Step 1: Consideration
Where You Headed?
Planning to sell your house? If so, you obviously need to have a plan for moving into your new home (or wherever you might be moving).
Start by researching the housing market in the area you?re moving to. That way, you?ll have a pretty good idea how much money you?ll need to purchase the second home. Then you can more accurately factor in your other moving costs.
Any Contingencies?Another thing to consider before you put your house on the market is what kind of offers / contracts you?ll accept. Are you planning to make the sale of your house contingent upon the successful purchase of your new home? If so, be sure to talk to your agent about it early on. That way, he or she can help you formulate the paperwork to support those plans.
Step 2: Pricing your home
Detach Your Emotions
Living in a house creates emotional value. It?s where you come home to at the end of a long day. It?s where you relax and unwind. Maybe it?s where you watched your child?s first steps, or saw them off to school each day.
But something you have to remember when selling a house is that emotional value doesn?t translate into financial value. Instead of basing your asking price on what the home is worth to you, base it on what it might realistically be worth to a buyer in the current market.
Speaking of ?asking price,? it?s best to avoid the phrase altogether. ?Asking? price suggests that you don?t really expect the house to sell for that price. It?s a subtle point, but psychologically significant. Use ?selling price? instead, or simply say ?the house is priced at X.?
Your Agent?s Advice Work closely with your agent to determine your price. Based on past experience, your agent should have a knack for determining a price that balances profit with realism.
Here are some additional items to consider when pricing your home:
What are Homes Selling for?Look at recent home sales in your area, as well as homes that are currently on the market. Focus on homes that are similar to yours. The industry term for this is ?comps,? short for comparable sales.
Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)Comparative market analysis (?market analysis? or ?CMA? for short) is a phrase you?ll hear a lot when preparing to sell your house. The point of the CMA is to compare your house to similar houses in your area that have recently sold (or are currently listed for sale). Armed with this information, your agent can help you determine a realistic selling price that takes current market conditions into consideration.
Keep in mind, though, that the CMA is not a formal appraisal. Only a licensed home appraiser can give you a formal appraisal of your home?s value. But in most cases, a well-rounded CMA will be enough to help you set a price.
Factor in the UpgradesUpgrades to a home (a deck, a pool, new vinyl siding, etc.) will usually increase the value of the home. They probably won?t increase the value dollar-for-dollar based on what you paid for them, but they?ll help nonetheless. So be sure to tell your agent about the things you?ve done to improve your home.
Supply and DemandDo some research to determine the current state of supply and demand in your area. Your agent will help in this regard, but you should also read the newspaper on a regular basis to keep track of market conditions.
Questions you should be asking:
Step 3: Estimate Your Net Proceeds
Now that you have an idea of your selling price, you?ll probably want to determine your net proceeds. ?Net proceeds? refers to the money you walk away with after settlement.
Basically, it?s the price the home sells for minus your current mortgage balance and related home-selling fees (broker fee, unpaid taxes, legal fees, etc.). This number will be useful as you begin searching for a new home.
How to estimate your net proceeds:
1. Determine the value of your homeThis is what we did in the previous section. If you haven?t yet determined your home?s current estimated value, refer to the ?Pricing Your Home? section above.
2. Determine your mortgage payoffThis is the amount required to pay off your mortgage completely. If you don?t have this information, call your mortgage lender. They can give you the amount.
3. Estimate your cost to sellWhen you sell a home, you?ll pay costs for a variety of services. Therefore, those costs need to factored into your net proceeds calculation.
Costs to sell a home vary, but common costs include the following:
All that?s left to do is subtract your mortgage payoff and selling costs (items #2 and #3 above) from your selling price (item #1 above). This will give you an estimate of your net proceeds. With this information, you can more accurately answer some important questions:
Will your proceeds cover your costs to acquire a new home? If not, do you have other funds to make up the difference?
Step 4: Preparing Your Homes Exterior
In the next two sections, we will talk about all the things you can (and should) do to increase the likelihood of a sale ? and possibly increase your net proceeds as well. We?ll look at a variety of (mostly) low-cost tactics to enhance your home, inside and out.
Before we go into detail, here?s a quick checklist you can use to plan your approach. We will expand on these topics later. But for now, here?s the short-and-sweet version:
Checklist: 11 Ways to Prep Your Home for the Market
1. Make the entrance inviting. A home?s entrance carries significant meaning, both symbolically and structurally. It?s where the homeowner leaves the outside world behind and enters the comfort and sanctuary of home. Treat it accordingly.
2. Remove clutter. Clutter (too many appliances in the kitchen, too many pictures and knickknacks on the tables, etc.) makes a home seem smaller than it is. It can also put too much of a personal touch on the house. Clear away everything but a few, well-placed design elements.
3. Clean, clean and clean some more. As a general rule, you can never clean too much before showing your house. This goes hand in hand with the clutter concept above ? the cleaner a house, the easier it is for buyers to see themselves in it. It makes the house mentally ?transferable? from owner to buyer. And it just plain looks nice!
4. Freshen up the rooms. Sunlight, fresh paint and a well-placed vase of flowers can do wonders for any room ? and for minimal cost.
5. Arrange furniture in a way that maximizes space and creates a smooth traffic flow. It might take some trial-and-error, but the spaciousness you create will be worth it.
6. Perform minor repairs as needed. No matter how trivial it may seem to you, an item needing repair will send a mental message to buyers. ?Gosh, if they didn?t care enough to fix that before showing the house, what else have they let go??
7. Replace outdated fixtures (lights, knobs, etc.). This falls into the ?easy fixes with major impact? department. New lighting and fixtures can make an entire room seem new, even if it?s not.
8. Have the carpets professionally cleaned. It?s quick, it doesn?t cost much, and it can give much-needed life to carpet. Even if you think your carpet is fine, give it a try. You?ll see the difference afterward!
9. Empty closets and attics to showcase their storage capacity. Remember, prospective buyers are trying to see themselves in each house they look at. It?s a key determinant on whether they make an offer or scratch the house off their list. Tip: Put half your clothes in a storage unit or in a friend?s house (temporarily). Your closets will seem larger with some emptiness to them.
10. Tidy up the landscaping. Trim the bushes. Mow and water the lawn. Sweep the driveway and walkway. Plant fresh flowers. Most of these things cost you nothing but time, yet they?ll significantly enhance your overall ?curb appeal.?
11. ?Neutralize? your paint scheme. Colors and color preference are subjective things. One person?s favorite color can make another person gasp. To avoid putting off buyers with dominant colors, play it safe with beige, taupe and other neutrals. Remember, the goal is to help people see themselves in the home.
Now let?s take a closer look at your home?s exterior. Let?s talk about curb appeal.
Curb Appeal?Curb appeal? is the first impression people get when pulling up in front of your house. It?s their perspective ?from the curb,? hence the title. Take curb appeal seriously, because it?s the first and most powerful impression your house will make on potential buyers.
When they pull up in their agent?s car, buyers will see the house and try (or fail) to imagine themselves in it, depending on that first impression. They will imagine themselves coming home after a long day of work and pulling into the driveway.
Will the house give them a sense of satisfaction and joy when they pull in? Will they be proud to have friends and family over? These questions and more will be answered during the first ten seconds. And as the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Take the Test Take a notepad out in the street in front of your house. Now imagine you?re a buyer, and you?ve just pulled up in front of the house in your agent?s car. Remember, it?s not your house. It?s just a house you?re thinking of buying. List on your notepad anything that catches your eye ? indicate whether it?s a good or bad thing that caught your attention.
If it?s bad, write down exactly what it is that stands out. For instance, if there?s a particular section of siding that could use a wash (or fresh paint), write that down.
