Selling your home can be a confusing and frustrating process, but with the help of a good realtor and these top 10 tips for selling your home in Placerville, you’ll be waving goodbye to your old home from the window of a moving truck in no time. I also have a short checklist of the top tips for selling your home in Placerville that you can print out and stick in a drawer to check off as you go.
Do Your Homework!
1. Find your Papers
Find all of the important papers you’ve stashed away over the years. They will be very useful for buyers and may be helpful for you in the following steps. These may include:
- user manuals for appliances and HVAC
- paint color notes
- house plans
- old utility bills
While you’re at it you may also want to secure personal documents in a safe deposit box so they remain in one place through your move.
2. Find a Realtor
If you’re on the fence about using a realtor to help navigate the often choppy waters of selling a home, keep in mind:
- A recent study shows sellers who use a realtor net 16% more for their home.
- To find a realtor you know you can trust nothing beats good reviews or referral from a friend or relative.
- If you are looking for a realtor in Placerville who serves all of Eldorado County, call John Conca 530-295-2901.
- Read about me, John Conca.
- It’s important to find someone with experience and who knows the area very well.
- As a realtor serving Eldorado County since 1999 and a mortgage loan officer for the 6 years before that, I am an expert on the area and at helping clients buy and sell their homes successfully.
Whether you are selling your home “as is” or you want to make improvements to get top dollar:
- You’ll want to get estimates on what it’s going to cost to replace all of the things that have seen better days, such as the furnace, roof, water heater, deck…
- Your Realtor has the well-trained critical eye to see which items may need replaced.
- If you need suggestions on where to get the estimates your Realtor will also know the best options for the area.
- If you are going to sell “as is” you are now armed with the needed cost estimates so when they buyers say they want $15,000 off the asking price for repairs, you’ll be prepared to show them it will only cost them $5000.
- Once you have the estimates you are prepared to decide which items to replace and which items you can let the buyer take care of.
It’s important to involve your realtor in this step. Unfortunately, some people make the mistake of paying for more than necessary and wind up spending too much on something that will not gain the return they had hoped.
4. For Top Dollar
If you have some time and the money to spend you can create your buyer’s dream home-and price accordingly. Here are the top tips for selling your home in the Placerville area for top dollar:
- It pays to scout out some model homes and open houses in your area so you can see what the competition looks like. Take notes on ideas you’d like to use in your own home.
- Consider adding architectural details, updating the light fixtures, recarpeting, laying new vinyl in the kitchen if yours is worn, and updating the hardware on the inside and outside of your house.
- For a high impact, quick, and easy update buy some luxurious bedding and fluffy white towels and rugs, and new candles for your bedrooms and bathrooms so people feel as if they’re walking through a relaxing spa. Drape a comfortable throw across the foot of the bed to give it a livable feel.
- At the very least, it’s a good idea to remove any wallpaper that is more than 10 years old and add a fresh coat of paint in neutral beige or cream tones.
- Painting with No VOC paint is thoughtful and appreciated as it doesn’t release pollution into the home, doesn’t smell bad, and is healthier for the people living in the home. Depending on your home, it may help you get Green-Certified which can bring up to 9% more on the sale price.
- If your home needs repairs (it’s likely you’ve been living with a burned out light bulb, some peeled caulk or a cracked tile without thinking about it), make a list of all of the repairs needed and get to work, checking them off as you go. If you need a handyman’s help, your realtor is sure to know a good one.
Talk to your realtor about these top 10 tips for selling your home in the Placerville area and discuss which updates would be most valuable for your house and situation.
5. Curb Appeal
Whether or not your home looks appealing from the curb will be potential buyers’ first impression. On your way home park your car where a buyer would park and slowly walk the path a buyer would take up to your front door and scrutinize everything. Take notes of the work you need to do to aim for making your house nothing less than Stepford-perfect. Some things to ask yourself:
- What’s the first thing potential buyers notice about your home?
- What stands out to you-good and bad?
- How does your mailbox look?
- Are there many weeds or unacceptably unruly vines or bushes?
- Are there cracks in the driveway or sidewalk?
- Is the house paint peeling?
- Do the gutters need cleared?
- Does the roof need the pine needles swept off?
- Are there bare patches in the yard?
- Is there any dead vegetation that needs pulled up or cut down?
- How does your decking look?
- Do your windows sparkle yet?
- Are there wasps’ nests along your eaves?
- Do you see anything inviting? If not, consider planting some deer-resistant flowers, pruning back the vegetation and giving your house a fresh coat of paint.
- Don’t neglect the backyard. It may not be the first impression, but it should shine just like the rest of your property.
- Are there any personal items decorating (ie: cluttering) your yard? As far as decorations-and this goes for your whole house while trying to sell-think “minimalist”.
- Let potential buyers envision their own decorations instead of having to look at yours.
Your realtor knows some great landscapers, driveway resurfacing experts, and painters if you just can’t tackle the whole job all on your own.
6. Clean & De-Clutter
This is going to be a deep clean. No one wants to walk through a cluttered and dirty house, let alone consider buying one. Don’t forget to:
- Wash walls that need it.
