Jennifer J. McKinstry
Realtor Agent
Quinsigamond Realty
58 North Main Street
Charlton, MA 01507

Phone: 774-230-0929
Fax: 508-207-9663
Email: jenmckinstry@charter.net


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Home Selling Tips

Home Selling Tips

If you're thinking of selling your home, keep in mind that buyers appreciate a clean look in the homes they view. You can increase the value of your home and decrease the time it takes to sell by making a few simple improvements.

Nothing makes a home look newer faster than painting. Painting your walls and removing outdated wallpaper may be the best interior improvements you can make. For broader appeal, paint in neutral colors such as beige, white, off-white, or gray. These colors suggest newness and cleanliness and can brighten a dull or outdated room. If your carpet is badly worn, outdated or stained, consider replacing it. If your carpet is heavily soiled, you may want to have it professionally cleaned. Brighten the interior of your home by cleaning your windows and opening your curtains to let light in. Clean hanging light fixtures and add the highest-wattage bulbs allowed. Below are 20 suggestions to help you sell your home.

Make the Most of that First Impression:

Aroma is the first thing prospective buyers notice when they step inside a home. To eliminate odors, steam clean your carpet and wash walls and floors with household cleaners and disinfectants. Keep your home smelling fresh by burning candles or potpourri, boiling a pot of cinnamon sticks or putting a dab of vanilla on cold light bulbs before turning them on.

A well-manicured lawn, neatly trimmed shrubs and a clutter-free porch welcome prospects. So does a freshly painted - or at least freshly scrubbed - front door. If it's autumn, rake the leaves. If it's winter, shovel the walkways. The fewer obstacles between prospects and the true appeal of your home, the better.

Invest a Few Hours for Future Dividends:
Here's your chance to clean up in real estate. Clean up in the living room, the bathroom, the kitchen. If your woodwork is scuffed or the paint is fading, consider some minor redecoration. Fresh wallpaper adds charm and value to your property. Prospects would rather see how great your home really looks than hear how great it could look, "with a little work."

Don't Shut Out a Sale:
If cabinets or closet doors stick in your home, you can be sure they will also stick in a prospect's mind. Don't try to explain away sticky situations when you can easily plane them away. A little effort on your part can smooth the way toward a closing.

Check Faucets and Bulbs:
Dripping water rattles the nerves, discolors sinks and suggests faulty or worn-out plumbing. Burned out bulbs leave prospects in the dark. Don't let little problems detract from what's right with your home.

Think Safety:
Homeowners learn to live with all kinds of self-set booby traps: roller skates on the stairs, festooned extension cords, slippery throw rugs and low hanging overhead lights. Make your residence as non-perilous as possible for uninitiated visitors.

Make Room for Space:
Remember, potential buyers are looking for more than just comfortable living space. They're looking for storage space, too. Make sure your attic and basement are clean and free of unnecessary items.

Consider Your Closets:
The better organized a closet, the larger it appears. Now's the time to box up those unwanted clothes and donate them to charity.

Make Your Bathrooms Sparkle:
Bathrooms sell homes, so let them shine. Check and repair damaged or unsightly caulking in the tubs and showers. For added allure, display your best towels, mats and shower curtains.

Create Dream Bedrooms:
Wake up prospects to the cozy comforts of your bedrooms. For a spacious look, get rid of excess furniture. Colorful bedspreads and fresh curtains are a must.

Open up in the Daytime and Lighten up at Night:
Let the sun shine in! Pull back your curtains and drapes so prospects can see how bright and cheery your home is. Turn on the excitement by turning on all your lights - both inside and outside - when showing your home in the evening. Lights add color and warmth, and make prospects feel welcome.

Avoid Crowd Scenes:
Potential buyers often feel like intruders when they enter a home filled with people. Rather than giving your house the attention it deserves, they're likely to hurry through. Keep the company present to a minimum.

Watch Your Pets:
Dogs and cats are great companions, but not when you're showing your home. Pets have a talent for getting underfoot. So do everybody a favor: Keep Kitty and Spot outside, or at least out of the way.

Think Volume:
Rock-and-roll will never die. But it might kill a real estate transaction. When it's time to show your home, it's time to turn down the stereo or TV.

Relax:
Be friendly, but don't try to force conversation. Prospects want to view your home with a minimum of distraction. No matter how humble your abode, never apologize for its shortcomings. If a prospect volunteers a derogatory comment about your home's appearance, let an experienced Real Estate Agent handle the situation.