Better still, have a friend assist you in the task. Pick somebody known for their ?brutal honesty.?
When your list is complete, it will help you formulate a plan for improving your curb appeal. Prioritize the negative things you noticed, putting the most noticeable items at the top. Then write down what you might do to improve each of those items, and get to it!
Curb Appeal Essentials Every house will have a different level of curb appeal, and the notepad exercise will help you determine your home?s curb appeal. But there are certain recommendations that anyone selling a home can benefit from. Here are a few of those essentials:
Your lawn should be evenly cut, neatly edged and free of brown patches. If you have brown patches, or any other problem with your lawn, address them immediately. Treating a lawn takes time, so you want to put it first on the list.
For example, if some areas are beyond recovery, you may have to put down fresh sod, which needs some time to grow in properly.
Always start with the lawn, and do whatever it takes to make it look its best. Think of the lawn as the canvas upon which the rest of the painting takes shape. You need a solid canvas before you can do anything else.
Other Curb Appeal Ideas
1. Give dull landscaping extra life by planting fresh shrubs or flowers.
2. Check siding, trim and doors for dirt and peeling paint. Wash or touch up as necessary.
3. If the house needs a new paint job, set aside the time for it. Like a healthy lawn, a nice paint job is a must. It can make any home look years younger.
4. If you have a wood fence, consider having it re-stained or painted.
5. Windows are the ?eyes? of a house. Clean them until they?re spotless.
6. Have a deck or patio? Arrange the furniture into a nice conversational setting (so the buyers can imagine themselves entertaining).
7. Shine some light on the subject. Proper lighting highlights landscaping features and makes walkways safer at night.
Create a Plan It?s important not to take on too much at once. You don?t want so many projects that they postpone your ability to show your house. Start small. Develop a checklist of the projects you want to do, and prioritize them by level of importance. That way, if you run out of time or money, you?ll have the biggest projects out of the way first.
Here?s what your list might look like:
1. Paint the shutters, garage door and front door.
2. Replace brown patches of grass with fresh sod.
3. Pressure wash driveway and vinyl siding.
If time allows:
1. Plant bright, seasonal flowers.
2. Add landscaping fixtures.
3. Update hardware on front door.
4. New, more attractive mailbox.
Lighting Most potential buyers will visit during the day. But some people may not be able to visit until the evening, due to work or other circumstances. Also, in the winter months, when it gets dark earlier, you?ll have a higher number of people visiting after sunset.
At night, landscape lighting can make a yard look magical. Pat Simpson, host of HGTV's Before and After and Fix It Up how-to series, recommends low-voltage lighting in key places. Experiment with different lighting placement and angles. Try lighting walkways, or placing lights directly under a tree and shining them upward.
If you don?t want do deal with electrical cords, try solar-panel lights.
Paint to the Rescue A paint job can do wonders for your home?s exterior. Have a one-story house you?d like to appear taller? Try emphasizing the vertical features. You can do this by painting the doors, shutters and trim in a color that contrasts the siding.
Coordinate Your Colors Coordinate your home?s exterior by painting the garage, front door and shutters the same color. Have a tool shed or other outdoor structure? Paint it the same scheme as the house.
To Paint ? or Not to Paint While paint can certainly do wonders for your home?s exterior (and interior, to be covered later), don?t automatically assume you need to paint everything. Painting can be time-consuming labor, so always start with the quicker and easier fixes first. They might be all you need.
It?s possible that a good cleaning is all your home needs to shine. So before you go out and buy painting supplies and commit yourself to a longer project, try cleaning the exterior of your house.
For painted wood siding and aluminum siding, use a solution of one cup of detergent and one quart bleach in three gallons of water (be sure to wear gloves and goggles when working with bleach). Vinyl siding is easier to clean. Just sponge it with a mild liquid detergent or car wash concentrate, and then rinse. You?ll be amazed at the difference!
