Brian Cooney’s Top 11 Seller’s Tips: Be in the Know When Selling East Bay Property
- Hire a great real estate agent. Just living in the East Bay is not enough for you to be on top of the real estate market in the area. You need a professional who can guide you through all the steps of selling property and who has the know-how and the contacts to market your house.
- Don’t overprice your house. Because it has memories and a place in your heart, you will tend to overestimate how much your house is worth. The truth is that a house that is priced right will sell much faster and for more money than a house that’s overpriced to “leave room to negotiate”. People will pass over your house if it’s priced much higher than comparable houses. A house that’s been for sale for several months gets people wondering if something is wrong with it. Price it correctly from the start, and avoid these issues.
- Detach from your house. This is the hard thing about selling a home where you’ve made your life. A new person is going to buy it and make a new life there. You have to make your home as neutral as possible so to leave room for potential buyers to be able to imagine living in your home.
- Make sure your paperwork is in order; including the deed, any permits you’ve gotten, instruction manuals for the furnace, water heater, and HVAC system, and any warranties. Get together any records of home improvements, like a kitchen or bathroom remodel or a major roof repair.
- Declutter. This isn’t just a matter of finally dealing with all the junk mail that’s been piling up on the counter for the last week or clearing out the junk drawer in the kitchen. Most real estate agents and professional home stagers recommend putting around one third of your possessions in storage. Take down most personal photographs and memorabilia. Make sure kitchen countertops are clear, including most appliances. Bookshelves should not be stuffed. Your agent may recommend hiring a home staging company, which can streamline the process.
- Get a pre-sale home inspection. You want to make sure that there aren’t any major structural issues. An inspection will turn up problems with the roof, pests, leaks, or the foundation. Get them fixed before you put your East Bay home for sale. Most sales will be contingent on major repairs being completed anyway.
- Give your home a facelift. Paint the inside in warm, neutral shades. Hire a cleaning company to do a deep clean. You should also consider upgrades like replacing carpet or worn flooring. Re-caulk or re-grout tiles in the kitchen or bathrooms. Make sure drawers, locks, and screens are all in good working order.
- Lighten up. Bright, cheerful lighting makes your home appear bigger. Experts suggest 100 watts of light for every 50 square feet. Layer lighting with accent lamps, task lighting, and ambient light.
- Create good curb appeal. Repaint or replace your front door. Update the outdoor light fixtures. Keep the grass trimmed and edged. Plant new flowers. People form their first impressions quickly, so make sure the outside of your home is attractive.
- Create a welcoming entrance. Refreshments are a nice touch. Make sure your home smells pleasant. Have a stack of brochures laid out.
- Be ready for showings at any time. Keep the house in show-ready condition at all times. Be flexible about when showings can take place. It’s often best for the owner to be out of the house when it’s shown, to give potential buyers the space to talk freely about what they like and dislike about the house.