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If you're selling your home, there are three things that are most likely to increase your proceeds. Some (like minor improvement projects) have a cost attached, and some, such as preparing the home for photos and keeping the home "show-ready" cost you only vigilance and effort. Here are the three most important things you can do that will help you net the most in proceeds from the sale of your home.
If you want to drive away buyers, not tending to the small details is guaranteed to do that. For every small thing that doesn't work or looks like no one has maintained the home, buyers react with fear about what other untended-to items could be hidden from them. Unless you want to sell your home "as is" with a large discount, your best approach is to go into fixit mode and fix everything that is not working—even the things that cannot be seen.
Think about it this way. Do you want to take a chance on the home inspection uncovering something that doesn't work? That could put a snag into your deal that's been going forward smoothly. Everything stops while these small items are discussed and negotiated. It wastes time and you'll likely have to do the repairs before close anyway.
It could mean you'd have to lower the price or even worse could be cause for the buyer to terminate the transaction! Protect yourself and ensure having a smooth transaction by preparing your home carefully to put it on the market.
Through the process of preparing your home, view your home through the eyes of a buyer. Don't fool yourself. Homes in the Silicon Valley are quite pricey and buyers are typically pretty sophisticated. They are unlikely to overlook flaws or faults. Don't be in denial about the real appearance of your home.
Better to approach this with a clear-eyed and objective view to earning top dollar for your home. We all like to imagine that our home is "special" and anyone who sees it will think so. Don't make excuses for your home, and imagine that buyers will fall in love with it and blindly ignore what they see. That will not happen. You'll lose out on having buyers view your home or seriously consider buying it.
Stand at the curb and pretend to be a buyer looking at your home for the first time. Imagine that you've been on a tour with your REALTOR® and seen a lot of homes today. You're just stepping out of the car and seeing a new house (your house). What do you notice? How do your feel? Are you loving it and feel anxious to go inside and see more? If you aren't answering "yes" to that last question, you've got work to do.
Make a checklist of items that you observe that need to be fixed on the outside of your home from that curbside viewpoint. Notice anything damaged or worn.
The next most important thing you can do is spiff up the interior of your home. These are all minor things but altogether they add up to presenting your home as well maintained and sparkling. Removing all these minor "flaws" can keep buyers focused on buying instead of "things wrong" with the house.
Make a checklist of everything inside that house that you just haven't gotten around to fixing. We all tolerate all sorts of minor broken items. You want to eliminate these so that they won't be obstacles to a buyer making an offer.
You want your home to be a standout to buyers who are looking at a lot of houses. To do that, you're going to present your home as "sqeaky clean". These are subtle changes that buyers might not notice. However, they will definitely notice if you don't do them. Do everything you can to avoid giving an impression of neglect. You don't want any obstacle to a buyer imagining themselves living in your home.
These small changes improve how buyers perceive your home. They don't take a lot to get done and will make it easier on you when it's time to move.
These are the minor upgrades and repairs that can make the biggest difference in how buyers perceive your home.
Let's have a conversation about how you can maximize proceeds from the sale of your home.