Monday, September 10, 2007

Selling For The Highest Possible Price!

The decision to sell your home is obviously a huge one and not one to be taken lightly. For whatever the reason: a transfer from work, expanding the family, downsizing, or simply wanting a change, preparing your home for the market is always the same. The easiest way to sell a home is when it is vacant. Of course circumstances won't always allow this to happen, but whenever possible you should move out first. Statistics show that a house that is presented well, meaning vacant and staged, sells higher and faster than one that is not. I always think of the old phrase "It takes money to make money" when I am coaching a seller. This is not the time to cut corners as the return can be huge. If you have moved out, there may be sprucing up left to do and it would be a great idea to have a consultation with a stager to help you see what you can do inexpensively to brighten the place up for the sale. Some examples would be new carpet/refinished floors, a new coat of paint, new fixtures, new hardware on cabinets; these are all minor changes that can make a space look that much more polished and attractive to buyers. Once you have emptied out and cleaned up, it is time to bring the staging in, and that is better left to a professional! They may even do a thing or two to your garden. Anja and I sold a house in Bernal Heights last year that had a very small almost unusable garden. The sellers installed a small deck themselves and Anja had her team come in and prune the trees, plant some flowers and install sod. It was done in a weekend and we were delighted to find out that it was one of people's favorite features of the house!If you can't move out for the sale, the process is still very similar. The first step is a deep spring cleaning. You're going to be moving out anyway once the property is sold, so it is time to purge. Get rid of everything you don't want; box up the things you don't need right then and put them in storage. Clean off all surfaces; you don't really want the house to look lived in. Think more of a hotel. Minimal furnishings and decor; NO CLUTTER! I know, that's the hardest part. You can still consult with a stager; they can work with your things and they can still give you tips on small upgrades you can make.

If you are thinking of selling in the future and are looking for ways to improve on your property, the biggest bang for your buck is adding a bathroom. If you have a two story home but only have a bathroom on one floor, installing one on the other floor could give you up to 20% more on a sales price. Making the master room into a master suite is another way of adding that second bathroom. To keep the cost down, try to stay close to the plumbing lines and see if there is a large closet that can be converted into a bathroom.

Whether it is just replacing hardware and painting or adding a whole new bathroom, you will get your money back in a higher sales price and a shorter marketing period. Long gone are the days of anything and everything selling in less than a week for 20% over asking! We have heard it over and over again in the past year or so; a house that is presented well and priced correctly will sell at the highest possible price.

No comments: