If you are selling a home in the Greater Boston market, whether in Back Bay, Jamaica Plain, Newton, or Brookline--there are three things you can do to make sure your listing stacks up against the competition, in turn ensuring you get top dollar for your home. So, what do you really need to focus on before attempting to sell a home?
Scrutinize The Real Estate Agent You Hire
This can be as simple as “googling” different agents that you’re thinking of working with. The internet is a treasure-trove of information, so you can see the reviews past clients have posted on Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Yelp, Facebook, and Google. This is a good place to start, because past clients offer invaluable insight into what it will be like working with certain agents. You can also see the number of reviews the agent has posted and get a good sense for how much business they do.
Beyond the obvious, though, the internet is also how many agents will market your property. By exploring online, you can see who is active on social media, how they market their properties, and the level of engagement they get. The Realtor® you hire must be an expert in digital marketing; if they can’t market themselves how will they ever be able to market your home for sale? Particularly, since the vast majority of buyers begin their home search online, over the internet, you want to make sure the agent you hire knows how to get your home seen by prospective buyers. You also want to make sure their messaging is clear and appealing online.
Interviewing 3 or 4 agents in person is also a great way to help with the decision. Make sure you feel comfortable with your agent, and make sure you think buyers will too!
Scrutinize Your Home’s Curb Appeal
A couple of weeks before you bring your home to market, walk to the street and take a look at it from the curb – what do you see? Look at your home through the lens of a prospective home buyer. Do you see a welcoming exterior that is clean and tidy? Does your roof and paint job look fresh and healthy? Are your gutters in good condition and secure?
How do your trees, bushes, hedges, and garden beds look? Have you cut your grass? Does your landscaping look healthy in general? Remove anything that is dead and lackluster and add some brightly colored flowers and greenery that will welcome a buyer to your home.
Don’t forget the front door! This element is probably the single easiest item you can update for a huge return on the time and money invested.
Sometimes your first impression is your only impression; so don’t let buyers want to skip your home because you failed to evaluate the first impression it gives off.
Scrutinize the Interior Details
Now that you’ve viewed your home as a prospective buyer on the outside, move inside to discover what you see still in “buyer mode”. Yes, of course you want to consider big things like layout, kitchen renovations, staging, and the like--but not everyone can afford to take on big projects like that before listing a home. Instead, you should “sweat the small stuff”. By paying attention to seemingly minor details before you list your home, you will present a home that has been loved and cared for. And if you home feels like that, buyers will think that everything is in order.
Do you see dust on ceiling fan blades and air conditioning vents? Do you see scuff marks on walls or dents in the walls? Remember those loose cabinet hinges, or that cracked switch plate in the kitchen, or that squeaky door to the basement? Oh, yes you do…time to fix those things. Never let prospective home buyers think you haven’t been caring for your home.
Now you’re ready to bring your home to market!