Selling Your House: 7 Things to do Before You List

selling-your-house-what-to-do-before-sale

By Maddie Ogden

If the time is right for selling your house, don’t miss these 7 professional real estate tips to help you get your house ready before you list!

Getting a house ready to sell can be overwhelming, especially for first time sellers. You might be wondering where to even start. The simplest and most effective way to prepare your home to list is by putting yourself into the shoes of potential buyers. Imagine you’re looking for a home and walk through your own home with a pen and paper and make notes. What do you see when you drive up? What’s your first impression? What is it about your home that stands out, or what turns you off? The answers to these questions are going to help you prepare to list your home, especially combined with the help of our expert agents.

Selling Your House: 7 Things to do Before You List

1. Hire a REALTOR®

At the very beginning of this process, it is wise to contact a REALTOR®. The Columbus Team has the experience and education needed to help home sellers optimize their efforts toward the best possible sale outcome. Your agent will work with you before your home goes on the market to help prepare the property for optimal sale and to help you make good choices about upgrades and other things to do before selling. The Columbus Team also offers our free House Coaching service to help home sellers take all the necessary steps to purge, pack, and paint to maximize their bottom line when selling.

2. Declutter and deep clean your house

Nothing will turn away a potential buyer faster than a bad smell or a cluttered room. Before you list your home, declutter your house by packing non-essential living items. You should also consider doing a deep clean of your home. This includes everything from mopping the floors to cleaning the curtains. Whether you do this yourself, or hire a cleaning service, it is important for your house to be fresh, clean, and free of clutter.

3. Make small changes, not big upgrades

Many first-time sellers mistakenly assume it’s the big changes that sell the house. With costly upgrades, sellers often end up putting more money into their house than they will get back. Instead of a complete remodel, you should instead invest in smaller updates that will help you sell. This can include things like fresh coats of paint, updating pulls and knobs, and changing light fixtures in bathrooms and kitchens. Small changes make for big results. The Columbus Team REALTORS® are always happy to provide insight into what projects to focus on to improve your bottom line when it’s time to sell.

4. Check curb appeal

When buyers drive up to your home, the first thing they see is the front of your home. Now is the time to make a big impact with some small changes. Keep the lawn trimmed, don’t let the shrubs grow too high, and keep weeds out of the flower garden. Paint the front door a bold shade of red or blue that goes with your house but makes it stand out at the same time. Pressure wash the driveway and walkway, and clean up the house. You want buyers to see it shine from start to finish. The first impression sets the tone for the rest of their tour of your home.

5. Hire a professional photographer

Having high-quality photos of your home is an essential part of the selling process. Now more than ever people are searching for homes online and doing online tours. If you don’t have well-done, professional pictures of your house, then it may get overlooked by buyers. Fortunately, The Columbus Team provides amazing high-quality photography and video tours to highlight our listings.

6. Stage your home

Before putting your house on the market, your agent will probably suggest you “stage” your home. While this may sound difficult, it is actually a very simple process. It includes steps like getting rid of excess furniture, removing personal items, and adding fresh flowers to rooms. You should also make sure to open your blinds and turn all your lights on. Buyers like bright spaces and it makes it easier to see your home. Your agent is an expert at this process and will help ensure your home looks perfect for its first showing. Just remember that details sell homes. The Columbus Team REALTORS® offer free home staging from our amazing House Coach for all of our clients.

7. Set a realistic price

Pricing your house right is one of the most important steps of the selling process. It is also one that can be the most daunting, especially for first-time sellers. This is where our expert agents come in. They will take you through the process of pricing your home. This includes things like looking at comparable sales in your neighborhood. Your agent will also look at the housing market trends in your area to see if prices are moving up or down. This information will help you accurately decide the right price for your house.

We hope the 7 things to do before you list will help you with selling your house quickly and profitably.  If you’d like even more information on selling your home, don’t miss our Ultimate Guide to Selling a Home in Columbus Ohio.

