Seller Do’s and Don’ts

Selling a home can be frustrating and cause for anxiety in the best of times. Economic upheavals can lend to homes being listed for lengthy days on market, no offers/contracts submitted, and eventual expiration of a listing contract with the Broker.

However, there are many measures a Seller can take to avoid listing and selling pitfalls. Here are several to consider:

  1. Select a real estate professional who is experienced with firsthand knowledge of the areas and subdivisions of Northeast Pennsylvania. If your agent is familiar with the name of the street you live on and, most likely, can name the area/community your home is located in – you will have a Realtor who can authoritatively tell others about your real estate.
  2. Work with your Realtor to determine which comparable properties could be the key to the right price your home should be offered at. While your opinion of price or a previous appraisal done on your home is important, when it comes to price, the market’s opinion is what really counts. Avoid extreme overpricing. If buyers like your home, they might wait until it has had a price adjustment. Many times agents will ask their client’s opinion of a price. Many Buyers use an online website like Zillow to determine their offering price. Your Realtor should be able to counter this Buyer resource with a 3-6 month comparable home sales in your area.
  3. Your home’s interior and its staging can make or break a sale. Selling a home involves more than spot cleaning. Take an objective overview of your home — what would you want and do you find the conditions of your home to be acceptable if you were the buyer? Act accordingly. Do closets need cleaning for Buyer evaluation of space for belongings? Are your kitchen and bathroom outlets up to code with GFCI receptacles? When was the last time you checked all faucets and light bulbs? Does the living room, bathrooms, or kitchen need a much needed facelift with paint? Have the ceiling fans been dusted lately? Is your attic and basement clear so buyers can place what needs to be stored? Less is more! Buyers find dirt, messes, piles and personal belongings distracting when walking into homes for a viewing. Put the dishes away, remove the dog poop, the piles of papers, mail, books and clothing lying out in plain view. Today’s decorator and living magazines will show easy ways to redecorate and create perfect living and sleeping environs. Lighten up your home. Add color and warmth with small touches of home decorations and pillows — inexpensive ways to make your home sparkle.
  4. Utilize a professional cleaning team if you are overwhelmed. It’s their business to make your home look ready for showtime! They will also give you suggestions on de-cluttering and reorganization of your closets and belongings.
  5. Have a yard/garage sale. Be prepared to experience the cleansing feeling of gaining space in your home and being rewarded for doing so.
  6. Rein in your pet. Delegate a couple at most (not several areas) where they have ruled. Pet odors can be offensive to those with allergies. Change the cat’s litter box and wash your dog’s bedding. Make sure they have an assigned area to be in when home showings happen.
  7. However humble, there’s no place like home. Eliminate the need to apologize for any shortcomings. Feedback from showings should not address a homeowner’s responsibilities. A Realtor should be able to articulate your home’s features without benefit of seller opinion.
  8. Let your home sparkle. Let it shine. Put on its best face for your buyer to see. Sometimes one showing is all a home gets. First impressions do count.
  9. Defer to your Realtor. With your permission, let them communicate and negotiate on your behalf. My mission is to serve my clients’ interests by getting the highest price for their home. Real estate is my career and not just a job. I sell homes — not listings!