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Speedy Spring Sales In Champaign IL

by Rose Price

Putting your home on the market can be stressful. Showing after showing after showing requires your home to be presentable at all times. You’re forced to vacate at a moments notice, not to mention the kids and the dog.  So, how can you make this process a little less stressful and guarantee you home sells?    

First of all, buyers are always more interested in a home the first few weeks it's on the market, the longer it sits, the lower your chances are of selling quickly and for top dollar.  So, you really need to be prepared and come out blazing.

There are three main ingredients in a quick home sale: 

1) It needs to show well 

2) It needs to be marketed well

3) It needs to be priced correctly. 

So, without further ado, here are some of the best tips and tricks to optimize these three ingredients and to ensure a speedy spring sale.  

Rent A Storage Unit

Most people think, “ok, declutter, let’s put everything in the closet.” This is  BAD idea, the closest are part of the home, so anyone viewing the home is certainly going to look at the storage spaces and an unorganized, overstuffed closet doesn’t show well.  Your closets should be as clutter free and beautiful as you’ve mede the rest of the house. Instead of shoving things in the basement and closets, consider renting a storage unit.  It is super convenient and will allow you to keep your home show ready much easier.  As a general rule, you probably don’t need or use a third of your stuff, and it’s actually probably closer to half. Things like holiday decorations, old baby stuff, seasonal clothes, your kids old art projects…put it all in storage. Better yet, you can choose a portable unit, which can be transported on moving day, making your move even more convenient.  

Staging/Photography

A professional home stager sees your home from a the most discerning buyer's perspective and a good stager knows exactly how to highlight your home’s best features and minimize it’s flaws.  The first impression a buyer gets is often from listing photos online, so naturally these photos should be the highest quality possible.  Also of note, is that studies show homes with more than six listing photos online are twice as likely to be viewed by buyers. 

However, not everyone wants their home staged, and we understand. So, what can you do instead?  Have a friend or two or three take turns walking from the curb through your house as if they were a buyer. Encourage them to look for areas to improve.  Then have your agent do the same thing.  Even the most beautiful homes can benefit from these practices.  

Find The Right Real Estate Agent

Don't hire a real estate agent just because your friend used them or because their son is in your kid’s English class. Hire an agent with a proven track record.  Someone who has proven their ability to sell homes fast.  You want someone who is familiar with the neighborhood.  You want someone who is not afraid to correct your errors.  Face it, they do this for a living and no matter how hard you try, you’re going to miss some things.  Your agent should be able to walk into your home and tell you exactly what buyers will love and hate, and then help you fix those hate points.  

Besides a great track record, look at their reviews.  What is it like to work with this person?  You should also make sure your agent is savvy online, since this is where most Real Estate business starts these days.  Look at the photos on their website (remember tip #2?), make sure they hire professional photographers to take photos of the home. Look at their social media.  Are they utilizing these outlets to sell homes? 

Do Some Work Yourself

If you’re really trying to sell your home, don't leave all the marketing to your agent. Get the word out yourself.  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter; if you have these use them.  Send e-mails, texts, let people know!  Don’t stop at your friends either.  Make it known in your neighborhood too! You never know who may know someone whose looking for a home in town. Let others help.

Depersonalize

This is Important, and can be hard for some people.  Most homes are covered with family photos and this can make it hard to imagine yourself living their.  At this point it still seems like someone else’s home, but your buyers need to imagine themselves living there. So, no matter how cute those baby pictures are, take them down when you put your home on the market.  Same goes for extravagant art.  You want your home to be interesting, but you don’t want the art distracting from the home itself.  People also have different tastes in art, so if they hate the art, they again, may find it hard to imagine living there.  

 

Upgrades

You don't need to go overboard on remodels to make your home more appealing. Honestly, chances are, you probably won’t get this money back in the sale.  So, instead, focus on the little things, especially the kitchen and bathroom.  New sinks and cabinets go a long way! Light fixtures, new shower curtains nice towels; these are all little things that can have a huge impact on potential buyers.  So, instead of spending $35,000 on a full kitchen remodel, get rid of your mismatched appliances and spend $3,500 on new stainless steel appliances. Small investments can make a huge impact, and you’ll have a better chance at optimizing your ROI.  

Lighten Up

Chances are pretty good you are not a vampire, its likely your buyers aren’t either, so brighten up your home.  Dark or poorly lit home can feel a little depressing.  A bright combination of natural and artificial light is the best way to go.  G the highest wattage lightbulb your fixture will allow, which even come in eco friendly styles now and it will instantly make your home brighter and more inviting.  Every time you leave for a showing, turn the lights on and open the blinds.  A fresh coat of paint will also go a long way.  A lighter natural color paint will help make your rooms look larger.  Last finishing touch, a good solid cleaning.  Make those baseboards sparkle!   

Curb Appeal

Curb Appeal is so hugely important, it can’t be overstated.  Your home’s exterior is the first thing potential buyers see.  If it doesn’t look great, a buyer won’t even consider it.   So, clean up the yard.  Consider trimming the hedges and the lawn, add fresh mulch, maybe get your lawn edged, a good pressure washing is always good, clean the driveways and walkways, maybe a fresh coat of paint to the trim and shutters as well. Everything matters, even the little things like polishing the brass on the front door.   Go a bit farther, add some Flowers near the entryway, a splash of color helps your home feel alive and inviting. 

Offer incentives

It may seem a little counterintuitive in a seller’s market, however the facts don’t lie. Last year, the best year for U.S. home sales in almost a decade, 37% of all sellers offered incentives to attract buyers.  With the added competition in the market, incentives could be the deciding factor for a buyer.  If you’re a seller and you’re able to offer a little money toward closing costs, you’re making it easier for that buyer, which may in turn make them more willing to give you the full asking price.  So in the end you could end up with a faster sale and a larger profit. 

