5 Critical Steps
Posted May 3rd, 2017 by evotta


Whether your prospective residents have decided to sell their homes now or they are just starting to think about testing the waters, there are a handful of important steps they’ll need to take to get their homes ready for showings and maximize the return on the sale.

1) Enlist a Qualified Real Estate Agent

Most sellers opt to list their homes with a real estate agent versus For Sale By Owner, and therefore choosing the right one is a serious business. A good agent has exceptional experience, training, local market knowledge, connections, negotiating ability, and legal expertise — while also being enjoyable to work with. Researching and screening agents is time consuming, but doing the homework prior to listing the home saves time, money, and effort down the road.

Moving Station has a full-time staff dedicated to finding experienced real estate agents in your prospective resident’s local market area, managing their work, and continuously tracking their performance. Our counselors are professionally trained and stay informed on the market trends in selling residential real estate. They complete hundreds of transactions a year and are dedicated to their customers; they know how to measure quality and consistently deliver exceptional home sale results.

2) Evaluate the Home’s Curb Appeal

The maxim “you don’t get a second chance at a first impression” is never truer than with a home for sale. A freshly painted door, sharp landscaping, swept driveways, and clean roof and gutters are crucial to prospective buyers’ impressions. If they drive up to a home that appears run-down, they’ll drive on to the next property on their list without entering to see what the interior has to offer. Potted plants and other decorations lend a charming character to the exterior and can make it stand out from others in the neighborhood. Keeping the backyard tidy is just as important, so gardening tools, lawn furniture, and other items should be neatly organized and in their proper places. At night, exterior lighting makes the home look welcoming and illuminates the house numbers so they’re visible from the street. Leaving a few lights on inside the house adds to the overall glow.

3) Put on Some Makeup, but Don’t Get a Facelift

Homeowners always ask whether renovating a kitchen or adding a bath pays for itself at the time of sale. The return on investment is limited by the extent of the renovation. Simply updating or even upgrading a few elements of the home will not significantly increase its value. The seller’s efforts should instead focus on minimizing dated decor. If the budget allows, removing wallpaper and repainting the house in modern colors is one way to avoid presenting a house that feels like a “project”. Effective and inexpensive improvents include cleaning and stretching the carpeting and completing the minor fixes on the “honey-do” list, such as replacing burnt-out bulbs, cleaning the windows, dusting the light fixtures, repairing torn screens, fixing squeaky hinges, etc. The goal is to allow prospective buyers to appreciate the features of the home without being distracted by the little things that need attention.

4) Minimize Personal Effects

Putting and keeping a home in “market-ready condition” is one key to getting and maintaining the interest of prospective buyers. Clutter is the enemy of effective marketing photos and successful in-person showings. Counters, vanities, tables, and other furniture should be clear of personal effects. Bookcases, cabinets, and closets should not be overstuffed. Sellers are often advised to pack away their collections and family photos — not out of security concerns but rather because the prospective buyers need the opportunity to imagine their own lifestyle and belongings within the home. For much the same reason, furniture should be arranged to encourage entry into each room. Sellers want buyers to remember the size and usefulness of the home, not the big couch blocking the way or the hunting trophies mounted on the wall.

5) Don’t Procrastinate

It is rare that a neighborhood market is in such high demand that just putting up the sign is enough to gain attention from buyers. Taking the time to see the home through a buyer’s eyes before the home enters the market is one of the most effective ways to entice an offer. The first few weeks the home is on the markets makes the most lasting impression of its appeal. Allowing showings before the home is ready might leave a poor impression that’s hard to overcome.

Helping your future residents prepare for the task of selling the home is a challenge. They’ve built a life and raised a family there, and every corner of the home has special memories. Without skilled guidance, your prospective residents may find the process overwhelming. Through our Home Sale and Home Purchase Programs, Moving Station’s Real Estate Counselors assist you and your future residents in navigating the course toward selling the home at the right price and within the desired time frame.

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