Selling your home can represent the start of a new chapter in your life. It’s only natural that you want to make sure you can attract buyers who are willing to pay what your property is worth. However, this isn’t always easy — particularly in an uncertain economy.
That’s not to say you’re entirely powerless though. There are some key elements that you should put in place to present your property in the best light and demonstrate its financial value. Let’s take a look at a handful of them.
1. Prepare for the Appraisal
An accurate appraisal is an essential tool to sell your home for its true worth. This shows potential buyers that an independent expert has made a full assessment of the property and considered its pros and cons. However, this also means that you need to make sure that your home is in the kind of condition that allows the appraiser to produce the highest possible genuine value.
You should start by getting to know what the appraiser is looking for when they inspect a home. In many cases, this has nothing to do with how aesthetically cozy you have made your home. Their assessment will be based on the condition of the house itself — both inside and out. Anything that looks structurally unsound or even outdated can negatively impact the value given.
The appraisal doesn’t tend to take very long, either — usually around 30-60 minutes. As such, you should make it easy for the professional to navigate the home and access all plumbing and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Ensure all rooms and storage areas can be viewed; each additional area can make a difference to the valuation.
2. Prioritize Health
While a safe home has always been a priority for buyers, they are increasingly savvy about what aspects of older homes, in particular, may not be optimal for their family’s continued health, or friendly to the environment. As such, it’s important to make adjustments that reassure potential purchases that your property has no glaring health issues that they’ll need to spend money to fix.
Water quality is a key issue. This isn’t just from the perspective of chemical toxicity that can be found in New York’s drinking water in some areas. Even common and seemingly minor issues such as hard water or acidic flavor can have long-term effects upon the health of homeowners and the continued functioning of the plumbing system. You can check your home’s water quality with a report from your local provider; though if you have your own well, it’s your responsibility to arrange for a private test.
Once you know the quality level, you must make certain that these issues are mitigated. Installing a water filtration system or water softener can be a small but important investment that you can use to demonstrate your home’s health superiority over other available homes in the area. However, older homes may have more significant issues such as lead-based piping which should be addressed before sale in order to ensure that you are not penalized by potential buyers.
3. Don’t Go It Alone
Finally, there is a growing trend for sellers to take to the market on their own. This is understandable — after all, usually around 6% of the price of your home could go toward your real estate agent and the buyer’s agent. In today’s connected world, we often get the impression that because a lot of information is at our fingertips, we have the tools to succeed. However, access to data does not tend to equate to expertise.
A realtor is licensed and trained to undertake the technical and legal aspects of negotiation and can help you avoid potentially costly errors or even lawsuits in the long run. They also tend to have the knowledge to present the property in a way that can achieve higher sales. It’s important to note, too, that finding buyers, dealing with inquiries, and seeing a sale through to completion is a full-time job in itself. Going alone would see you not only take on all these tasks, but also do additional research to get up to speed. In most cases, unless you have prior experience, you are more likely to sell your home for its true worth if you get some expert help.
Selling your home for its true value can be a difficult process. However, you can make a difference by taking time to make sure your home suits a higher value appraisal and is a healthy environment for potential buyers. Where possible, avoid paying for costly renovations in favor of aesthetic updates. These steps, along with some help from a realtor, can see you secure the funds to make a fresh start in a new home.
About The Author: Dan Matthews (Twitter) – Writer, Content Consultant, Conservationist, and Lover of all things DIY.
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