Learn More Want more tips and strategies for better curb appeal? Visit HGTV?s website (www.hgtv.com) and type ?curb appeal? into their search box.
For general home-repair tips and project ideas, visit Lowes? website (www.lowes.com) and click on the ?Project Center? and then ?How-to projects.?
Step 5: Preparing Your Homes Interior
The Wonders of Fresh Paint Dollar for dollar, new paint is one of the most cost-effective enhancements you can make to your house. If you do the work yourself, it will cost even less. Not a painting pro? Thats okay. Everybody knows somebody who has done a fair share of painting. This is where your friends show their true colors. Offer a pizza lunch and ask some painting veterans to help you.
Here are some painting tips:
? Choose the right paint. Flat, latex, enamel, gloss, semi-gloss ... you have a lot of choices, and it?s important to make the right ones. For instance, you don?t want to put a gloss-based paint on bedroom walls ? it would be too shiny. Bedroom walls should be subdued and calming. Ask the person behind the paint counter for recommendations.
? Lean toward neutral colors. Color preferences are a personal, subjective matter. So the brighter and more dominant the colors in your home, the higher the likelihood you?ll turn off prospective buyers. Play it safe by using softer, more neutral tones.
? Put down lots of plastic, canvas tarps or other protective coverings. Move all the furniture out of the way, either out of the room completely or off to one side. The last thing you want to do is make more work by dripping paint onto the carpet or furniture.
Update the Outdated Refurbish or replace outdated appliances. This may be a more costly approach, so your willingness to do it will likely depend on the market you?re in. If you?re in a strong seller?s market, you probably won?t have to update appliances and other higher-cost items. If you?re in a buyer?s market, it may be just the thing you need to make your home stand out.
Correct Previous Discrepancies Do you still have your inspection ?hit list? from when you moved in? If so, use it to your advantage. The list is a great tool, because inspectors often check the same areas. Uncorrected ?hits? from the first inspection will likely come up again when the buyers hire an inspector.
Safety Inspection Perform a safety inspection of your entire home. This serves two purposes. First, it gives the buyer?s inspector less things to write down on his list. More importantly, it reduces the likelihood of somebody getting hurt while viewing your home.
Check doorways and stairwells for potential trip hazards. Make sure the driveway and walkway are well lit for visitors. If you?re showing the house in winter, be sure the drive and walkway are dry and free of ice. Also, you?re practically guaranteed to have children in your house during the process, so take an extra look around for child-safety items.
Remove Clutter Clutter comes in many forms, but it?s never a good thing. It collects near shelves, countertops, drawers, closets, garages, attics, and basements. Clutter can make a house seem smaller than it really is and gives a sense of disorganization. Even though clutter moves out with the seller, many buyers can?t see past it.
Remember, selling a house is about removing as many obstacles?perceived or real?in the buyer?s mind as you have control over. Clutter is definitely something you have control over.
A great way to identify cluttered areas is to have a friend help. Remember the brutally honest friend you used in the curb appeal exercise? Bring them back for a clutter exercise. Have them walk through the house and point out areas where there?s just too much stuff. As the owner of the house, you?re probably to biased too see clutter as easily as an ?outsider? can.
You want buyers to visit a house that?s sleek, organized and free-flowing. You want them to see closets that are spacious and tidy, not crammed and cluttered. You want them to see an attic that?s ready for their storage items, not bursting at the seams with yours.
Give unwanted items to the Salvation Army or Goodwill. Put wanted (but not currently needed) items in temporary storage. Remember, the more stuff you remove, the more the buyers will focus on the house when they visit, and not the items within it.
Don?t Forget ?Furniture Clutter? Take another look at the rooms in your house, this time with an eye to the furniture. Most rooms do fine with a few dominant pieces (a couch and chair in the living room, a bed and dresser in the bedroom) combined with one or two small pieces, like tables and lamps.
The more furniture beyond that, the smaller the room will seem. Too much furniture can also interfere with traffic flow. Ever been in a house so heavily furnished that you had to turn sideways to get through doorways? How cramped did the room feel?
If your rooms feel or look cramped to you, they?ll feel even more cramped to a stranger. Everything is exaggerated in the mind of a buyer. Try rearranging the furniture, or moving the smaller pieces into temporary storage.
De-personalize the House As hard as it might be to accept, you?re not selling your home. You?re selling a house that will become someone else?s home. Because of this, you have to de-personalize the house to a certain extent.
This doesn?t mean you should strip away all signs that somebody lives there. That would be a bit much. It just means you should minimize your personal ?signature? on the house to help buyers see it as their prospective home. When a potential buyer sees family photos on the wall or night stand, it interferes with their ability to see themselves in the house.
Kitchen Remove excess appliances (can openers, coffee makers, etc.). If it?s not installed or bolted down, try to put it out of sight when buyers visit. Remove pictures and magnets from refrigerators. Let the sun shine in. Do some extra cleaning. Put a vase of fresh-cut flowers out, preferably near a sunny window. Consider updating the lights, knobs and fixtures. Make sure the area beneath the sink is free from water stains or other signs of leakage. If water is present, check the pipes or have a plumber inspect them.
Bedrooms Repaint the walls if necessary; use soft, neutral colors. Arrange the furniture to maximize the spaciousness of the room. Consider putting clothes you don?t need into temporary storage so closets look bigger.
Living / Family Room Many of the bedroom suggestions apply here as well. Repaint the walls if necessary, leaning toward the more neutral colors. Reduce the furniture arrangement to a few well-placed items. This will make the room seem larger and will also improve traffic flow. Keep an eye out for areas of high clutter and personal items (like too many family photos on the mantle).
Bathrooms Many of the kitchen suggestions apply here too. Remove personal toiletry items (toothbrushes, makeup, etc.). Tuck them away under the sink or in a closet. Clean mirrors and fixtures until they shine. ?Bright and spotless? should be your goal when cleaning the bathrooms. Consider updating the lights, knobs and fixtures.
Garage Many sellers neglect the garage entirely when preparing their house for sale. But the garage has a bigger impact than most people realize. If you use your garage for general storage ? everything from car tires to garden tools ? you need to do some serious organizing. Here?s why:
A dirty, cluttered garage filled with random items strewn about has a ?junkyard? look and feel to it. When buyers see it there?s a chance that, subconsciously or otherwise, they will carry that negative impression with them through the rest of the house.
Have a garage sale or make a few runs to the dump. Get rid of everything you don?t need. Group similar items (like garden tools) in a holder or rack that?s made for them. Make your garage a marvel of neatness and usefulness.
Do You Have Pets? If you have a cat (or cats), be sure to empty litter boxes daily and use a healthy dose of baking soda or other deodorizer. If you have a dog, it?s probably best to keep it outdoors as much as possible (weather permitting, of course).
It?s especially important to keep dogs out of the way when buyers come to visit. Few people fear cats, but some people have an unnatural fear of dogs ? a fear of all dogs, regardless of how gentle they might be. The last thing you want is for potential buyers to tour your home while fearfully looking over their shoulders!
Are You a Smoker? If you?re a smoker, be sure to air out the house well in advance of listing it. Stop smoking indoors before putting your house on market. Some people are repulsed by the smell of smoke in a house, and they may walk away even if everything else about the house is right.
There are also ozone sprays available that can help remove smoke odors without creating a masking odor (an odor on top of an odor).
Preparing for Inspections:
When selling a house, you can be 99% sure you?ll face a home inspection at some point. While every home inspector will go about his job in a different way, there are certain ?hot spots? that any inspector will examine. Therefore, it?s worth your while to examine these areas for yourself, before the home inspection. Electrical Systems A home inspector will examine a house?s electrical panel / circuit breaker for loose connections, signs of overheating, or overrated circuits (circuits that are rated at higher currents than the capacity of their branch circuits). All of these discrepancies are shock hazards and/or fire hazards, so they should be corrected immediately for your safety and the safety of the buyers.
