So, you’re ready to jump into the real estate market. This is an exciting, but stressful and emotional time. On top of that, the Boise real estate market has drastically increased in popularity as more people than ever are moving to the area. Luckily, the expert real estate agents at Build Idaho have come up with this handy list of tips to help sellers achieve maximum success when selling their home. This success includes less stress, more buyers, and selling your home faster and for more money.
Find a trusted listing agent
First and foremost, find an experienced, full-time Realtor who is both familiar with the area, and has experience in the market. Having the necessary experience allows you to build a rapport and trusting bond. After all, your agent will be handling offers, negotiating on our behalf, and marketing your property. Ask the agent plenty of questions about the services they will offer to you as both a seller’s agent for your current home, as well as a buyer’s agent for helping you find your new home. The agent should have a dedicated plan for how to sell your home for top dollar and have samples on hand to show you how they will market your property to the world.
Determine the perfect time to list your home
This time of the year is the beginning of peak buyer season. From April until October, buyers are the most active and the most listings come on the market. In the wake of 2020, there hasn’t been much of s slowdown in the colder months, but the traditional buyer season has stayed the same. Normally, buyers would shop around for homes online for weeks or months before asking for a tour or submitting an offer. Nowadays, homes can go under contract in a matter of days after being listed.
This doesn’t mean you should rush to market. The next few tips highlight how taking a little extra time to get everything in order before you go to market will get the maximum number of people to view your property, generate the most buyer buzz, and sell your home for top dollar.
Use professional photography and 3D virtual tours
Any real estate photographer can take pictures with their cellphone and use them as their listing pictures. No matter how good cellphone cameras get, nothing can match the skill and talent of a professional photographer using professional equipment. Build Idaho’s on-staff professional photographer, Joey, explains the difference in this recent short Facebook Live video.
The rise of 3D virtual tours has allowed homebuyers to tour homes day or night, from the comfort of their couch, home office, or bedroom. These immersive tours allow you to view every inch of the home incredible detail, which gives you the best possible idea of what the house looks like without seeing it in person. Build Idaho has been using Matterport virtual tours for all of our listings for a few years now as a bonus to buyers. Here is an example of a home we sold last year
The best part is: Build Idaho offers these services to sellers at no extra cost. It’s one of the ways we give you the highest-quality customer service and the best real estate experience possible.
Get a pre-listing home inspection and make repairs
Before you list your home, it is important to get a pre-listing inspection so you can get an idea of the status of your house. When you get the results of the inspection, make the repairs that the inspector identified. Even if this market where homes get snatched up in a few days, it is not worth it to leave those repairs to the buyers, The fact that you know about the faults in your house means that you and your agent must disclose them to prospective buyers. With this information, buyers will want to negotiate the price lower to account for the repairs.
To put the most money in your pocket at the closing table make the needed repairs before going on market. That way, you can list all of the repairs as positives on the listing. Buyers are less willing to negotiate on price when big-ticket items have been repaired in recent months. It is rare to get a 100% return on investment for repairs like HVAC, roofing, flooring, or appliances, but you will nest more money from the sale with the repairs completed.
Boost your home’s curb appeal
We’ve written about boosting your home’s curb appeal many times, but that’s because it is so vital to making the sale happen. Buyers totally judge a book by its cover because the outside of the house is the first thing they see—either in listing photos or before a home tour.
A little extra lawn maintenance, power washing the siding and driveway, and planting some colorful flowers go a long way toward making your house look amazing to buyers.
Declutter, then do it again
The longer you live somewhere, the more stuff you acquire. When buyers tour your home, they want to envision their lives there, not yours. As you prep your home for viewings remove things in every room that take up space, including:
- Extra blankets and pillows
- Kids toys and toy bins
- Shelf tchotchkes
- Most family pictures
- Extra garage clutter
Also, be sure to take some items out of kitchen cabinets and closets to give the illusion of extra storage space throughout the house.
Once you’ve done all that. Do it again. Look to reduce clutter further by 15-20%. The more open your house looks, the easier it will be for buyers to view the whole home and imagine where their belongings will go.
Where will all of your stuff live in the meantime? Use this time to sort out what you want to keep, get rid of, and donate. Whatever you decide to keep, pack it up and put it in a storage unit. If they are part of decluttering, you most likely won’t miss them until you unpack them at your new home.
Use a professional stager
After you declutter, talk to your agent about staging your home. Homes that are professionally staged sell faster and for more money than unstaged homes. A stager will organize furniture, hang tasteful, neutral artwork, and make the home look like a show model.
As a matter of fact, Build Idaho offers sellers a free staging consultation—normally valued at $200.
Keep your home showroom ready
After the decluttering and staging, it is imperative to keep your home that way until you go under contract. Buyers will want to schedule showing appointments and tour the home, so you must be prepared to quickly clean your home back to showroom readiness and vacate the property. Your agent will give you a heads up about when buyer tours are going to happen so you don’t have to scramble for a surprise visit.
Toss any extra clothes into draws or the washing machine; put dirty dishes on the dishwasher; put paperwork away; shut down computers; make the beds; sweep the floors and generally straighten the house before every tour.
Respond to offers in a timely manner
Consider all reasonable offers, since you know what you are willing to accept for buyers based on the listing price, contingencies, and your personal moving timeline. You and your agent should set clear expectations about when you will be accepting offers and when to expect a response. Most offers expect a response within 48 hours unless otherwise specified. However, if you receive an offer you like or wish to present a counteroffer, respond as soon as you’d like.