Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Getting Ready to List Your House For Sale

This is the time of the year when lots of folks are preparing to put their houses on the market---School is almost out, and summer is a good time to move, especially if you have kids that you don't want to disrupt during the school year.  Moving can be an overwhelming experience, but if you go about it in an organized, carefully planned manner, you can avoid a lot of unexpected problems.

Initial Assessment:
First step, grab a notebook and assign a page for each room in your house. Go through every room, with a critical eye, as if you were a buyer looking at your house for the first time.  Recruit the help of a friend if you need to.  Make sure you tell them you want their HONEST opinion.  This is not the time for thin-skin.  You may LOVE the chartreuse walls in your dining room, but what do others think of the color?

Start in the driveway, and make note of everything you see that needs attention.  Enter through the front door.  How does it look?  How does it smell?  If you were entertaining guests, would you be proud to open the door and welcome them to your home?  Make note of walls that need to be painted, closets and cabinets that need to be decluttered, carpets that need to be steam-cleaned, staging that needs to take place.  In the yard, make note of landscaping that needs to be done, repairs, pressure washing, etc.

Don't forget to start to consider arrangements for any pets you have, whether they be inside or out.  Some people are allergic or afraid of animals, so having a plan to have them out of the house and/or yard during showings will ensure your potential buyers will stay and take a good and thorough look, inside and out!

Now that you have started your “Master Success List” for getting your house listed, lets break it down:

Step 1:  Declutter and Purge:

This will get you off to a great start, and for some people, it is half the battle!  You won't believe how good it  feels to get rid of the clutter in your house!  As you go through each closet, cabinet and drawer, identify if you really want to move (or store) each item.  Do you really need three different sized wardrobes because you might lose that extra twenty pounds some day?  Moving clothes can be a real chore---they are cumbersome and heavy.  So why move them if you are never going to wear them?

Step 2:  The Purpose of the Room:

Do you have exercise equipment and a desk in the dining room?  A bed in the keeping room?  Make sure each room is set up for the room's intended purpose.  (One exception to this might be a dining room, since many people don't use dining rooms to dine anymore.)  You may need to put some things in storage-you want your house to look more spacious, and too much furniture or equipment can make a room look smaller than it really is.

Step 3:  Make Necessary Repairs:

Repairs that need to be done may be very obvious, and should be fixed prior to listing.  But to avoid potential unexpected expense, and possible deal-breakers, have your house professionally inspected before listing it for sale.  The buyer will probably have their own inspection done, but if you have an inspection before you list it, you can take care of the repairs in advance, and you can also leave a copy of the inspection report out for potential buyers to review when their agent shows them the house.  This is a value-added bonus because it is an expense the buyer wouldn't have to incur.

Step 4:  Stage Right!

After you have completed the first 3 steps, have your critically-eyed friend come back and take a look around.  What is their reaction?  If it still doesn't “work” for them, consider hiring a professional stager to come for a consultation. Homes that are professionally staged may sell quicker and for more money.  Stagers can suggest how to arrange furniture, accessorize rooms, what color to paint the walls and landscape touches for a great first impression.

Step 5:  Stager Recommendations

Do them! Your home stager should have given you an itemized list of things you need to do.

Step 6:  Great Curb Appeal!

First impressions are so important, and you never get a chance to make a second one!  Curb appeal can be the deciding factor whether a buyer wants to go in or not.  I have had clients in the car with me as we pull up to a house that have said, “No, keep going----Not liking the look of that one!” Make sure your house/landscaping is neat and tidy on the outside. Give the landscaping a good trim and prune, get rid of the weeds and keep the lawn mowed.  A fresh coat of paint , some pops of color with some pots of flowers and a new welcome mat at the front door will prepare them for the feeling they get when they step inside:  “WELCOME to your new home!  Come on in!”

Step 7:  Spic and Spotless!

When you clean the house, clean everything from top to bottom:  Light fixtures, ceiling fans, window treatments, windows, baseboards, carpets, grout, etc.

Step 8:  Interview and Hire an Agent

Of course you can list your house to sell on your own, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you have a lot of time, marketing and real estate expertise.  Selling your own house is a lot like representing yourself in a lawsuit instead of hiring an attorney:  You have no one working for or protecting you that is licensed to do so.  Marketing the biggest investment/asset of your life is a big deal, so to get you the highest dollar for your house, you should put it in the hands of a licensed real estate professional.  Since I just did a blog series, "Finding the “RIGHT” Realtor®!," I won't re-address the interview process here....just click on the link to go to the interview questions.