Packing and Moving With Heart

Packing and Moving With Heart

Packing and moving into a smaller space can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. We’re grateful for organizations in our community like Downsize With a Heart who help with the entire process of packing and moving. They motivate us to be Realtors With a Heart! 

When we were introduced to Downsize With a Heart, a social enterprise of the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio, we knew that home buyers and sellers could use their services. They not only help you with the planning, packing, moving, and unpacking, they also help you donate items and help others. Really, it’s a win-win service. 

Don’t let packing take a toll on your life. If you want to learn more about how Downsize With a Heart can help you, contact us. Our team is proud to sponsor their mission. 

Tips for Moving With Kids and Pets

Moving day. It brings a mix of emotions and details to organize. And moving with kids or pets adds another layer of planning. 

We want to put you at ease and decrease the stress of your move. There are ways to ensure the move to your new home will run smoothly. Preparation is key. 

Follow these tips to prepare for your move with a family and pets…

Moving with Kids

  • If your kids will be changing schools find ways to help soothe the emotional impact it may have. Get a photo of their new teacher/s and school so your children can start to visualize the new environment. And if you’re moving during the school year, be sure to take extra steps to ease the transition.
  • Involve your kids in the move. Ask your kids to help write lists to prepare for the move, allow them to choose a theme for their room decor, and give them opportunities to make some other decisions about the move as well.
  • Give your kids an essentials box. This is a box that they can pack with their favorite things and it will be the first box to be opened once you arrive at the new house. An added touch like this will help your children have the comfort of familiar things with them from the start.
  • Consider purchasing your kids a move gift. This can be anything from new white board for their room or a baseball to new bedding or clothing. It doesn’t have to be something expensive, but an item they will enjoy and find comfort in.
  • Lower your expectations for the kids behavior on the day of your move. Be prepared to be patient and flexible. While you have a lot to do, some boxes can wait to be unpacked in order to attend to your kids needs during the transition.

Moving with Pets

  • Order a new tag for your pet or update your pet’s microchip with your new address.
  • Have at least a week’s worth of food and any necessary medication for your pet during the move.
  • Carry a large bottle of water from home for your pet’s drinking water, in case none is available for any period of time.
  • Establish a relationship with a vet close to your new home.
  • If traveling by air, consult your airline about rules and requirements for pet travel.
  • If you’re moving internationally, check on quarantine and health laws around importing a domestic animal.
  • Pack your pet’s bedding, favorite toys, and comfort objects with you, so they are available immediately upon arrival to the new home.
  • Upon arrival to your new home, double-check that fences, pet doors, and pet features are clean, free of hazards, and work smoothly with no possibility of escape.
  • Offer quiet, calm opportunities for your pet to explore additional indoor space and become acclimated with the new surroundings.
  • Even if your pet is normally safe off-leash, use the leash until your pet has settled in.

If you have additional tried-and-true tips for moving with kids and pets, leave a comment below!

Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

Many people are looking for ways to make their homes more energy efficient. The reasons vary from saving money on utility bills, helping the environment, and increasing the value of their home. Some of the ways to do this require significant changes to your home, and others can be smaller changes.

Invest in New Doors and Windows

While this is a major expense, getting new energy efficient windows and doors can really help with the utility bill. The latest windows are double paned and offer excellent insulation. Some options even come with tinting, another value-add to the efficiency. When it comes to doors, make sure you are choosing the right insulation for the Columbus climate. If you can’t afford new doors, adding an efficient storm door is a good alternative.

Replace Lightbulbs with LED bulbs

This is one of the easiest things to do. LED Bulbs are much more efficient than the old incandescent bulbs of the past. They are more expensive, but they also last much longer, making it a double money saver. You can buy LED bulbs for almost every lamp and lighting fixture you can purchase. 

Check Your Insulation

If your home is not brand new, check your insulation. This is especially important if there were water leaks or damage to your roof. Insulation can settle if it is the fiberglass kind. So even if you had enough insulation when it was installed, it may not be enough now. You may only have to add to it and not completely replace it.

