How to Highlight Your Home’s Best Selling Features

If you’re getting ready to put your house on the market, your real estate agent will create a focused marketing plan that will help attract interested prospects to your home. Although your agent will tap into a variety of resources to make it widely known that your house is for sale, there’s information you can provide which will help them present it in its best possible light.

Specifically, I’m talking about the things that make prospective buyers perk up, such as HVAC system upgrades, major home improvements, and decorating updates. If you’ve kept good records about rooms you’ve remodeled, fixtures you’ve replaced, and any structural, cosmetic, or mechanical upgrades you’ve made over the years, it would be helpful to itemize those improvements and share them with your Realtor or real estate agent.

Unless your home was newly constructed when you bought it, chances are you’ve made numerous changes. Here are examples of some of the types of information you’ll want to pass along to your agent:

  • The age of the roof: There are a lot of variables, when it comes to the life expectancy of roofing materials. With harsh weather conditions — including sweltering summer days and annual ice buildups — Mother Nature subjects your roof to a lot of wear and tear. If it’s been more than 20 years since your roof was last replaced, the shingles are probably starting to show visible signs of deterioration. That’s definitely not a selling point for prospective buyers. What house hunters do love to hear is that the roof is relatively new and has been replaced within the past five years. Although prices vary and can run higher, roofs typically cost at least $10,000 to replace. Many potential buyers would be turned off by the prospect of having to shell out that kind of money after they close on the house. Others might use that as a bargaining chip to get you to lower your asking price. In either case, an old roof puts you at a disadvantage.
  • Completed remodeling projects: Although some home buyers thrive on the idea of renovating a property themselves, most would prefer an updated home. Recently remodeled bathrooms and kitchens will make your house much more appealing and marketable to would-be buyers. If those closely scrutinized rooms look dated or poorly maintained, you can be sure that will negatively impact the selling price and/or the amount of time your house stays on the market.
  • Mechanical and electrical upgrades: People like to hear about improvements like a new central air conditioning system, a furnace replacement, or an upgraded electrical panel. These can all be major selling points, especially among prospective buyers who have had trouble with any of these vital systems in the past.
  • Miscellaneous: Other features that could help sell your house may include energy-efficient windows, new flooring, lighting, security systems, room additions, a new driveway or walkways, a finished basement or attic, basement waterproofing, new siding, fencing, patios, porches, and landscaping improvements.

While this is not a comprehensive list of all the home improvements you’ll want to share with your real estate agent, it includes many of the key items that will be on the minds of prospective buyers.

Selling Your House On Your Own is a Rocky Road

You can’t help but admire people who have an independent spirit and are determined to do things on their own. It’s reminiscent of early pioneers who lived by the belief that “God helps those who help themselves.” While it may be true that qualities like self sufficiency and initiative can help you get ahead in life, there are instances in which it makes sense to team up with an expert. You can’t always go it alone, and when the stakes are high — like in real estate sales — the last thing you want to do is try to reinvent the wheel!

Advantages of Working With a Professional

Realtors and real estate agents know the ropes, when it comes to the intricacies of marketing a home, finding qualified buyers, and negotiating the best possible deal. If you attempt to sell your own house without the benefit of an agent, you’ll be facing a steep learning curve and a lot of potential pitfalls.

Perhaps one of the most compelling reasons for hiring a real estate agent is that time is of the essence. From the minute you put your house on the market, the clock is ticking. If your property is still on the market after a few months, then its perceived value will start to drop. Many people will assume there’s something wrong with it — whether it’s a diamond in the rough or a polished gem!

Real estate professionals are not only attuned to the pulse of the local marketplace, but they can guide you through the often complicated process of selling a home. Here are a few of the many ways that agents can simplify your life, help you avoid costly mistakes, and increase the probability that you’ll receive top value for your home and sell it in the shortest possible time.

  • Home staging: By taking advantage of their knowledge and expertise, you can make sure your home is presented in its best light. Your agent should advise you of cost-effective ways to improve your home’s curb appeal and correct any potential issues on the inside that may detract from its marketability.
  • Salesmanship: A good real estate agent is skilled in the art of persuasion, establishing rapport with people, and helping them focus on both the positive aspects of your home and its future potential. Many homeowners, on the other hand, tend to either undersell or oversell the desirability of their property. Their lack of objectivity can also cause them to overprice their house, resulting in lost opportunities.
  • Negotiating skills: One of the skill sets that real estate agents have is negotiating the terms and final price of a home. Since they do this for a living, a seasoned real estate agent has the practical experience, knowledge, and insights to help you get the most value for your home. They generally know how to push the envelope, without pushing too hard. Homeowners who attempt to negotiate a real estate sale on their own may make one or more “fatal errors,” which can derail a potential sale.

If you’re unsure whether you want the help of a real estate agent or Realtor in finding a buyer, handling the paperwork, and jumping through all the legal and regulatory hoops that real estate transactions involve, then test the waters, first. Set up a meeting with a couple different real estate agents and pick their brains. That way, you’ll be sure to make an informed decision when you decide which path to take in selling your home.

Stress Reduction Strategies for Home Sellers

Selling your home can conjure up a variety of emotions, ranging from exuberance to sadness. If you associate your home with raising a family or starting a life with your spouse, then putting it on the market can be a bittersweet experience. In addition to the emotional side of things, there’s also the stress that inevitably comes with change and uncertainty. Putting your house up for sale raises several fear-based questions in your mind, such as “How long will it take to find a buyer?” On the average, houses remain on the market for a month or two, but it’s not unusual for it to take much longer. To complicate matters: If you’re in the position of selling your home before you have another one to move into, then your stress level is probably even higher.

Although some factors are outside of your control, such as ever-changing market conditions, there are a few ways you can tip the scales in your direction.

Pick the Right Real Estate Agent

The real estate agent or Realtor you choose can make a big difference in how fast your home sells and the price it ultimately sells for. A seasoned agent can also make the whole experience a lot less stressful by providing regular progress reports and helping you navigate through the various disclosures, inspections, and paperwork that’s required. An exceptional real estate pro will also provide you with valuable advice on how to improve the marketability and appearance of your property. Since “time is of the essence” when you put your home up for sale, it’s important to get as many qualified prospects walking through your house, as possible. Good salesmanship, competitive pricing, and sharp negotiating skills can also help bring in bonafide offers on your property — possibly even multiple offers.

Stress Reduction Tips For Home Sellers

In addition to having the support of a dependable real estate agent, there are also other strategies you can use to maintain your equilibrium.

  1. Make lists of all the things that need to be done, so that you don’t wake up in the middle of the night wondering if you forgot to do something important. Staying mentally organized is one of the keys to feeling like you have some control over all the chaos that’s going on in your life. Writing things down is also the first step to getting them completed. Keeping track of appointments, documents you need to gather, and professionals to confer with can also help prevent delays, miscommunication, or confusion.
  2. Schedule time for recreation, entertainment, and physical activity. Selling a home can bring with it a lot of ups and downs, so activities like socializing with friends, going for a walk in nature, or meditating can help maintain a positive outlook and a more balanced perspective on things.

Perhaps the most desirable attitude to adopt is to expect the best, but be prepared for temporary setbacks. While it’s true that some properties languish on the market for months, countless others have been scooped up by eager buyers in the first week or two on the market. It depends on a lot of factors, including preparation, excellent timing, and a smidgen of good luck!