With all these changes happening in the market right now and the low inventory in all markets across the country, it’s a great time to sell and get the most out of your investment.
However, just because the market is good in Washington (and other popular locations in the country) doesn’t mean you can expect to achieve the maximum possible without a little effort. There are several things you can do to guarantee the highest return.
In this article, I will give you my top 7 ways to get the most money when you sell your home in 2021.
7 Ways to Get the Most Money from Selling Your Home in 2021
#1 Make Sure Your Home is Move-In Ready
If you want to get top dollar, your home needs to be turn-key and move-in ready. So the first thing I tell my clients is to try on the shoes of a new buyer. This practice involves looking at your home as a buyer will see it, and the best way to do this is to leave your house. Go for a drive, go and run some errands, or go to work for the day. Imagine that you have an appointment later to see a house you might want to buy and that house is your house. When you return home, look at it through a buyer’s eyes. It sounds easy, but it’s hard to look at your house objectively. It’s easy to get used to things that might turn a buyer off.
First impressions are everything, so as you head back home, pay attention to what you see as you drive up and ask yourself some questions:
- How does the landscaping look? How about the exterior?
- Does the roof need to be power-washed or fixed?
- Are the gutters and windows clean?
- Does the exterior need power-washing, a paint job, or new siding?
- Is the lawn well-kept, or are there bare spots?
- Are the walkways, pathway, driveway and patios or decks clean and in good shape?
- Is the front door striking or just average? Or worse, is it in bad shape?
As you walk inside, stop and look around. Don’t just go through the motions of walking where you’d normally walk. Think about the direction a buyer would walk in your home. The same goes for the outside. Walk around the exterior of your home.
Now be honest: How did it look? Would you be willing to pay top dollar for this home? Would you be worried that if you make an offer, someone else will come along and scoop up your dream house right out from under you? If not, you now have few things to consider when renovating your home.
#2 Declutter Your Home
Next, declutter your home. We all tend to live with a certain amount of clutter, so go from room to room and get rid of anything you no longer use or need. Then put away whatever items you still want or need (but don’t use daily). And that doesn’t mean you should stuff it all in a closet or the garage – buyers will look in those places, too. If you have too many belongings and not enough room while you sell your house, consider renting a storage unit. You can often get a good deal for just a short period, and it’s a great place to put all those nicknacks and other things while you sell your home. Best of all, once you sell your home, that will all be packed ready for your move.
I offer a complimentary consultation with a home stager for all of my sellers. They come into your home and give you some great advice on what to keep in the home and what to take down to help shine your home in the best light, so feel free to reach out to me about that for more information.
#3 Depersonalize Your Home
This is a step many people find difficult but will help. Depersonalize your home; take down most of your family photos and remove any décor you would be unlikely to find in a show home on a new development or in a hotel.
Buyers need to come in and imagine how their furniture will look. If they can’t envision this home without your personal design style, they might be less likely to make a strong offer (if they make one at all).
If you have pets, it’s best to make special arrangements for them while your home is on the market. A barking dog may not be dangerous, but it can keep a buyer from feeling at ease while looking at your home, so send your pet to a friend or neighbor for the viewing period if you can.
#4 Take Care of Maintenance Jobs Before You Put it On the Market
Take care of any delayed maintenance, like a leaky faucet or roof, burned-out light bulbs, chipped paint, stained carpets, a worn-out water heater, or a loose cabinet door that doesn’t close quite right.
There’s almost always something around any home that could do with being fixed. If buyers notice smaller issues around the house, they might wonder what else needs to be repaired, improved or even replaced. While some buyers simply say, “that will be fixed before we sign contracts,” it can deter buyers, and they will look for anything else they need you to do before you move. If there are enough issues, they may bargain with you to get a reduced price.
#5 Don’t Embark on Renovation Projects Before Sale Without Agent Advice
If you’re thinking of moving from an area that’s as sought after as Kitsap County, you’re likely looking at areas of your home that need some renovation if you’re going to get the most money for your property. However, there are times when this is a good idea and times when it will eat into your profit.
If you’re considering renovating parts of your home, speak to an experienced agent who can guide you. A renovation project often ends up costing you more than it increases the house’s value. It might increase the value, but there’s a chance it won’t bring it up enough to justify the time and money you spent having it done.
If you do have any work done, make sure you have handy the permits, receipts, guarantees and warranties for all work you’ve done on your house over the years. Buyers and their representatives may request copies.
#6 Have a Plan So You Can Move Quickly
Have a plan for where you could live for a while if you get a great offer but can’t find a home you want to buy right away. This could mean living with family for a while or finding a short-term rental like an Airbnb or hotel. Make sure you always have a plan A, B and C for your living arrangements so that you can take a great offer if you get one.
#7 Start Working With Your Agent Before You Prepare Your Home
This is the final and most important tip: line up the agent you will use to list your property before you start prepping your house for sale. Beyond getting their valuable input, which can save you time and money on your preparations, having your agent involved early on can benefit you (and the agent) in many ways:
- The agent will get to know your house and property better, which will help them formulate their marketing, sales strategy, etc.
- They’ll get to know you and your situation better, so you can get the best, most thoughtful advice possible.
- You’ll form a better working relationship and build trust that will benefit you during the sale of your house.
- Your agent can also “prime” the market by telling other agents and potential buyers how great your house is before it even hits the market.
There’s a lot that an agent needs to do to present your house in the best possible light. This often includes lots of paperwork, sales copy, photography, and marketing materials, and the more time they have to work on these things, the more accurate and effective they will be.
I’m Here to Help
I know what it takes for you to get top dollar so you can purchase your next home, and I’ve helped dozens of families buy and sell in Kitsap County and other surrounding areas of Western Washington. I’ve got your back when selling your home in Western Washington, so why not give me a call at (206) 940-4039? You can always email, text, call me, or fill out my contact form if you have any questions about how to make the most money when you sell your home in 2021.
I look forward to connecting with you!