Deciding to put your home up for sale is a process that can take months – years, even! It can be a pretty agonizing decision as it will often mean big changes in your life have occurred, or will occur as a result of the move. When that day finally comes, my advice is to start right and double down on selling your home.
What do I mean by that? I mean that selling your home – just like buying one – should be considered a commitment. Your home is, after all, one of your biggest financial assets. You probably were pretty careful when you bought the place, making sure you did all of your due diligence and went in with both eyes wide open. You owe it to yourself to take the same care when you sell it.
So when you have finally decided to sell your home – sell the hell out of it! Don’t be timid. If the decision has been made, you need to grab the bull by the horns and take massive action. I’m reminded of the line from the original Lethal Weapon movie – don’t nibble on the barrel, pull the trigger!
You know the old saying: if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right. There’s a great temptation to take short cuts. To punt. To skimp here and there. You just want to sell your house – you don’t want to spend a king’s ransom and/or dozens or hundreds of hours getting your home ready for sale. It’s tempting to take the easy way out, and do the bare minimum of de-cluttering and maybe a little cleaning. Let the buyer do the rest…after all, they’re going to make a lot of changes anyway once they own it, right?
That’s a seductive line of reasoning – but it’s probably not going to net you the highest price for your home. If that’s your goal – and it’s the goal for most sellers – then you really do want to bite the barrel and really double down on selling your home.
By that, I mean do it. Do it all. The repairs. Freshen the landscaping. Paint it. Re-carpet. Change the window treatments. De-clutter and de-personalize your home within an inch of it’s life. And do all of that with a sharp eye on the cost effectiveness and likely return on investment.
You might want to start with a budget. How much of a budget depends, of course, upon how much cash or credit you have available, and how much work your home might need. Assuming that your home is reasonably well maintained but just needs some sprucing up, you should allow for 1-2% of the asking price to be spent getting your home ready for market. Your mileage may vary.
Remember, it’s a numbers game. There’s lots of numbers involved in selling your house, but the basic calculus begins with spending at least some money on preparing and staging your home – and spend you must. Doing so will attract the greatest number of buyers, and produce the strongest (highest) offer for you the market will bear.
The hard part is wrapping your head around the notion that making a further investment in your home for paint, carpet, landscaping, repairs and the rest is really worth it. The answer to that is not only is it worth it, it’s several times more than worth it, with these types of improvements often resulting in a 200-400% ROI (Return on Investment). Looking at it another way, properly preparing your home for sale could be some of the best money you’ll ever spend.
So do yourself a favor: when you’ve finally made the decision to sell your home, don’t second-guess the process. Rely on an aggressive marketing strategy to work its magic, which isn’t really magic at all. It’s just plain, common sense.