Install Energy Efficient Appliances

All new appliances are energy efficient, but even if you replaced your appliances five years ago, more efficient machines are out now. The biggest energy user besides a HVAC system is your clothes dryer. Replacing it can add significant savings to your energy bill. The other great thing about replacing appliances is that you can do them one at a time when your budget allows. Look for the Energy Star label on appliances.

Get a Tankless Water Heater

Think of all the energy you will save by not heating a bunch of water daily. Installing a tankless water heater means you have hot water only when you need it. Another advantage is there is a lot less chance of the water leaking from a tankless water heater than a traditional water heater. The tankless also takes up much less space. They are expensive to install, but long-term savings will outweigh this cost.

Making your home more energy efficient is a great selling point if you plan on selling your home in the future. Even if you aren’t planning to sell, making your home more energy efficient is a great way to save money. Doing all of these things will also help the environment because you are using less energy. Some of these improvements, such as installing energy efficient windows and doors, may qualify for a tax credit, check with your tax advisor or someone from our team.

Finding the Best Realtor Who Is the Right Fit For You

Finding the Best Realtor Who Is the Right Fit For You

You’re ready to sell or buy a home. You find yourself searching Google for “realtors near me”. Or perhaps you’re soliciting online advice from an agent listed on Zillow. In today’s technological world, it’s easy to spontaneously hire a realtor without getting to know them first. 

What happens when you meet the realtor for the first time and discover it’s not the right fit? Finding the best realtor for you from the start is going to make the home purchasing process smoother. Or if you’re selling a home, it can mean a quicker sale and better price. Getting stuck in an agreement with a realtor who isn’t the right fit is the last thing anyone wants.

The relationship between you and your realtor is an important part of the home buying or selling process. A high stakes financial exchange is at the core of your relationship with this person. You need to know that your realtor has your best interest in mind. 

How To Find the Right Realtor

Do your research to find a realtor who is the right fit for you. Here are some recommended action steps: 

  • Ask your family and friends for references. If you’re moving to a new city, ask your new colleagues or parents at your children’s new school for a referral.
  • Check online references. Go through the realtor’s website, read Google and Yelp reviews. Watch for comments that speak to the professional’s expertise and knowledge of the communities in which you’re purchasing or selling a home.
  • Go to open houses to meet realtors. This is a great way to see them in action and see how they interact with potential buyers. Ask good questions to determine if they would work well with you on the selling or buying of a home.

If you’re not ready to buy or sell, don’t commit to a realtor until you are. It’s better they know when you’re ready to take action. Remember, a realtor is getting paid a commission based on a sale so you don’t want to waste everyone’s time if you’re not ready. At the same time, don’t get pressured into moving too quickly.

What To Look For in a Realtor

Is the realtor an active listener? Experienced real estate professionals will likely have many more ideas than you could imagine about the purchase or sale of a home. That’s what they’re getting paid for, they’re the experts. However, if the realtor you’re considering working with isn’t also actively listening to what you want, it may not be the right fit. Have an initial in-person meeting or phone consult to determine if the realtor understands what you’re looking for in a new home or the sale of your current home.

Have you anticipated what the home sale process will be like for your weekly routine? Ask your prospective realtor what the plan of action is for selling your house and/or helping you purchase a new home. Learn what their expectations for showings, open houses, etc. And also, be upfront about the flexibility of your schedule, etc. Make sure that you and the realtor are going to work well together. Remember the home sale process can take several months. Know that you can work with the plan you and your realtor set up to make the sale happen.

We understand the work and emotions that go into buying or selling a home. The last thing you want is to be in an agreement with a real estate agent that isn’t attentive to what you’re looking for. A relationship with a realtor is a two-way street. Make sure you’re a good fit for each other so that you find the right home and/or get the most out of one you’re selling.

At The Columbus Team, our experienced agents will guide you through the home buying and selling process from start to finish. But more than that, we’re committed to ensuring you’re with the right realtor. Listening closely to your needs and preferences is of utmost importance. Each of our agents is dedicated to helping you accomplish your individual real estate goals. Contact us to meet find out if our team is the right fit for you.