PA Homes for Sale
Listing Your Home
Tips for Marketing Your House to Potential Buyers
As you prepare to sell your home, you may want to devote some time to thinking about your buyers. With new homes listed everyday, homebuyers have plenty of options. However, if you market your house properly, prospective buyers won't have any trouble finding your home. If you have already found an agent that understands your needs as a seller, you can utilize their knowledge and resources to make your home as attractive as possible. While you may choose to work very closely with your agent during the marketing process, here are a number of marketing tactics that you can try out on your own.
One of the most important steps in marketing your home may be taking photographs. As many home buyers and real estate agents conduct their initial research online, a flattering collection of photos is helpful to include with your listing. Begin your photo shoot outside the home and try to snap pictures that highlight your home's best features. As you want your home to be focus of all the photos, remove cars from the driveway and try to clear plants that block a view of your front door. Begin with photos of the entire property – cropping out the sidewalk and street – and move in to take close-up pictures of exterior features.
Inside the home, you should take at least one photograph of every room. Though you may choose not to display every room in your listing, you may find some great images where you least expect. As you prepare to photograph the interior of your home, you should open all of the blinds or curtains and turn on lights in each room. You may also want to remove certain items – such as personal photos and undesirables like garbage cans – before taking photos. In the kitchen and dining room, consider placing floral arrangements on the table to add a peaceful atmosphere to the space. As you move room to room, focus on the most interesting aspects of each room – be it a large closet in a guest bedroom or a fireplace in the living room. When you are finished, the photos you have taken should represent all the best elements of your home.
After you have placed your listing with photos, try to work with your agent to place adequate signage on the property. A useful sign should list the agent's name and contact information and, if necessary, additional contact information for the nearest real estate office. If you reside on a quiet residential street, you may want to ask the neighbor residing on the corner of the nearest busy street if you can place a small, directional sign in their lawn. Lastly, one or more of the photos used in your listing should also be included on the fact sheet available outside your home. This takeaway brochure will typically list the details of your home – number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage and lot size – and can also be used during open houses as a reminder to prospective buyers.
Depending on how you want to market your home, there are a number of advertising options available to you and your agent. Many homeowners choose to list their properties in local newspapers, typically in special weekend real estate sections. You may also want to look at local real estate publications and check printing dates to see if your home is a good fit. However, even more than print advertisements, the internet features a world of opportunity for home sellers. There are numerous classified sites and databases that prospective homebuyers check daily, many of which offer free listings. You and your agent can also use the internet to publicize your open house and offer additional details that may not have been featured in your print ads.
After you have completed your first round of marketing, you and your agent may want to schedule an open house. Granting prospective buyers an opportunity to view your home in person is often one of the most important steps in selling a home. Prior to the open house, your agent can actively seek for prospective buyers. If an interested buyer or agent is unable to visit your open house, your agent can also arrange private tours to make sure all prospective buyers have a chance to see your home.
While there is certainly no guarantee that any specific marketing tactics will sell your home, utilizing some of the above mentioned tactics will help increase the odds of prospective buyers finding your home – and getting them to your front door is the first step in making the sale.
Home Improvement Tips to Potentially Increase Your Property's Value
A home is arguably one of the largest financial investments a person will make in their lifetime. While property values over time are determined by national variables, the economy and local market conditions, the care and upkeep of a property is also a crucial element toward achieving a solid re-sell. Whether you are planning on adding more rooms to create extra space, upgrading your kitchen with new appliances or are thinking of putting your home on the market, here are some essential home improvement tips that might increase the value of your home.
Out of all the rooms in the house, the kitchen is the most popular to remodel. According to Remodeling Magazine, money spent to upgrade a kitchen produces the highest return on investment. "Hot" kitchen makeover trends include adding dual sinks, cooking stations, extra-long dishwashers, under-cabinet lighting, warming ovens and wine coolers.
Upgrading a bathroom is also a sound choice and will usually provide a significant return on investment. Large bathrooms are typically on the top of the list of priorities for those seeking to purchase a home. Adding skylights, glass block windows, ceiling fans and sunken whirlpool baths are also attractive selling features. If you don't have the room to expand or to accommodate larger appliances, or you don't think you'll be living in your home long enough to enjoy the changes and/or see a return on this kind of investment, stick with neutral, mid-builder level updated cabinetry, refreshed flooring and shower/tub, or a new sink and toilet.
Room to Grow:
Adding a room or two, such as a spare bedroom or a study, is a significant home improvement that you will be able to take advantage of every day. In addition to the much-needed extra space, it can also potentially provide you with a good return on your investment when it comes to selling the property.
Landscaping the Lot:
A professionally landscaped yard can certainly increase the "curb appeal" or desirability of a home. In fact, beautifying your lawn can be one of the most inexpensive home improvements. Additional simple landscaping projects include trimming and edging the grass, manicuring the trees and shrubs to open up the view of the house, removing any dead plants and planting flowers to brighten up the yard.