Know The Facts

Spring and summer are the best times to sell your home.  If you can wait until then, you probably should.  However, selling during the peak season also means there is more competition and buyers can be pickier.  So, if you are selling in the Spring and Summer, these tips are especially important. Another important fact, is that homes that aren’t priced right just don’t sell, and the longer your home sits on the market, the less desirable it is.  Buyers often expect something to be wrong with these homes.  You absolutely have to price your home right, it’s that simple.  Do some research on local comps, get a few suggestions from other agents, and then ultimately listen to your agent, which should be the expert we discussed in the beginning of the article.  It can be hard hearing your home isn’t worth what you thought, but it’s not worth wasting the summer on.  Let your Agent take the lead on pricing and negotiating.

Looking for more information on how to Sell your home quickly this Spring, give the Rose Price Team a call 217.202.8843.  Not ready to chat yet? Then visit some of our FREE Seller's Resources.  We also have numerous FREE resources for Buyers.    

Check out Trulia, a Great Real Estate Resource.

THE TEN MOST COSTLY HOME SELLING MISTAKES & HOW TO AVOID THEM

by Rose Price

The Ten Most Costly Home Selling Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

Want to get the most money for your home?

Then avoid these costly mistakes.  

The past few years the American Real Estate Market has been marked with bad news, but it seems like most markets are have turned that around; Prices are increasing, there are historically low interest rates for buyers, and the past selling season was one of the best in recent years.  

BUT

Before you list…do a little research or list with an experienced LOCAL Real Estate Agent!  Knowledge is power!  To help you here is a list of the 10 most common sellers mistakes—avoiding these, can save you thousands of dollars!

1. Selling your Home on your own

Attempting to sell your home on your own is a brave move. Before you take that step, consider everything that you're going to need to know & do in order put your home on the market, market your home, get buyers into see your home, make sure you abide by all the regulations and state codes, negotiate possibly many things along the way, then set-up all the appropriate people who need to be involved in the sales process just to close.  You really do need the expertise of a professional. Don’t believe me?… Check the numbers, those won’t lie.  For instance, homes without representation remain on the market longer and end up selling at a lower price than those with a professional at the helm. A professional agent is also their to protect you every step of the way.  

2. Not Pricing Your Home Properly

Overpricing isn't good for you! Under-pricing isn't good either! Finding the sweet spot is what it's all about.  These can be costly errors on both ends.  It is absolutely critical to understand the local housing market. This is why you NEED the experience, knowledge and expertise of a LOCAL Real Estate Professional. And I'm distinguishing between a professional and a part-time, dabbling in real estate. A Professional, like myself, that has been working & living in the Champaign/Urbana market for 20+ years, continually works on updating their own knowledge of the Real Estate market on a whole...and more importantly, what's going on in the Champaign area. They can guide you to a successful sale and protect you & your asset along the way.

3. Neglecting Repairs

This is fairly black and white, you will lose money if you don’t remedy repairs before you list your house. It’s less costly to fix things ahead of time.  You don’t want potential buyers to see these problems during a tour of your home.  When they do, the negotiation process will begin and the price you're asking will come down. If they find something larger after the sale...they will come back to you.  

4. To Clutter or Not?

Clutter can kill a deal. So declutter...it's that simple.  Everywhere!  It will help your home feel more spacious. declutter the kitchen countertops,  declutter overstuffed closets,  declutter ALL of your shelves, declutter EVERYTHING! It wont’ cost a thing other than your time and a little elbow grease and it will have BIG benefits when it comes time to sell.  


5. Listing a Vacant House

Home Buyers generally like to see a home with furniture in it, it makes the home feel warm & lived in. If it's absolutely necessary that you list your home vacant, you may want to list the services of a Home Stager or make a small investment in a few pieces of rental furniture to make the house look "homey". Sources show that vacant homes do take longer to sell and usually sell for a lower selling price. So your small investment will most likely pay for itself when your house sells.  

6. Letting your personal feelings get in the way

Don’t take negotiating personally.  This is a business transaction, probably one of the biggest of your life.  Take your personal feelings and put them aside, or let your Real Estate agent handle the negotiations while you take a break from the room. 

7. Failing to complete a full set of disclosures

There are sellers who lose money simply because they were afraid to disclose their home’s imperfections. Always Be upfront and forthcoming about all of your home’s issues. It will save you money and time, especially if the buyers end up uncovering problems themselves, AND THEY WILL.  Don’t hide anything!

8. Timing the Sale of your Home

Even a sale that misses its schedule by one day can cost you tens of thousands in extra taxes. Don’t let this happen. Talk to your accountant in advance to determine if any long-term capital gains tax breaks apply, and then time your sale accordingly.

9. Overlooking extra Expenses at Closing

Home sellers burn thousands of dollars by not requesting and confirming a list of fees and expenses prior to closing. Review the Estimated Closing Cost statements with your real estate agent before it’s time to hand over the keys. Then, request these fees in advance of closing day.

10. Using Lousy Listing Photos

This is a big pet peeve of mine. Don’t expect to sell your home for top dollar if you’re using amateur photos in your listings.   More than 90% of all buyers start their home search online, so make sure your Listing Photos are excellent…This means A LOT OF GREAT PICTURES! First impressions are important, especially when selling a home.  You won’t get a second chance to make a GREAT IMPRESSION, so don’t skimp on your photos.  

Considering selling your home in the Champaign/Urbana Area?  If you'd like more tips on Selling Your Home give Rose Price  a call at 217.202.8843.  

Selling homes is my passion and I'd be happy to assist you with this exciting time in your life. 

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