Wait…you want to give away your money?
Ok, I’m sure that there are charities they would be glad to help you in that gracious donation.
…as you preparing to sell your home you need to decide: SPEED or MAXIMUM PRICE.
NOTE: If you have lead time and want to maximize your selling price, download my Free Ultimate Selling Guide
What if I just need to sell fast?
Having to sell your house quickly is usually done when there is a problem….
Ensuring that you don’t do long-term damage to your credit score, or put other financial assets at risk sometimes forces us into a situation where “time is of the essence” and you need to sell your house right away.
If you really don’t have the time to prepare your home for sale, please give me a call. A consultation is probably the quickest way I can serve you in this scenario.
Ok, with that out of the way…
Price Conquers All
Ready to unload your home?
If you are willing to sell your home for a lower than average price in your neighborhood for a similar home, someone will make an offer.
And, if your specific situation can support this approach, this approach can definitely be the answer.
This is NOT the approach that I recommend.
I want to sell quick, but not give away thousands of dollars
Do you want people to see your house and say, “wow…I’ll be able to get this cheap!”
“I got a good deal on my new house!”
Often, this difference and the type of owners you attract is directly decided by how your house is presented.
“The Impact of Presentation”
A quick case study shows a great example of how the presentation of your home, outside of an open house will impact the quality of offers you receive and is worth thousands of dollars.
I went into a listing where some young adults were living in a house that was renting below the market value.
Unfortunately, the tenants would leave the place a mess whenever showings took place. This wasn’t their home, and they knew that a lower selling price would keep their rent lower.
Because of this behavior, and a couple of other circumstances, this particular property had developed into a short sale because the sale price had to be reduced (and the owner owed more than the asking price).
As I walked through the house, here’s what I noticed:
Clothes were everywhere…
Clothes were on the floor in the living room as if being sorted. Clothes were on the sofa and chair. Clothes were on the kitchen table. Full Trash bags were in the middle of the kitchen. You could not see any real counter space, nor the kitchen sink.
There were stairs up the stairs going to the bedrooms. The beds were not made. There were more piles of clothes on the bed.
There was stuff on the vanities, and the bathrooms were dirty. Toothpaste in the sink, and other things that would make a person unhappy if there were considering buying the property.
Overall, the house showed very dark.
Making your home desirable and appealing
NOTE: When you’re showing a property with tenants there are specific guidelines to follow. Please consult with a real estate agent or myself.
Prior to taking the listing photos. I brought a floor lamp. I took photos of each room, with the lamp to ensure that a significant amount of immediate light was added to the house.
Next I had to highlight the house’s features, rather than the obvious tenant mess.
I picked up the clothes and moved stuff to one side. I moved the trash can to one side of the kitchen and moved the dishes and paraphernalia to another side or the table.
After taking photos of a much more appealing place, I moved things back in its original place. I picked up the clothes and fixed the bed, took my photos after drawing the blinds (adding more light), and then put everything back.
De-cluttered the vanity, took the photo, and put their things back.
You get the drift…
You need acceptable photos that match your price. You don’t want to deceive Buyers, but you have to make them want to visit.
For this specific house, we had an accepted offer in a week.
How to quickly prepare your home to sell without giving away the bank
There is an art to quickly preparing a home for sale, and not simply pricing it at the bottom of the market.
Some of the best advice I give when you really have to sell your home quickly or have an issue where you cannot do much, call me immediately.
Guessing at what will work will likely have you frustrated and leaving a significant amount of money behind. This is even more significant with the average price of a home on Oahu being $730,000 or over $1 Million in the city of Honolulu.
This is one of the best reasons to work with an experienced agent. We work very hard to help you figure out how to make your move (and the sale) as worry free as possible.
For properties that will be vacant, one of the included services that I provide is staging the house. That alone is worth thousands of dollars to your final price.
If I think we have a little more time, I will work to get as many pieces of the Ultimate Sellers Guide accomplished as possible.
