FaunaMacKillipHomesByFauna.com

Buy with Confidence…Sell with Experience…

The Agent Interview

Before you talk to “a friend in the business”, your bosses wife, or another agent, you need to call me. Why? Because I know where to find buyers and how to market you home with professional materials. You will see the difference between my program and theirs.

When interviewing with a professional Realtor®, ask the following questions:

  • Do you work as a full-time Realtor?
  • How long have you been in real estate?
  • Do you have an assistant?
  • Explain the current real estate market.
  • Do you have a written marketing plan?
  • How many homes have you sold in the past year?
  • How many buyers are you currently working with?
  • How many agents are in your office?
  • Do you market to other agents?
  • What is your reputation with your peers?
  • Why should I list with you and your company?
  • What benefits do you offer that are specific to you?

Getting Ready

The first thing you must do is evaluate your house as if you were going to purchase it all over again. Look at it through the buyers eyes. If you cannot be critical, ask for advice. Here are some basic tips on how to get a home ready for sale:

Cleaning is the place to start

Make sure the light fixtures are washed, the floors are shiny, windows washed, blinds dusted, etc., you get the idea. Cleaning from top to bottom and then maintaining this look is a must. If you cannot handle this on your own, having a cleaning service help will take the stress off your busy schedule.

Kitchen and Bathrooms sell the house

Everyone is critical of these areas due to time spent getting ready in the morning to making breakfast to cooking dinner. These rooms must be clean and tidy and sparkle. Get out the bleach and whiten the grout, polish the faucets and make your shower look like you do not use it. Use bright colored towels to make the bathroom bright, coordinate with the colors of your tile or carpet, if these are neutral then make your own choice. Kitchen counters should be as bare as possible, some flowers on the counter top or the kitchen table are a nice touch. No specific fragrances like potpourri or plug in air fresheners…buyers think these items are masking an undesirable odor. Cookies are great, so is bread or soup, but who has the time; clean and fresh is always a winner.

De-clutter, de-clutter, and more de-cluttering

I cannot say this enough. Rule of thumb to remember: if you do not need it on a daily basis, pack it way. You are moving so get a head start on it. The problem with most homes is the owner keeps their personality in the property instead of making it neutral. By removing your “stuff” the buyer can imagine moving their “stuff” in the room. Buyers are not always good at looking past problems. People come up with more reasons why not to buy than to purchase, so by taking away the objections before they arise, you are ahead of the game.

Closets need to be organized

Pack away the non-seasonal garb and thin it out. Cabinets under sink areas need to be cleaned out and the flooring checked for damage from water leaks or chemicals everyone keeps under sinks. Remove as much as possible.

Basements

If it is finished, the same rules apply. Unfinished basements are difficult to present and make warm. If you use the basement as a storage area, first of all, pack as much as you can in boxes, then stack everything in one area. Make the basement look as large as you can, don’t cover or block and important items the buyers may want to see: sump pit/pump, crawl space, roughed in plumbing. Keep these area accessible while containing your stored items in one area.

Repairs

Most people are not aware of any repairs that need to be made unless they are obvious and observed on a daily basis. A good solution is to hire a home inspector to go through the house. This will provide you with a list of items that need to be addressed before showings begin. Often times, seller do not want to spend the money on a pre-inspection, this is typically buyers cost and option to have performed. Newer homes do not need to be pre-inspected, but older homes over 20 years benefit from the information. Remember the idea of handling an objection before it surfaces, same thought for pre-inspections.

Re-arrange furniture

Sometimes a room will look larger and will flow better is furniture is removed and/or re-arranged. Take a critical look at all the rooms; do you really need all that stuff? Consider making the family room cozy, the living room a place to share a conversation with a friend and the dining room is always a formal invitation for dinner. Furniture that is too big for the room should be removed. Remember, bigger is better when sizing up a house to buy and if the rooms appear too small, even if they are not, the buyer may not choose your house.

Garage

This is the catch all area of the house. If you cannot organize the garage with shelving and allow ample floor space, you need to rent a storage facility and move some things out. The garage should be clean and organized. Buyer will not look here that long, just long enough to make sure the cars will fit, nonetheless, a clean and tidy garage is a reflection on how the seller maintains the house. If the garage is that nice, the house will be even better.

Exterior

The exterior personifies the character of the seller. “Curb appeal” is an old real estate term attached to each home. If it looks good driving up, the inside should be even better. Take a look at the exterior paint, do you need to repaint or just touch up the peeling window sills? Is the landscaping trimmed for the season? Weeds are absolutely not allowed: get the weed killer out and spray weekly or pull them out. Any dead trees or shrubs need to be removed. Make your lawn the greenest in the neighborhood, check your fence for damaged pickets.

All these suggestions may sound strict and they are supposed to be. Remember, you are selling your most important asset, and you need to show pride. A buyer will pay more for a home that shows great and has been cared for.