Step 9:  Create a Brag Station

If you have an electronic photo frame, load pictures of your home at various times of the year and leave it on the kitchen counter.  You can put pictures of the spring landscaping, beautiful tablescapes, feature rooms with beautifully accessorized d├ęcor or the home decorated for various holidays. You can also prepare a notebook to leave on the counter with a copy of the home inspection, the seller's disclosure, neighborhood comps, etc.  And if you list your house with me, a “Home Book” is prepared for you to leave on the counter for prospective buyers to take with them when they tour your home, and includes this information and more!

If you are either ready to or considering putting your house on the market, view the Selling Your Home Checklist on my website or just give me a call to schedule a consultation to create a plan!  Call me at 478-973-2684.


#Realtor®, #buyingahouse, #sellingahouse, #WarnerRobinsRealEstate, #RobinsAirForceBase, #RAFB, #relocation, #movingtoanewarea, #findingaRealtor®, #whattolookforinaRealtor®, #GoldenKeyRealty, #listingyourhouseforsale, #homebuyerquestionsandanswers, #homebuyerq&a, #homesellerquestionsandanswers, #homesellerq&a, #findingtherightRealtor®, #janiepughsellshomes

Monday, April 7, 2014

Southern Charm: The Final "Ah-Ha!"

Today we cover the final three questions to ask when interviewing a real estate agent:

Question #10:  What percentage of your business comes by referral and how much is repeat?

This is the million dollar question!  Competent, well-known agents get a large portion of their business from satisfied clients and people in their sphere of influence.  If an agent gets less than 25% of their new business through referrals it may be due to their quality of service (or lack thereof), their lack of marketing expertise, or they don’t cultivate their own contacts from their sphere of influence, either personal or professional.  If they aren’t cultivating their own contacts, they won’t be talking to many people about selling your property.  When someone is completely satisfied and appreciative of your services, the highest compliment they can pay you is a referral.

Question #11:  Do you have your own website (other than the broker website) and/or a blog?

Most agents have their own website, but many don’t have blogs.  Get the web addresses for every site the agent markets their services and properties.  Go visit these sites, and check out the content.  Do you like what you see?  Are the blog posts informative and fun?  Are the marketing pictures and videos creative and of good quality?  Is their content unique and contain timely news? If you type in the address of a currently listed property, how many sites does it pull up on, and does the listing look spectacular?

Lastly…..If you haven’t had the final, “Ah-ha!  This is THE Realtor for me!” moment….

Question #12:  Why should I hire you and not someone else?  What makes you different from everyone else?  Can you give me some examples?

If you still need to cover a few more details and specifics, most people want an agent that is:

Honest, of high ethical standard, hard-working, confident, personable, experienced with the local market, a creative thinker, readily available by phone, text or email, a good communicator, techno-savvy, an excellent negotiator, politely aggressive, results-oriented, prompt in returning calls, an excellent manager of time and tactful.  (If you have an agent that bluntly tells a potential client from his/her sphere of influence, "You need to hire me as your real estate agent because you need a house, and I need cash...", you might want to consider asking a few more questions!

If you are ready to hire a Realtor that has all these characteristics and qualities, I can refer you to some happy clients that will refer you to me!  Or you can just give me a call and we can sit down and get to know each other!  I can be reached by phone/text at 478-973-2684 or by email at jpugh@goldenkeyrealty.net.  And if you want to do a little pre-appointment homework/research to answer question #11, check out my sites on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Active Rain, my website, YouTube, Pinterest…..

My website:  http://www.janiepughsellshomes.com
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/JaniePughofGoldenKeyRealty
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/365ThingsToDoInWarnerRobinsGA
My blog:  http://www.janiepughsellshomes.blogspot.com
Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/janiepugh
LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/janiepugh
Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/janiespugh/
YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/JaniePughSellsHomes

#Realtor®, #buyingahouse, #sellingahouse, #WarnerRobinsRealEstate, #RobinsAirForceBase, #RAFB, #relocation, #movingtoanewarea, #findingaRealtor®, #whattolookforinaRealtor®, #GoldenKeyRealty, #listingyourhouseforsale, #homebuyerquestionsandanswers, #homebuyerq&a, #homesellerquestionsandanswers, #homesellerq&a, #findingtherightRealtor®, #janiepughsellshomes