Stage Your Home To Sell
Showing your home is probably the most important part of the selling process. Trust your Realtor who knows how best to showcase your home.
First impressions mean a lot and many prospective buyers make a decision almost immediately. It starts with curb appeal
, i.e. what potential home buyers see from the street.
Fresh paint (at least in places that need it most) on your house’s exterior and interior is one of the easiest and best improvements you can make to enhance that first impression. Keep yards and vegetation mowed and trimmed. The back yard is of particular importance in San Jose and California by and large as many buyers want a place to relax and entertain guests, so make sure it is clean and attractive.
If you are willing to do more majors improvements before selling your house, it is highly recommended that you start with the kitchen and the bathroom(s), which are generally the two areas that do sell houses.
A critical concern to address is to minimize clutter, which is often used to describe too much decor, too many furniture, too many items on the mantle, etc. To put it simply, allow potential buyers to see as much as possible every square footage of your home.
Trust the skills of your Real Estate Agent to present your house for you. Make sure you discuss everything you would like him/her to convey to the buyer prior to any visits. Try your best to be away when your house is shown by your Agent. Buyers are uncomfortable in the presence of sellers and will feel constrained to express freely their opinions to their own Real Estate Agent. Finally, be flexible as your house could be shown by your Realtor at any time. Consequently, ensure that your house is always ready for viewing at any time.
Prepare For The Home Inspection
In today’s real estate world, most Realtors will advise sellers to hire a professional home inspector to take a closer look at a home prior to making it available on the real estate market.
The inspection cover a multitude of systems within your home. If you can afford it, take care of some of the more important ones before placing your home on the market such as:
- Structure and foundation: Cracks in walls or ceilings are red flags
- Roofing: Deteriorated shingles, gutters or other roof coverings are hot-spots for buyers and inspectors
- Electrical & plumbing systems: Make certain your electrical system is working properly. Leaks and clogs should be fixed. Dishwashers and other appliances will be tested.
- Heating and cooling: These should be in good working order, and energy-efficient.
Remember, no home is perfect and the inspector will most likely find those imperfections. Don’t be discouraged, and don’t feel that you must comply with unreasonable demands for repairs.
You should be aware that in Northern California and the Bay area, homes are mostly sold " As Is", meaning that you do not need to undertake any repair to sell. As long as you disclose any material issue(s) to the potential buyer, he/she cannot force you to make the repair to close the deal.
In the specific case of a short sale, I would not recommend to do any inspection as all proceeds of the sale will go directly to your lender anyway. Nevertheless, you still have the obligation to disclose every material fact that could lower the value of the property.