One Percent Realty November 19, 2013

Selling your home?

Selling your home? Homeowners wishing to sell their homes need to recognize one fact: they are no longer the home team. They are the visitors, no longer in their home area. They have to abide by certain rules in order to sell their home. On the other hand, if homeowners are selling, they also have to buy. What they are looking for as a buyer is what you need to be concentrating on as a seller. If homeowners want to stay where they are, they don’t do research, reject curb appeal as a selling point and do zero upgrades.


In order to know how to proceed, homeowners need to know what they don’t know. They don’t know:

  • *current selling prices for homes of their type
  • *how long homes have been listed
  • *what buyers are prepared to pay
  • *the difference between list price and sales price
  • *how much stock moves in an agent’s inventory
  • *who are the buyers and why are they looking


It’s about the money. No one will go out of their way to find a house attractively submitted if the price isn’t attractive. Sellers need to be aware of other homes and if their prices dropped. Did the price drop after months of being listed? Did the price drop because the appraisal was too high? Did the price drop because the purchase of another house depended upon the sale of the present house?

The key to pricing a house attractively is to anticipate commissions, points and fees and to offer the house at less than these. Houses priced $9,000 to $10,000 below the competition raises interest and the seller might go to closing sooner than his competition. The money might not be recouped, but the quick sale allows the homeowner to get his next house.

Curb Appeal

Once the research is completed and the price settled, it’s time to move on to aesthetics. Potential buyers want to pull into a drive and gasp at the wonderland that meats their eyes. To this end, homeowners would do well to prepare that wonderland:

  • *check other homes for sale to see what curb appeal looks like
  • *have the driveway refinished, the walkway repaired if cracked and clean out the gutters
  • *have the lawn professionally done to eliminate debris
  • *have the trees, hedges and bushes professionally done to eliminate dead or dying flora
  • *repair and repaint siding and shutters
  • *wash the windows (buyers seeing puffy clouds in the reflection will be pleased)
  • *clean the inside within an inch of its life
  • *have carpet and wood floors professionally cleaned
  • *put in storage all but the most necessary furniture and clothing. Clutter repels buyers
  • *vamp the closets and storage spaces to accentuate how much storage is available
  • *upgrade kitchen appliances and cabinets where necessary
  • *upgrade bathroom fixtures where necessary


Upgrades aren’t about the most expensive walnut cabinetry or the Berber carpet. Upgrades are about making life easier on the homeowner, to-wit:

  • *a finished basement increases the square footage of a house and can be used as a bedroom, a home gym or an in-law apartment
  • *if more space is needed, turn the attic into a partial loft
  • *if a half-bath was sketched in, put it in
  • *create closets where there is unused space such as underneath the stairwell
  • *small kitchens can be upgraded by combining appliances and adding an island
  • *rip out the carpet and put in hardwood floors and textured tile because it’s healthier
  • *upgrade the heating system to radiant heat because it’s healthier and will save money on the power bill
  • *install window treatments that will block the harmful rays of the sun and save on the power bill

Whatever homeowners can do to make the property more attractive will get a better selling price. What the homeowners look for in a property to buy for themselves can be made to work for them in selling their home. Comparisons in price, aesthetics and upgrades will show homeowners how to prepare their homes for sale. However, any real estate agent will tell a homeowner that if they don’t absolutely have to sell, then don’t. Wait for a buyer’s market.