The Foundation The inspector will look at the home?s foundation for cracks and other signs of damage. He may examine the foundation from outside of the house, from the basement (if you have one), or from a crawl space (if you have one). Many foundations have minor cracks in them, but what he?s looking for are unusually long or deep cracks that could be significant enough to cause future damage to the home?s structure.
The inspector will also look at the grade (slope) around the house to see if water drains away from the foundation or toward it. Grading that slopes toward the foundation is a common discrepancy but not a serious one. It can be easily corrected by adding mulch, soil or sod.
The Roof A qualified home inspector will certainly notice cracked or missing shingles, or any other form of deterioration on the roof, and it?s cause for closer inspection. Some inspectors will examine the roof through binoculars first. If it?s in good shape, they?ll likely move on to the next item. If they see anything unusual, they?ll break out the ladder for closer examination. Therefore, it?s a good idea to conduct your own roof inspection to see if minor repairs need to be made ... before the inspector shows up.
Mold and Mildew Toxic black mold (stachybotrys chartarum) has been in the news a lot lately. So if a home inspector finds any mildew or mold, even the harmless kind, the buyers will likely assume the worst. Search your entire house for signs of mildew and mold. Pay particular attention to vents, basements, or any place that?s prone to moisture. Remove it when you find it, and fix the source of the problem to keep it from returning.
Wet Basements (and other moisture-related problems) Moisture can lead to mildew and mold, but it can also be a sign of larger plumbing problems. Plumbing problems scare buyers, because plumbing is usually not a simple fix. If serious problems exist and you don?t want to repair them, you might consider lowering the price to account for the problem, or giving the buyers an allowance to make repairs after closing.
Step 6: Marketing Your Home
Multiple Listing Service The Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, is a computerized database of virtually all the homes for sale in a specific area. By listing your home in the MLS, you?re showing it to a large number of real estate agents representing a large number of buyers.
But not just anyone can list a home in the MLS. Real estate agents have access to it, but ?regular folks? have to pay hundreds of dollars to use the service. This is yet another benefit to having a real estate agent.
?For Sale? Sign The yard sign is one of the oldest but most reliable forms of home marketing. Home buyers routinely drive through the areas they want to live in. So a well-placed sign in front of a house that appeals to them almost always leads to a phone call.
Make sure your agent puts the sign in a location and angle that maximizes its visibility. Try driving down the street, as a potential buyer might, to see if the sign is readable. Can you read the phone number clearly enough to write it down?
Signs are great at generating phone calls. They also tend to get the neighbors talking, and this unleashes the powerful word-of-mouth marketing machine. And that brings us to our next point?
Word of Mouth Don?t underestimate the power of neighbors talking. Word of mouth can often lead to sale. Your neighbors might have a friend or family member who?d love to live near them. Best of all, you don?t have to do much to create word-of-mouth. Just put a sign in the yard!
Flyers and Brochures If you use a real estate agent, he or she will likely help you prepare a flyer for your house. Your flyer should include the basics, such as price, square footage and the like. But it should also go beyond those basics to promote everything that?s great about the house.
Whether you?re creating your own flyer, or having your agent help, there are some things you can do to improve the end product. Try making a list of everything you like about the house. Is it located in a cul-de-sac with no through-traffic? Is it conveniently close to shopping or schools? Are there certain architectural features you enjoy, like a deck or pool? Does it have a great view?
Take this information and create a ?Top Ten Reasons You?ll Love This House.?
Be sure to include an attractive, full-color photo on the flyer. Place the flyers somewhere prominent in the house, where visitors can easily find them (perhaps near the entry). Chances are, your agent will handle these details for you. He or she may even put the flyers or brochures into a tube or box attached to the yard sign. That way, people can get all the details even if they don?t come inside.
