Friday, October 18, 2013

5 Things to do to Prepare Your House to $ELL.

As we approach the holidays, many of you may be thinking of making a change in 2014.  Maybe you're planning to make a MOVE!  Now that the Atlanta Real Estate Market is back in full swing, and while interest rates are still very low, now may be the perfect time to plan your strategy to sell your house.
If you are considering selling next year, I suggest targeting a time frame of early to mid January of 2014.  The market has exhibited very low inventory this year which has led to very high Seller success.  The inventory will go down even more from Thanksgiving until mid January.  If you bring in the new year with your house on the market, you're going to have very little competition and I think buyers will be out in droves in January. 
Now is the time to plan, organize and strategize to be ready come January.  Following is a checklist to prepare your house for the market.
1.  ORGANIZE.  Everything.  Organize everything.  Organize, everything.  Organize>everything!   Now is the time to make 3 piles of your "stuff" (I'm cleaning up my language on this one).  One pile is "keep", one is "donate" and one is "toss".  I'm expecting the toss pile is going to be huge.  You'll find it therapeutic (and possibly emotionally exhausting) to get rid of stuff you've been hanging on to for no apparent reason that has added clutter and chaos to your life.  Buyers do not like to see clutter and chaos when they look at houses that they may want to call home.  Of the things you decide to keep, put them in their place or better yet, go ahead and pack any items that you aren't going to use (like summer items, fine china, small appliances that aren't used frequently, etc.).  This would also apply to your closet.  Your closet should look as big, uncluttered and organized as possible to buyers when they are coming to judge you and your house.
2.  Clean out the garage.  Clean out the cabinets.  Clean out the gutters.  Just clean.  And then more cleaning.  Clean the drapes.  Clean the windows.  Buyers adore clean houses.  Clean as if you are expecting a drill sergeant to come inspecting.   You would be surprised (shocked and horrified to) if you could see what I see in the market when I'm showing houses.   Dirty and disorganized houses may still sell- but at a deeply discounted price.
3.  Get estimates.  Many times, when I go to list a property for sale, I will ask the owner if they have a termite bond.  Oftentimes, they are not sure or they say no.  Rather than buying a termite bond, it may be smart to go ahead and get an estimate from 2 to 3 companies to find out how much a bond would cost for your house.  You will be armed with accurate information if a buyer asks you to provide a termite bond during the negotiations.  Other examples of estimates you may want to obtain are obtaining a roof replacement estimate if your roof is 12 years old or more, or an HVAC equipment replacement if your heat and air system is old.  If your hardwood floors are not in really good condition, get an estimate to find out how much refinishing will cost.  Knowledge is POWER, and you will be able to intelligently address Buyer objections as they come up.   This is a really powerful step for you to take in preparation of selling, because the majority of buyers almost always overestimate how much repairs or upgrades cost. 
4.  Repaint, refresh and STAGE.  Your Realtor (that would be me) will help you determine if you really need to repaint rooms, replace carpet, or make other significant changes to the house to make sure it shows it's best and will sell for the most money in the least amount of time.  Most often, touch up paint and repairs may suffice, but sometimes, it is much better to replace carpet rather than offering a "carpet allowance".  The better your house looks, the more buyers will be interested.  The more buyers that are interested, the higher (and faster) it will sell.  Your Realtor (that would be me) will help stage your house for the market or bring in a staging consultant for big jobs (such as staging a vacant house) if necessary.
5.  Create Curb Appeal.  Take a very critical look at the front of your house.  Try to be as objective as possible.  Does your house have curb appeal???   If your house is very plain and architecturally uninteresting, adding a pergola, shutters, window boxes, and other architectural features may help.  In these instances, your investment can really pay off.  Is the front door freshly painted and inviting?  Get those spider webs out of the front porch (I know they are there, I've seen them).   Prune and shape overgrown shrubs, create a flower bed or beds at front (pansies are great now through spring).  Again, your Realtor (me) can help you to know what, specifically, you can do to dress up your house for the market.  Repair any driveway cracks, wood rot, etc..  Buyers are crazy about houses with curb appeal.  And, this is the first impression any Buyer will have of your property, whether in person or online.  "You don't get a second chance to make a first impression"- (I'm not sure who said that so I am going to claim it). 
Getting a house ready to sell can be very time consuming and involved.  During the holidays may be the absolute best time for you to tackle these preparations so that you will be way ahead of your competition early next year.  Contact me and I will help you determine what changes you can make to maximize your selling potential and we will make a plan together.
As Thanksgiving approaches, I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading my blog.  It is my intention to give you content that will benefit your life in some way.  I appreciate my blog readers, my clients and all the friends of my business who support me.  You've made 2013 the best year of my 19 year career and I am so grateful to you!! 
Happy Thanksgiving!
Jackson Bass, Associate Broker, ABR, Keller Williams Realty of Buckhead


  1. That is GREAT info Jackson! Thank you!

  2. That is GREAT info Jackson! Thank you.

  3. You created some clear points there. I looked online for the topic matter and identified most guys will consent with your website.

  4. This in nice information but instead of selling give rent to someone and get monthly payments. It act like income source to your family.
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