. Keeping your home clean and tidy at all times is very important, since showings can occur last minute. Finally, leave the home during showings and open houses. Potential buyers stay longer in homes when the current owners are not present.
Read "How to Sell Your Home: Part 2" next week to find out how to evaluate offers and make it to the closing table! Click on the video below for more details on how to prepare your home to sell.