Your Agent?s Advice Perhaps your greatest marketing tool is your agent?s experience and insight. Agents sell houses for a living, so most of them strive to learn everything there is to know about marketing a house.
How to Take Great House Photos?If you?ve ever shopped for a home online, you?ve seen them. You know ... those house photos that are dark, blurry, fuzzy, grainy or any combination of the above. Or what about those photos that show the roof of the house with everything else blocked by trees?
You?re left asking: ?Why bother? Why waste my time driving out to a house like that??
Never underestimate the power of pictures. Home shopping is as emotional as it is analytical. Sure, buyers will scrutinize the price, conditions, location, etc. That?s the analytical side. But the emotional side comes first. After all, who would waste their time reading property details if the property itself doesn?t get their pulse racing.
In other words, the property photo is one of many forks in the road on the path to a sale. It either continues the process (if they like the photo) or terminates it (if they don?t).
This is both natural and necessary. If the photo shows a ranch-style house and the buyers want a colonial, the photo will terminate the process ? and rightfully so. It would waste everyone's time if they came out for a visit.
But here?s where photo quality comes in. If the photo shows a two story colonial, and the buyers are looking for a two story colonial ... they?re faced with a different decision. Are they looking for that two-story colonial? Is it worth their time to read the property details and possibly pay a visit?
Maybe you?re taking the photos yourself. Maybe your agent is going to take them. Regardless, there are things you can do to enhance those photos ... which in turn improves the overall listing ... which in turn brings more prospective buyers to see the house ... which in turn increases the likelihood of a sale!
Prep the Property I call this part the ?low-hanging fruit,? because it's an easy fix that can make a big difference. We're not going for major overhauls here. Rather, we're looking for simple, low-cost items that can improve the home's appearance for photos (and for general curb appeal).
Some of these low-cost fixes include:
Wait for the ?Money Shot? Every property looks best at a particular time of day. You almost always want the sun behind you. This puts the sun onto the subject and out of the photographer's eyes.
So if you're shooting the front of a house that faces east, you may want to do it in the morning. On the contrary, if you're shooting the front of a house that faces west, you may want to wait until late afternoon. You want the sun to enhance the house, not eclipse it. Have you ever seen property photos with that ?spotlight in your face? effect? Those are people who did not wait for the money shot.
The east / west approach is a general rule. To find out when your house looks its best, go outside at different times of the day and judge it. It will be obvious.
Use Photo-Enhancing Software If Possible Notice I didn't say photo-manipulation software. Most image programs, like Photoshop, can either enhance or manipulate a photo (and just about anything else you could want to do). But the point is not to change the photo in a misleading way, but to improve the photo quality by adjusting brightness, contrast, size, etc.
Of course, if you take a knockout photo to begin with, you can probably skip this step entirely.
Conclusion Remember, photos represent a critical step in the sales process. The initial impression from the photo determines whether or not the buyers read the listing. The listing description determines whether or not they visit the property. And their visit determines whether or not they make an offer. Each step is critical, so each step must be optimized. Photos included!
Step 7: When Buyer Visits
You?ve prepped the house, your agent has listed it, and you?ve both marketed it. Now you?re getting calls from people who want to view it in person! Here are some things you should do when buyers come to visit.
Make sure the house is clean, comfortable and inviting, and then find somewhere else to go. It?s important to give buyers their space, even if that means simply stepping over to the neighbor?s house for a moment.
Lingering owners can make buyers uncomfortable, and the buyers may rush their visit as a result. As the seller, that?s the last thing you want.
You want buyers to take their time walking through your house so they can see everything that?s good about it. You want them to see all the hard work you did from Part 3 of this guide, right?
Your agent can answer any questions the buyers may have. That?s part of their job, and chances are they?ll be very good at it! They can also point out the house?s high points, even if the buyers don?t ask about them.