Home Selling Tips
If you are considering putting your property on the market for sale, there are decisions you’ll need to make and work to be completed.
Determine the price:
A property priced above the current market in the area is self defeating. Island Vacation Properties specializes in the Anna Maria Island, Manatee County and Sarasota areas and can assist sellers with the correct pricing of their property based on current market trends in the area.
Our agents can prepare a free comparative market analysis for you with complete information regarding current properties on the market as well as similar properties that have been sold. This is an essential part of the process to ensure that your property is priced appropriately.
Prepare to sell:
This is where your work begins. Curb appeal is a vital part of the sales process and if there is trash in the yard, overgrown weeds or untrimmed trees, potential buyers may not even pick up the phone to call. Most buyers physiologically decide if they like the house before they get out of their car at the curb. They have likely seen many (and plan to see many more) homes in their search. It is very important to keep the landscaping neat and trimmed. Sellers may want to add a few flowering ornamental plantings or fresh mulch in the beds. Be careful not to over do this and avoid plants that need daily care. No plants are better that a dead plant.
Any minor repairs should be taken care of at this time. While you may have adapted to the burned out kitchen lights, potential buyers may not. Take some time and go through your property with a critical eye. This can be as simple as oiling all doors to be sure there are no squeaks when opening. These things don’t take long but make a huge difference in the perception that a buyer has.
De-clutter your property. It is important that your home is as organized and de-cluttered as possible, both inside and out. Box up any items that are not being actively used. Remove as much as possible from the property to ensure that the property gives the illusion of space. While it may hurt, remove as many family photos and mementos as possible. The intent is for buyers to feel as though your home is their home. They can’t do that if there are family photos and items scattered throughout the home.
De-cluttering is especially important in the kitchen. This is probably the most important room in the house. Box up any appliances that are not used and put in storage. Clear as much counter space as possible. Clean and organize all of the cabinets and drawers. Stuffed cabinets and drawers give the perception of inadequate storage which is certainly a perception that you want to avoid. You want to promote the fact that there is plentiful storage in your home.
Clean and organize the bathrooms, also very important rooms in your home. Make sure no faucets are leaking and no mildew is present. Remove as many items from the bathrooms as possible.
Clean out the garage and closets. If you have boxes piled to the ceiling, the potential buyer is going to feel as though storage is limited. Not only does the space look smaller, but the actual amenities that your property offers may be overlooked when dwarfed by the accumulation of items.
Clean the house. There is no bigger “turn off” that walking into a dirty house. Cleanliness is paramount!
Clean all carpets and flooring. This is especially true for pet owners. While you love your pets, some buyers do not.
Wash the windows. Not only will the house appear cleaner, it will appear brighter. This is a perfect time to ensure that all windows are working correctly and easily.
Touch up painting. If needed, touch up any scuff marks on the walls. Check for any stains or water marks from any old water leaks. If the walls or ceiling are beyond just a minor touch up, consider painting the home. Giving the trim a fresh coat of paint will assure any potential buyers of the overall level of maintenance. If the front door is faded or peeling, they may wonder what other part of the property need deferred maintenance.
Should you discover items that require more extensive work or require a repair person, our agents can recommend someone that can help you.
Develop a list of regular expenses including insurance costs. Also, list all the recent upgrades, replacements and repairs plus the ages of the equipment in the home. If you have a survey, have it available.
If there are items such as artwork, decorative lighting fixtures or landscape enhancements that will not be included in the sale of your home, it is very important to remove them before listing your property.
The above items are not expensive but do require a little elbow grease. It’s time well spent and will pay off when potential buyers view your home.
The Seller’s Disclosure:
Many sellers pay for a home inspection before they put the home on the market. In most cases you can have the needed repairs done for little money. You can be sure a buyer will have an inspection of their own and even small surprises are not good.
Buyers will expect a complete and accurate Sellers Disclosure form when they consider the purchase of a home. Our agents at Island Vacation Properties can assist you with this however you will need to complete the form to the best of your knowledge. It is important to be as forthcoming and accurate as possible.
The Listing Agreement:
Our agents at Island Vacation Properties will go over the listing agreement in depth with you to ensure that you are in complete agreement with the terms and conditions of the contract and gladly answer any questions you may have.
The Sales Process:
When the listing agreement is signed, your listing agent will place your home on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). This process makes the information about your property available to every real estate agent in the Mid-Florida area. Your property will also be added to each agent’s individual website as well as the Island Vacation Properties’ website. Our agents at Island Vacation Properties also subscribe to many Real Estate websites throughout the country which generate inquiries from potential buyers across the country and world wide.
If possible, a sign will be place on your property. Real Estate signs are a very valuable marketing tool!
Although you may think you can help sell your home, it is not a good idea to be present at showings or open house events.
Finally, let your agent do his or her job. The professionals at Island Vacation Properties have a long record of success. Ask questions, express your feelings, be honest and forthright. We are good listeners and we’re here to help.
Preparing for the Closing:
After there is an executed contract in place, the “behind the scenes” work begins. There will be title searches, property inspections, escrow funds, surveys and financing issues that will need to be dealt with. Our agents at Island Vacation Properties are well versed in all aspects of the process and can help you through this process. It’s not for the faint of heart!
The Closing (or settlement) is the process in which the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer.
Prior to the closing you should expect to receive a HUD-1 Settlement statement outlining all of the costs for both the buyer and the seller that are associated with the transaction. Check this document thoroughly and ask your agent if you have any questions.