1. Keep your house looking picture perfect
After all that preparation, your house is looking picture perfect. Now keep it looking that way while your house is on the market,
This is hard if you are still living in the house. When we were selling our house we still living there. Every morning, after the kids are gone, I spent the next fifteen minutes doing a whirlwind of clean up and tidy up.
- Open up all the curtains to get more natural light in
- Make the bed and fluff the pillows
- Put away all the toiletry items in the closet
- Hang up all the towels nicely
- Fluff the pillows on the couch,
- Set the dinning room table
- Put away any other items that are out of place
- Clean up any dirty spots
- Turn on a few lights through out the house in case buyer show up in the evening, you want to make your house welcoming
It may seem like a lot, it’s actually pretty quick if you also follow the next suggestion.
2. Make is easy for buyer to see your house and stay out
This is a key one, you want to make it easy for prospective buyer to visit with minimum hassle. We put on the listing that the buyers can visit our house anytime between 10am-8pm everyday without having to make appointment. Outside of this time, they need to call us to arrange a visit. And definitely leave the house when you are having open houses, let your agent work with the visitors. It’s very awkward to have the seller lounging around when buyers are visiting.
This is tough for folks who are still living on the property, we basically ate out everyday for a week while our house was on the market. Beyond making it easy for prospective buyers, this also makes it easier to maintain a picture perfect house. I’ll admit it was tough sometimes with young children, they want to go home. But I know that the more they are at home, the more messy the house will get and I will have more clean up to do. So we hang out at the local library, the mall, restaurant etc. It is inconvenient, but this short incontinence leads to a big payoff.
3. Make sure your property have sufficient market exposure
Multiple listing service – The most effective marketing by far is the get on the multiple listing service (MLS). If you are working with agent, it would be done automatically. This is where you get the most exposure to potential buyers by a long shot.
Open house – The is high touch and old fashioned, but still is a must have. Open house on both days of the first weekend is really important, this is where a lot of prospective buyers would visit the property in person and decide if they want to put in an offers. Especially in the bayarea, many dual working couples don’t have time to visit the property during week and could only come out on the weekends.
Broker’s tour – This is the open house for the real estate agent, typically held a couple of days before the open house. It’s a way to make other agents aware of your property and who can in turn market to their buyer clients.
Outside of these marketing methods, the effectiveness really goes down. IMO, don’t bother.
4. Be accessible and responsive to your realtor
Just like your realtor needs to be accessible and responsive to you, you also need to be accessible and responsive to your realtor. Often decisions are needed in hours, not days. Make sure you are available to answer questions, make decision, etc..
5. Pray for good weather
Finally, pray for good weather. Why? Because your house would look better on sunny days. And let’s face it, on a rainy or windy day, we are more likely to stay home and not make track to see an open house. We lucked out when we were selling our house. The week our house was on the market, the weather was beautiful despite being in December.
Do you have any stories to share? Drop a note below.