Blog. Valuable Tips and Advice: Home seller tips

What Buyers Want

If you are thinking about selling your home soon or just know that one day you will, you may wonder what home buyers are currently looking for when they are shopping for a home. If you are in the process of making updates to your home, it makes sense that you consider what the future buyer of your home might want so that you can make choices that will appeal to people when the time does come for you to sell.

With that in mind, what are buyers really looking for today? In today’s market, buyer’s expect homes to be nicely updated especially the kitchen and bathrooms. No Formica countertops, dark rooms and closed up floor plans. Here are five things you should consider if your home doesn’t already have them.

  • Open Floor Plans…this isn’t going away. Buyers want space where they can gather with family and friends or supervise kids while they are making dinner in the other room. If your home doesn’t offer this, consider removing a wall or two for an open feel and blending separate spaces together for an easy flow.
  • Outdoor living space is still big so add features that make the space usable for multiple seasons like a covered space to block the worst sun, a firepit for cool nights or a kitchen for easy weekend entertaining.
  • Flexible living spaces. We have moved away from the growing homes of the 90’s. Homes are still spacious but not getting any bigger because buyers want to use the space they have. Formal areas that are rarely used have been eliminated in favor of flexible spacesthat serve multiple purposes and get used daily. From offices to playrooms and exercise rooms to guest space, buyers opt to use their space wisely.
  • Buyers are interested in finishes that will last while providing low maintenance such as hardwood floors and ceramic tile. Today’s homeowners are busy and don’t want to spend every weekend taking care of their home. Maintenance to make things last will be done but they would rather use their free time for recreation than home maintenance.
  • Buyers want storage space. Walk-in closets, a linen closet, pantry, coat closet and an organized garage. Buyers want space for their stuff and they want the spaces organized so add shelving and organization systems to make the space work well for you and it will benefit you down the road too.

Think about all of these things before you make any changes. Chances are you will enjoy them as well as the buyer that one day buys your home. If you are in the process of making updates soon, call me and let’s discuss your ideas so you can maximize your investment.

Christine Topham
RE/MAX Unlimited

Doing More from For Sale to SOLD! That’s the sign of a RE/MAX agent!

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Image by Jesse Bridgewater from Pixabay.

Should You Leave a Gift for Your Home’s Buyers?

Now that you have sold your home and closing is getting near, are you considering leaving a gift for the buyer of your home? By no means is this a requirement or even expected but it certainly is a kind gesture if you choose to do so. Since your property will be closed by the time the buyer receives your gift, there is no ulterior motive to this but just a chance to show your love of your home to its new owner.

Whether you have lived in your home for five years or 25 years, you may be feeling nostalgic as you spend your last days there. What better way to say good bye to your home then by leaving a gift to welcome its new owner. This doesn’t need to be an extravagant gift or anything in particular. If you want to do something and aren’t sure what to do, here are some things to consider.

  • A vase of flowers is always a nice touch. Leave them on the kitchen counter where they can’t be missed.
  • A basket of necessities as they get settled in the home. Include a roll of toilet paper, a roll of paper towels, trash bags, soap, Clorox wipes, a few bottles of water, a snack like granola bars or fruit and even a bottle of champagne. Include any extra items you had on hand for the home such as light bulbs and air filters.
  • A gift certificate to your favorite local restaurant. After a full day of moving, they will love relaxing for dinner somewhere nearby.

Beyond the gift you leave, the best thing you can do would be to leave a note to go along with the gift. In the note, welcome them to the home and tell them you hope it is a special place for them like it was for you. If you have children that have lived in the home (even if they are older now) and they have children, ask your child to right a note and share something special like the best tree for climbing or a shortcut to the park or neighbor’s house. These personal gestures can really make a big impact.

Along with your gift and note, add a list of your favorite home professionals that helped you take care of the home such as a handyman or landscaper, the names and numbers for the closest neighbors and a list of your favorite local restaurants, shops and professionals.

None of this is necessary but as a way to introduce your home to its new owners, I am sure it will be appreciated. It truly isn’t about the price of the gift but the thoughtfulness behind it.

Christine Topham
RE/MAX Unlimited

Doing More from For Sale to SOLD! That’s the sign of a RE/MAX agent!

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Image courtesy of Jim_Larrison/flickr.com

Get Your Home on the Market before the Spring Rush

As we start the new year, there is always an increase in the number of home sellers that want to put their homes on the market for the Spring season. While buyer interest does often pick up at this time of year, the number of homes on the market is so high your home may not receive the attention it deserves due to the increase in competition. If you too want to sell your home in the coming months, it would be a good idea to beat the rush and get your home on the market as soon as possible. Here are ten things to do NOW so you can get your home listed in the next 30 days.

1. Take down all of your interior and exterior holiday decorations. Nothing will distract buyers more than Christmas decorations in February.

2. Pack up excess belongings in your home whether it is furniture, out of season clothing or anything else. A clutter-free home will show much better than one with furnishings filling every available space.

3. Eliminate all the dead and drab from your yard. Leaves, limbs and other debris that are laying around your yard need to be cleared out.

4. Add some color to the outside for curb appeal. With many things not growing this time of year, even a small pop of color will help your home stand out.

5. Take the time daily to open blinds and curtains before you leave for the day. Some showings won’t provide much notice so you may not have time to make last minute preparations so adding this to your morning routine will make sure your home is ready no matter where you are.

