Winter is upon us in Ann Arbor, and that means cold and snow. It can be difficult to drag potential home buyers out to your property to give it a look, so you need to do everything in your power to make your home as appealing as possible. While the task is daunting, get in the spirit of the season and you can accomplish wonders in just twelve days. Here are 12 tips to selling your home before the holidays:
Day 1: Find an Agent & See How They Can Sell Your Home
Finding the right real estate agent is complex and subjective, but it’s the first thing you should do. Interview possible agents and find out how successful they are, how much of a commission they command and what methods they use to market your home. Starting things off with the right agent makes everything that much smoother.
Day 2: See What Your Home is Worth
Your agent can help with this step. Combine their recent market analysis with your own research into recently sold homes. Look at the sale values for homes of a similar size and location as yours. This should give you an idea of what prices you can expect to draw interest.
Day 3: Decide on a Listing Price
If you set your price too high, you’ll fail to attract any buyers at all. Set it too low and you’re throwing away money. Talk with your agent to set a competitive price that will attract buyers to leave the comfort of their current homes to come check out yours.
Day 4: Make any Necessary Repair
Broken tiles, leaky faucets, warped floorboards, chipping paint — these are all common in older Ann Arbor houses, and they’re all problems that require time and money to solve. Invest this money yourself and you’ll make your home look more enticing to buyers. People want to buy homes that are in good condition, not fixer-uppers.
Day 5: Clear the Clutter in Each Room
No, you can’t just shove your stuff in a closet. Closet space in older Michigan homes is at a premium, so buyers will check to see what you have available. Clear out as much as you can, either boxing up, selling or donating what you don’t need. You’re moving once you close the sale, and clearing out clutter helps prepare. Also, you should get rid of any clutter lying around the house, including toys on the bedroom floor and papers stacked in the home office. Minimize things and your home will appear more spacious — a quality home buyers look at.
Day 6: Arrange Furniture in a way that sells
Avoid cluttered rooms. Never leave a room empty. Make sure traffic flow works. The layout in some of these old homes can be odd, so play around with furniture until you get a layout that feels right.
Day 7: Stage the Bathroom
No one lives with a spa bathroom, but everyone wants to think they can. Spice up your bathroom to attract buyers. Hide or remove your personal items, clean everything up, and spruce up the decor. A little hardware goes a long way.
Day 8: Stage the Kitchen
What applies to the bathroom applies to the kitchen. Clean up the appliances, hide your counter-top machines and display the selling points. If it has a window, emphasize natural light. If it’s cramped and small, make sure it’s well lit and gleams.
Day 9: Enhance the Curb Appeal
If it snows, clear the driveway and sidewalks, salt them, and avoid marching through the yard. Make it as picturesque as possible. If it hasn’t snowed yet, clear leaves and make the lawn look neat.
Day 10: Add Seasonal Touches
A few ornamental Christmas items can go a long way towards putting your buyers in the right mood. A couple of candles, lit before they arrive, can make your home smell inviting and pleasant. Be subtle and non-denominational, not garish.
Day 11: Prepare & Host an Open House
Advertise early and leave the rest to your agent. Having the seller present distracts buyers and leaves you prone to making excuses. Your house should be staged by now; trust your agent to handle the rest.
Day 12: Review Feedback from the Open House
If you don’t have a serious buyer, it’s time to revise your strategy. What made your house less appealing to buyers? Do you need to reduce the price? With the aid of your agent, you can use the open house feedback and repeat the process until your home sells.
Selling Your Home in Ann Arbor, MI
If you’d like more information about selling your home in the Ann Arbor area, read our free home seller’s eBook: