Home sales are up in western North Carolina but having a seller’s market doesn’t always mean an automatic house sale. There are several things that you as a potential seller can do to help sell your home before you place your home on the market or while the home is currently being listed.
Tip #1 : Remove clutter and spruce up
Buyers can’t see your home and determine how they can use the space if all they see is clutter. Before putting your home on the market, consider throwing away or giving away duplicate items or things you no longer use. Minimize items on the refrigerator such as your children’s art. Frame the art or put into a scrapbook. In the spring or summer, wash windows or pressure wash vinyl siding if possible.
Tip #2: Make minor repairs
Your home may need minor repairs to improve its appearance such as painting over scuffs or fixing a sticky window. More expensive updates to the home are nice but be careful; you may not recoup the cost of what you have put into the home. One major update to the home that realizes a 167% return on investment is replacing the front door.
Tip #3 : Have your home inspected
Although a seller is not obligated to conduct a home inspection, it adds to the marketability of the home to a prospective buyer. Not only does it help the seller to find items that need to be repaired to the home before putting on the market, it also gives the sellers credibility that they are serious about selling their home. It also saves time and money for the buyer and may shave off time for a shorter due diligence period allowing for a possible faster closing. Sometimes home owners are surprised to find lead-based paint or radon in their home. Having a home inspection will allow the home owner to rectify these issues before putting the home on the market.
Tip # 4 : Make repairs on roads
Many roads in western North Carolina that go to mountain homes are steep, unpaved, or are difficult to traverse. If possible, improve the road leading to your home so that buyers can easily get to your home. The more difficult it is to get to your property, the less likely the buyer will consider an offer to purchase. You might consider adding a truck load of gravel or have the road graded to improve mobility. Broken pavement can be repaired with road patch kits from home improvement stores.
Tip #5 : Road maintenance & water-sharing agreements
If you don’t have a Home Owner’s Association or written road or water maintenance agreements, buyers may find it difficult to obtain a loan for the home if a formal written agreement is not in place. Many lenders will not issue a loan without formal written shared road and/or shared well agreements.
Tip #6 : Correct property disputes or encroachment issues
If there are any encroachments on the property (for example, a neighbor’s driveway or a utility shed on the owner’s property), the home owner should address before putting the property on the market. Encroachments on the property to be sold can cause a cloud on the property title making it harder to transfer the property to the new owner.
Tip #7 : Choose a listing agent carefully
Your agent definitely matters. When deciding upon a real estate broker for a listing agent, interview several agents to determine if you can work with that individual. A good listing agent should have your best interests at heart, should communicate with you, and keep you abreast of all home showings, questions, requests, or offers to purchase. Good agents will go over the Working with Real Estate Agents brochure (a NC required consumer protection pamphlet) and provide excellent customer service.
Tip #8 : Maintain the area around the home
Once your property has been listed, if your home will be shown during the late spring, summer, or fall, make sure the yard and surrounding area is maintained. Light yard maintenance is a good idea including mowing, trimming landscaping, and simply picking up sticks after a rainstorm which can all help improve the appearance of the property. If the home is vacant, consider hiring a company or individual to perform light maintenance around the home for a short period.
Tip #9 Help the buyers to visualize your property could be their new home
When showing the home, turn on key lights in the home to add brightness in key areas. Keep the home clean and neat as much as possible. Bake a loaf of bread or other appealing food so that the buyers can associate your home with a cozy feel. Air fresheners or plug-ins can be used as long as the scents are not overbearing. During the winter, have a fire in the fireplace or turn on the gas logs. In the summer, turn on ceiling fans or air conditioning.
Tip #10 : Be patient during the process
Selling a home takes time and can be disruptive to your schedule so be patient. Expect calls to view your home (sometimes on short notice) and leave your home while prospective buyers are viewing the home. Also, once a contract is formed, buyers will need access to your home for inspections, etc. which can also take time. It is expected that the seller will leave the home during the home inspection and it will usually take several hours. Once a contract has been signed to purchase a home, it can take anywhere from 30-60 days to close in western North Carolina depending on whether the offer is cash -based or loan-based.
If you are thinking about selling your home, Renee Corbin at Blue Ridge Premier Realty and Rentals can help you step by step during the process of selling your home. Our office phone is 828-586-1601 and our brokers are ready to assist you in your real estate needs in western North Carolina.