- Dust the recessed lighting fixtures.
- Scrub door knobs and light switches.
- Really get intimate with your blinds to get that dust out.
- Have floors professionally cleaned.
- Use a steam cleaner just about everywhere.
- “Magic erasers” make quick work of crayon or ink on walls and furniture as well as fingerprints or virtually anything else you want to clean off.
Make windows and mirrors streak-free and sparkly with inexpensive, non-toxic club soda.
Just spray it on and wipe it clean with a lint-free cloth.
- It’s important that the potential buyers have absolutely no reason to feel grossed out; we want to assume the people who will be buying your house are germ-phobic and deathly allergic to dust and animals.
- You don’t have to actually get rid of your animals, but clean up or get rid of every sign that your beloved fur ball has ever entered your home.
- In a lesser way, same goes for your kids. Buyers know kids can be destructive to homes.
- Make sure there are no funky odors anywhere in your home.
Rent a storage unit to store things like personal items that make it hard for buyers to see this as their home:
- Family photos, religious items, and kids’ art, while heart-warming, may not sit so well with someone without kids or who isn’t religious.
- Clutter, non-essential kid’s toys and play furniture, and furniture that has seen better days and is ill-fitting for your house making your house feel smaller should all be stored in the unit as well.
- Don’t even think about hiding things under the bed or in closets; that’s what storage units are for. Potential buyers will see that and think there isn’t enough storage in this house.
Home buying is largely ruled by emotion; people buy homes that make them feel good. This is the most important of the top tips for selling your home in Placerville, or anywhere, for that matter: in order to sell your home, you need to make it feel good to potential buyers. Keep these thoughts in mind:
- Aim for a cheerful and bright, but low-key mood.
- Dark rooms are not inviting.
- Open curtains (be sure you’ve made the backyard look appealing).
- Keep the lights on in the bathrooms and kitchen.
- Keep the furniture light, if possible.
- Highlight special features in your house.
- If you have great built-in features, paint them white.
- Make your beautiful cabinetry sparkle.
- If you have a nice wood stove or fireplace, arrange your furniture around it.
- Do you have amazing views? Open curtains and create sitting spots where you can enjoy the view.
- Use just enough furniture to define the room’s purpose without crowding the room; remove furniture if it feels too crowded.
- If the house has a boxy feel with the furniture lining the walls and a walkway in between then consider setting the sofa at an angle to open up floor space and don’t push the furniture against any walls.
- Set your bed on the wall buyers see when they’re standing at the door of your bedroom and aim for symmetry in bedrooms.
- Set the table with nice linens and set fresh flowers on the table and throughout the house.
- Try to make the scale of the furniture fit the scale of the room; taller furniture for high ceilings and narrow, smaller scale furniture for smaller, narrow rooms for example.
If staging feels too daunting, let your realtor know you need some help with this part and find out about professional stagers.
8. Be Buyer Ready
If you’ve taken the time to depersonalize your home by moving all of your clutter into a storage unit, this step should be pretty easy.
- Pick up after yourself.
- Keep dishes out of the sink and try to keep the sink and bathroom areas sparkling clean and dry.
- Empty the trash cans often so they don’t start smelling bad.
- Keep laundry folded and put away.
- Refresh the flowers as they begin to wilt.
- Try to keep the house free of any signs of pets.
- Make sure the house is comfortable by turning the air conditioner on an hour before buyers tour the home if it’s hot out. If it’s cool, set the heat to 68-70 degrees and/or light the fireplace.
You want the buyer to be comfortable enough in your home that they imagine themselves living this dream that you’ve created.
9. Be Unseen
It’s important to be gone when the Realtor is showing your home. It is extremely difficult for a buyer to envision themselves living the dream when someone is there comfortably sitting on the couch in their dream living room or explaining why a specific aspect of the house is so special to your family. Allow them the privacy to discuss what they think without feeling self-conscious or obligated to act polite.
The realtor will contact you to schedule a time to show potential buyers your home. If it’s not a good time, it’s okay to tell the realtor that doesn’t work for you. You want to try to be flexible to increase your chances of selling to that buyer, but you have the authority to say you need the house to yourself at that time. You can let your realtor know hours that do and don’t work for you so that everyone has appropriate expectations.
10. Take A Deep Breath….And Pictures
You’ve done a lot of hard work and it has paid off! Congratulations, you have a buyer! You may now move on to the next stage of your life. If, however, you have a buyer who is on the fence, talk to your realtor about offering to cover buyers’ closing costs. If the buyer shows interest in household items or appliances (and you can part with them) offer to include them.
Before you pack up and move out, don’t forget to take pictures of your house. You may feel “so. done.” with it now, but years down the line while thinking about where your kids were born, how they decorated their rooms, the kind of wallpaper you used in your bedroom or your favorite spot to relax in your yard, those pictures will feel pretty valuable.
Search properties on my website if you’re looking for a new home in Eldorado County or call me, John Conca 530-295-2901, and I’d be happy to discuss your options with you. Having these top tips for selling your home in Placerville will make the selling process much smoother for everyone.