Keep a Low Profile:
Nobody knows your home as well as you do. But a Real Estate Agent knows buyers - what they need and what they want. Your Real Estate Agent will have an easier time articulating the virtues of your home if you stay in the background.

Don't Turn Your Home into a Second-Hand Store:
When prospects come to view your home, don't distract them with offers to sell those furnishings you no longer need. You may lose the biggest sale of all.

Defer to Experience:
When prospects want to talk price, terms, or other real estate matters, let them speak to an expert - your Real Estate Agent.

Help Your Agent:
As your Real Estate Agent, I will make sure the showings are scheduled through our office and we will make sure we accommodate prospective buyers when they want to see your home.

Common Mistakes Sellers Make

1. Basing the asking price on needs or emotion rather than market value. Many times sellers base their pricing on how much they paid for or invested in their home. This can be an expensive mistake. If your home is not priced competitively, buyers will reject it in favor of other larger homes for the same price. At the same time, the buyers who should be looking at your house will not see it because it is priced over their heads. The result is increased market time, and even when the price is eventually lowered, the buyers are wary because "nobody wants to buy real estate that nobody else wants". The result is low priced offers and an unwillingness to negotiate. Every seller wants to realize as much money as possible from the sale, but a listing priced too high often eventually sells for less than market value. An accurate market evaluation is the first step in determining a competitive listing price.

2. Failing to "Showcase" the home. A property that is not clean or well maintained is a red flag for the buyer. It is an indication that there may be hidden defects that will result in increased cost of ownership. Sellers who fail to make necessary repairs, who don't “spruce up” the house inside and out, and fail to keep it clean and neat, chase away buyers as fast as REALTORS® can bring them. Buyers are poor judges of the cost of repairs, and always build in a large margin for error when offering on such a property. Sellers are always better off doing the work themselves ahead of time.

3. Over-improving the home prior to selling. Sellers often unwittingly spend thousands of dollars doing the wrong upgrades to their home prior to attempting to sell in the mistaken belief that they will recoup this cost. If you are upgrading your home for your personal enjoyment - fine. But if you are thinking of selling, you should be aware that only certain upgrades to real estate are cost effective. Always consult with your REALTOR® BEFORE committing to upgrading your home.

4. Choosing the wrong REALTOR® or choosing for the wrong reasons. Many homeowners list with the real estate agent who tells them the highest price. You need to choose an experienced agent with the best marketing plan to sell your home. In the real estate business, an agent with many successfully closed transactions usually costs the same as someone who is inexperienced. That experience could mean a higher price at the negotiating table, selling in less time, and with a minimum amount of hassles.

5. Using the "Hard Sell" during showings. Buying a home is an emotional decision. Buyers like to "try on" a house and see if it is comfortable for them. It is difficult for them to do if you follow them around pointing out every improvement that you made. Good REALTORS® let the buyers discover the home on their own, pointing out only features they are sure are important to them. Overselling loses many sales. If buyers think they are paying for features that are not particularly important to them personally, they will reject the home in favor of a less expensive home without the features.

6. Failing to take the first offer seriously. Often sellers believe that the first offer received will be one of many to come. There is a tendency to not take it seriously, and to hold out for a higher price. This is especially true if the offer comes in soon after the home is placed on the market. Experienced REALTORS® know that more often than not the first buyer ends up being the best buyer, and many, many sellers have had to accept far less money than the initial offer later in the selling process. Real estate is most saleable early in the marketing period, and the amount buyers are willing to pay diminishes with the length of time a property has been on the market. Many sellers would give anything to find that prospective buyer who made the first, and ONLY, offer.

7. Not knowing your rights and obligations. The contract you sign to sell your property is a complex and legally binding document. An improperly written contract can allow the purchaser to void the sale, or cost you thousands of unnecessary dollars. Have an experienced REALTOR® who knows the "ins and outs" fully explain the contract you are about to sign.

8. Failure to effectively market the property. Good marketing opens the door that exposes real estate to the marketplace. It means distinguishing your home from hundreds of others on the market. It also means selling the benefits, as well as the features. The right REALTOR® will employ a wide variety of marketing activities, emphasizing the ones believed to work best for your home.

Call me to schedule an appointment today 774-230-0929 or email me jenmckinstry@gmail.com. I look forward to working with you to Market & Sell your Home for ALL its WORTH!


   


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