6. Eliminate signs of your pets as much as you can. If you normally leave pet bowls and beds sitting out all the time, find a place to store them when they aren’t being used, so they aren’t so obvious during showings.

7. Purchase new towels for the kitchen and baths to display on the towel racks or countertops (and don’t use them.)

8. Don’t prepare foods with smells that linger. It can be hard to smell your home when you live in it all the time, but visitors will notice odors right away. Try not to cook bacon, garlic, fish and other items with strong smells.

9. Add a fresh centerpiece to your dining room table.

10. Call your trusted real estate agent and discuss what else you should be doing to prepare your home for the market and begin discussions about price and other contract details you will need to finalize.

These are all simple things you can handle in a day but will pay off greatly when your home is on the market to help it stand out from the crowd.

Christine Topham
RE/MAX Unlimited

Doing More from For Sale to SOLD! That’s the sign of a RE/MAX agent!

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Image courtesy of ErikaWittlieb/pixabay.com

Holiday Decorating While Your Home is for Sale

If you are one of the few brave individuals that is trying to sell your home during the holiday season, it can be challenging to find a balance between your holiday decorations and a beautifully staged home that buyers will love. Don’t take this as a deterrent from selling your home this time of year. It really can be a great time for your home to get more attention when there are frequently fewer homes on the market and the buyers that are looking are often more serious. With a little sacrifice on your side (depending on your usual decorating style), you can still have a festive home for the holidays while trying to sell your home. Where should you start?

If your holiday style swings more in the direction of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation than Martha Stewart, you will need to make some adjustments but you don’t have to skip decorating all together. Throughout the process, take a minimalist approach that will allow the natural beauty of your home to show through and not be hidden behind a dozen trinkets in every room. One or two pieces of stylish and simple décor per room should be the goal.

What should you do about your Christmas tree? You normally select the largest one that will fit in your house and it partially blocks the fireplace so the lights twinkle just right in your picture window for all the neighbors to see. This year, downsize your tree so your cozy fireplace can be seen (and have a lot fewer pine needles to vacuum up come January.)

If you usually go all out in the yard with multiple light displays and cords running in every direction, pick one or two items and place them in areas that won’t become hazards for buyers walking through the yard. If a buyer is really considering your home, they will likely want to walk through the yard as well and tripping over Santa on their way to the storage shed won’t leave them ready to make an offer. If decorations are outside, consider placing them in a flower bed or another area that isn’t likely to see any traffic.

Don’t feel like you must completely neglect the outside. An evergreen wreath with a bright bow or holly berries on the front door can improve curb appeal during an often drab season when most things outside are brown. Consider adding a large poinsettia to your dining room table. The color will be beautiful and festive.

For many home buyers, seeing your tree can evoke an emotional response that may be to your benefit. Use that emotion to your advantage to get them off the fence and writing an offer. The right decorating can do just that. Ultimately, let your focus be to make your home inviting and the right decorations can accomplish that no matter the season. Then, next year when you are in your new home, you can pull out all of the decorations and leave no spot unglittered.

Christine Topham
RE/MAX Unlimited

Doing More from For Sale to SOLD! That’s the sign of a RE/MAX agent!

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Image courtesy of stocksnap/pixabay.com

Can you Sell Your Home in the 4th Quarter?

When you are ready to sell your house, you may not always want to or have time to wait for the Spring market. If you attempt to sell your home during the fourth quarter, is it even possible or should you give up before you start? Here’s the real answer on when you should sell your home.

The truth is, you need to position your home for the current market when you are ready to sell. What does that mean about the fourth quarter? Don’t assume you can’t sell it when in fact there are some significant advantages to listing your home in the fourth quarter.

The most significant advantage you will have if you attempt to sell your home during the final quarter of the year is the lack of available homes on the market. Many people don’t want to be bothered with selling their home during the latter part of the year. Whether they have holiday plans that it might interfere with, family visiting or want to relax, many people don’t want to sell then meaning competition is significantly less giving your home more attention then it might get during the HOT spring market.

At the same time, many sellers don’t want to sell their home; many buyers also don’t want to be inconvenienced with shopping for a home at this time of the year. What does that mean for you? While there are fewer homes on the market and fewer buyers shopping, the ones that are shopping for a home are much more severe than during other seasons. Job changes and other reasons for moving sometimes dictate when someone must buy a home. If you change jobs and have to move in November, you may need to buy a house even if it isn’t the most convenient time for you. With fewer homes to choose from, your home may get some attention it wouldn’t ordinarily get when buyers have a multitude of homes to select from.

If you do decide to try selling your home this time of year, make the best of it with tasteful decorating for the season. Even if you usually, cover every surface of your home with Christmas decorations, consider scaling back this year, so your home is more appealing and not overwhelming for people to look through.

This means that selling in the fourth quarter won’t require you to sacrifice your price to get the job done. Price your home for the current market and make sure to discuss with your agent the time frame you are hoping to sell in.

Christine Topham
RE/MAX Unlimited

Doing More from For Sale to SOLD! That’s the sign of a RE/MAX agent!

Let’s Connect, Socially!

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Christine Topham
RE/MAX Unlimited
Cell: 404-509-4255
christine@teamchristine.com
25 years serving Bartow, Cobb and Paulding Counties

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TEAM CHRISTINE  | Associates of RE/MAX Unlimited  | Main Office: 770.386.0076  | Christine@TeamChristine.com  

RE/MAX Unlimited 5205 Stilesboro Road #110 Kennesaw, GA 30152 | 770.419.1986