While many homeowners may want to update and remodel their kitchen, if the roof needs fixing or the chimney has to be reappointed, then they should prioritize these necessary repairs over any cosmetic changes. This applies to both sellers and those who plan to stay in the home for years to come, as these essential repairs must be taken care of before they cause the house to lose value. It is vital to look after the minor problems such as a leaky faucet or a loose cabinet to ensure that your house doesn't undergo any long-term damage. As soon as you notice a problem, fix it since this will help avoid a larger expense later on.
A paint job, new double-paned windows and new carpeting will increase the price of a house virtually dollar-for-dollar. Neutral colored paint and eliminating clutter can make a world of difference. However, don't go overboard with home improvement projects that will push a house too much above the current average value of homes in your neighborhood. It is important to make sure that your home has standards that are in-line with the other houses in the neighborhood, but you do not want to price yourself out of the market.
Home Improvement Professionals For Hire:
Whether you need an architect, gardener, interior designer or contractor, it is always important to do a background check prior to hiring a professional. Get references from family or friends and interview them - checking is critical. The most important quality to look for is trust, not initial price. The Coldwell Banker Concierge® Service Program offers homeowners referrals to local home improvement professionals.
Seller Tips to Prepare Your Home For Sale
How you prepare your home for a potential buyer can affect the likelihood of selling quickly. Here are a few selling tips to help guide you along the way.
People tend to judge a book by its cover. Investing some time and money into your homes' exterior can pay dividends.
1. A trim landscape can attract buyers, so mow and water your lawn.
2. Trim trees and bushes, and tidy up mulch and other ground cover.
3. Cover bare spots in your lawn with grass seed.
4. Plant flowers – an oft-repeated tale says that yellow flowers symbolize new beginnings and can evoke buying emotions.
5. Clean sidewalks, walkways, and the sides of your home -- renting a power washer can be a good investment.
6. Make your house number clearly visible from the street.
7. Keep clutter to a minimum - store bikes, toys and other equipment.
8. Repaint the home or touchup the necessary areas to present a clean and kept appearance.
Give potential buyers a blank canvas to work with; let them see your home as a place they will live their lives in, and not the home that you are living in.
9. Depersonalize your home by removing pictures, paintings, trophies, etc.
10. Remove clutter around the house -- pack up random items you will be moving, remove books from shelves, and empty all counter space.
11. Organize things behind closed doors –- smart buyers will want to open cabinets and closets, so keep it neat. This will show the buyer that you take care of the home down to the smallest detail. Some examples include:
- Alphabetizing your spice rack, place cup handles uniformly, and neatly stack dishes
- Hang jackets or shirts together and uniformly, and line shoes up
12. Remove unnecessary furniture such as shelving units, extra leaves from the dining room table, or any thing else that may increase the appearance of a room – rent a storage unit if you must.
13. Leave enough furniture to give potential buyers enough to imagine what the room is used for.
Take care that you're not selling a "fixer-upper" - from replacing light bulbs to touching up the paint, be sure to present your home in move-in condition.
Items that are moving with you should be replaced before showing the house. The general rule of thumb is, anything attached to the home is expected to be part of the deal. Minimizing any confusion will minimize potential negotiating issues later on.
14. Replace that light fixture which has been in your family for years.
15. Change the bathroom sink you aren't willing to part with.
16. If you are taking any major appliances be sure to have their replacements in place before showing the home.
Consider making some small, inexpensive upgrades to your home.
17. Replace any cracked tiles, or repair them.
18. Patch any holes in the wall.
19. Fix leaky faucets.
20. Fix doors that don't shut properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
21. Replace light bulbs that are burnt out – more light gives a spacious perception.
22. Replace worn bedspreads.
Be sure the costs of the repairs you are making don't outweigh the benefits they will create.
23. Paint rooms neutral colors – it will give the room a bigger feel and eliminate your perception of a "good" color (for example, red may not be good for everyone).
24. Discuss any other major repairs with your Sales Associate.
Give your home a good "spring cleaning" both inside and out before someone sees it. Continuous maintenance will help keep your home in good order and prevent you from that last minute clean up before someone comes to see your house.
25. Clean windows on both sides.
26. Rent a pressure washer to clean the exterior of the house.
27. Clean cobwebs.
28. Re-caulk bathrooms and bleach grout.
29. Clean out the refrigerator.
30. Wax floors and vacuum daily.
31. Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
32. Replace worn rugs.
33. Hang fresh towels in bathrooms.
34. Clean out musty smelling areas.
35. Stop smoking inside the house.
36. Bathe pets and clean out litter boxes.
37. Empty all trash, recycle bins, etc.
38. Dry-clean drapes and shampoo carpets.
39. Use baking soda boxes in smell-prone areas.
40. Place flowers, potpourri or air fresheners around the house.
41. Monthly cleaning can preserve a floor's shine.
42. Clean all carpets.
43. Clean all windows and mirrors.
44. Clean water stains in all sinks and tubs.
Ask a "buyer":
Invite a friend or neighbor to walk through your home like a buyer would. Get their opinion on whether or not it's inviting, clean and well maintained. Strongly consider making any changes they suggest.