Ellis Realty & Auction Services

Home Seller Advice

De-Personalize Your House
You want potential buyers to view your home as THEIR potential home. Putting your brand on the home momentarily shatters their illusions about owning the home themselves. Box and store family photos, trophies, collectibles, etc. if possible.

Remove Clutter
Clutter collects over time and homeowners may not even realize it. Clutter collects on refrigerators, shelves, counter tops, closets, and garages. Take a step back and view your home as if you were a potential buyer or ask your agent. Many people have too much furniture, which gives the illusion of too little space. Consider having a garage sale.

Buyers. Carpet and flooring should not look old and worn. Consider carpet cleaning or replacing it with a fairly neutral color. Make sure windows and doors open easily and replace any cracked or broken windowpanes.

If there are pets or smokers, there may be odor that you don't notice as much as a potential buyer would. Keep odors down to a minimum. If you want to sell your home, it isn't the time to remodel. You want to keep your expenses to a minimum.

Take a good look at the outside of your home. How does it compare with other homes in the area? Is the landscaping at least average? Consider planting flowers in front for a splash of color. Your lawn should be evenly cut, edged and watered. Does the exterior of your home look tired and faded? Maybe you need to consider painting the exterior. The color of your home should not be unusual or garish and fit well with the neighborhood. The roof should be replaced if it leaks. If you have a leaky roof, you'll have to disclose it to the buyer. If the roof doesn't leak, hold off on replacing the roof. Keep the back yard neat and tidy. You want your back yard to appear spacious. And make sure your front door looks exceptionally sharp! Clean and polish the front door as it's the entrance to your house!

Choosing A Realtor
You've already got an idea of what you think your home is worth. Perhaps you meet with several Realtors who present a 'Competitive Market Analysis' on fancy paper, recommending a specific list price. Maybe you find a Realtor who recommends a list price higher than the others. Suddenly, you're an excited and happy home seller ... counting your money already! Some agents will try to 'buy a listing'. They bought the listing by suggesting you might be able to get more for your home than the other agents suggested. Some agents feel pressure from homeowners who have an inflated perception of their homes value. Some agents will list your home too high, doubting all the while that your home will actually sell at that price.

Pricing It Right
Proper pricing is CRUCIAL. During the first few weeks you should see a flurry of activity. If you have overpriced you home; fewer agents will show your home. Realtors know the local market conditions and values. If your house is dramatically overpriced, they'll spend their time viewing homes that are properly priced instead of wasting their time. By the time you realize your home is overpriced, your home is 'old news'. Once your home has been on the market for a while, it will be harder to get a good offer. Potential buyers may think you're getting desperate and make lower offers. Price your home correctly in the beginning.

Are Commissions Negotiable?
The commission is based on a certain percentage of the sales price. You and your agent will agree on the amount of real estate commission. A lot of agents are offering 'cut-rate' commissions. Most of the time, lower commissions are tied to a lower level of service. If all you want is to have your home placed on the Multiple Listing Service and a sign in you yard, a cut-rate commission may be right for you. Be sure you realize what services you'll receive for a cut-rate commission. Ask LOTS of questions.

Advertising Purpose
Every home seller wants to be assured their listing agent will advertise their home. Agents will run ads for your home, but not for the reasons you expect. Individual agents may advertise your home, but these ads rarely sell your home. Advertising accumulates homebuyers as clients, impresses you and future home sellers. Some agents actually sell their own listings, but not that often. It's much more productive and beneficial for your listing agent to market your home to other agents. It is a mistake to measure your agent's effectiveness solely by counting the number of ads run featuring your property. Neighborhood announcements are one of the most effective means of advertising. Neighbors may have friends who are looking to buy a house. Word of mouth advertising is one of the best kinds.

Showing Your House
Try to make your house available to show at all times, even though it may be inconvenient at times. Let your listing agent place a lock box in a convenient location to enable other agents to show your property. Most agents will give you plenty of advance notice. However, there are times when agents have buyers who are limited on time or may be from out of town. If you refuse to let your house be shown, you may have lost your buyer. In order to make your potential homebuyers feel more comfortable, you need to leave the house when it is shown. Go to a coffeehouse, park or grocery store, etc. If you're unable to leave the house, do not volunteer any information. Answer any questions that you are asked. But, if you’re not sure what to say, advise the homebuyer's agent to contact YOUR agent for the answers.

When someone is coming by to tour your home, please turn on ALL the indoor and outdoor lights - even during the day. Your house looks more homey & cheerful with the lights on and more impressive from the street at night. Empty your trash prior to any showings and control the pets. Be careful about using scented sprays in your house. Some buyers find strong scents to be too powerful and obvious. Use potpourri or something natural to create a pleasant scent. Don't leave empty dishes lying around. Make sure all beds are made and floors vacuumed. Try to make your house look like a model home. Most often, sales are made on “emotion.” Think of a showing as 'SETTING THE STAGE'. Your goal is to evoke an emotional response from the homebuyers that will put a SOLD sign in your yard!





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