Top 10 things you should do to prepare for selling your home when time is of the essence:
- Start mentally moving. Packing and organizing takes longer than you think so start now. You might have more stuff than you imagine. Just think, “we’ve sold your home”. Don’t stress out, as you’re just packing to move.
- Call a realtor who is skilled at staging and home preparation who can help coordinate your sale preparation if any (charity organization pickup, etc).
- Start Discarding. Put the items you don’t want to move with you in the throwaway pile or the garage. Most think they will have time to throw away things before moving, but usually end up having no time and just take everything to their new place. Donating is faster than a garage sale. If you do have a garage sale, just have areas where a corner is the $5 per item, a table has $1 items and label the items with colored dot stickers.
Remember: The less you move with you, the lower your shipping costs. I can help coordinate a pickup by an organization, and work with a number of non-profits who would gladly assist you.
- Bare walls are better than a photo gallery or with artwork of heroes or icons. This is a little counter-intuitive. A lot of photos and such prevent your prospective buyers from seeing themselves in “their new home”.
Take down your photos from the walls. Keep your walls clean. A mirror placed to highlight a view or a scenic artwork that complements your décor might be ok to keep on the wall. Ocean or island scenery can stay. Take down posters and artwork of icons or heroes.
- Start Packing. Pack every day. Pack at least a box everyday. If you are in a rush and need to be ready in a week, pack one room a day.
Leave only what you really need to live on for 60 days. If your company is moving you and you are not inclined to pack, just remember, the more spacious your place, the more desirable it will be for a buyer. Imagine you are a guest at your new Buyer’s home.
LESS IS BEST. Buyers need to be able to visualize where to put their own belongings. Remove bulky furniture. If you have exercise equipment in a room other than an exercise room, start figuring out how you will get it out of your home. You may want to sell it or have to start disassembling it.
Put the boxes of personal items in the garage or storage space if you have one. Pack away memorabilia. Pack and put away your valuables in a safe place.
Here is a quick room by room mind-map to keep you focused:
Living Room. Pack away personal photos, books, magazines, newspapers, and knickknacks. Depending on the property I may suggest putting some furniture and lamps in the garage to make your place look more spacious.
Master Bedroom. Pack your closet and belongings. Leave only what you really need to live on for 60 days. If you can, leave your closet no more than ½ full.
Master Bathroom. Put your daily toiletries in a handy box or basket which we will put in a linen closet. Pack as much as you can to show storage.
Kitchen. Look at what’s on the counter and eyeball how much room you need for the things you use. Pack any items you don’t use. Pack away enough items in your kitchen cabinets so you can put the daily counter items in their place.
Dining Area. Do the same exercise as the Kitchen.
Entry Area. (THE MOST CRITICAL ROOM IN YOUR HOUSE). Pack up your extra shoes. If you have a lot of shoes and slippers (flip flops), let each person in your household keep their shoes in their closet and not in front of the front door.
Caveat: each person should only keep a number of shoes that take up 1/3 of your closet floor. Everything else must be packed away in a suitcase or box. Label your boxes by person which will help later. Put the suitcase or box in the garage or storage unit. Remember, you’re moving.
Other rooms. Go to your other bedrooms, office, storage areas and start packing with the same mentality. Be prepared to park your car outside of the garage.
Keep your perspective. After all…you’re moving soon!
- Replace your low wattage light bulbs with a higher wattage. Make your entry, living room, kitchen and master bedroom bright and cheerful.
- Make the yard look inviting on a drive by. Mow the sidewalk and lawn. Trim the branches of trees or bushes so I can see your house.
- Make your door inviting. If the door is scuffed…paint it and it’s trim. Or hang a decorative door knocker. Have a nice, new Welcome Mat.
- First impressions are lasting so make your first room welcoming. Make your entry hospitable.
- With the remaining time you have, clean one room at a time. Make your home as sparkly clean as you can.