Home Selling Guidelines: Tips to Make Your Home More Sellable

Now that you’ve decided to put your house on the market, what exactly should you do to make it more attractive to potential buyers? Unless your home needs a major overhaul, there are some inexpensive tricks to making it more appealing. If you are a real estate agent, you can also share this tips with your clients.

Remove Clutter

This is very important. Not only is clutter unsightly, its distracting, and makes your home feel smaller. Many times potential buyers will view a room with nothing in it, and comment about how “roomy” it feels. Then, in another house, a room with the exact same dimensions is “too small.” Buyers usually don’t realize themselves that clutter in a home can make it feel smaller. It is also difficult to see the rest of the house itself with a bunch of stuff in the way. Do yourself a favor, and either rent out a storage unit or have a yard sale and get rid of the “stuff” you’ve been collecting.

Clean the Carpets

Should you clean the carpets? The answer to that question is always “Yes!” Carpets attract odors, among the dirt and whatever else fall onto them. They are a breeding ground for bacteria, and believe it or not, clean and bright carpets actually make the home feel newer and larger. Unsightly stains, especially in the entry way are a big turn off to a potential purchaser.

Touch up the Trim

Trim and wood moldings around your door frames get stained and knicked from continuous fingerprints and wear. Buy some touch up paint that matches the color of your trim or stain if need be and cover up those blemishes that might be marring your otherwise perfect baseboard and door trim. Each time a buyer turns on a light in your home, the first place their eye wanders to is the molding located just inches away. Providing a new coat of paint or stain gives the whole house a finished look.

Hire a Stager

Unless you have a flair for design, you may need the services of a professional stager. This is someone who helps you to rearrange your furniture, or adds some of their own accents to yours. It’s amazing how situating a couch in a certain position can lead the eye to other trendy accents. A nicely laid out design can help your visitors to envision themselves living in your home. The better it looks and feels, the more comfortable and homey it will be to them.

Should You Become a Real Estate Agent?

Lots of people entertain the idea of becoming a real estate agent. The thought of driving fancy cars and having large supplies of extra cash is very alluring. Real estate can be a very lucrative business, but it also takes a lot of hard work and patience. Here are some standard ideals that are necessary when selling real estate.

You must be a problem solver.

Most transactions are never 100% smooth. Whether there are lender issues, appraisal issues, or personality conflicts, the perfect transaction is a rarety. Many times you must put on your thinking cap, roll up your sleeves and come up with a workable solution to the many problems that may arise.

You need to have a positive attitude.

People can be demanding, impatient and emotional during the sale of their home. They are sometimes fairly stressed out due to external factors that might have nothing to do with you. You must always maintain a positive attitude in order to present the lighter side of things to your clients, and to also appeal to potential buyers or sellers.

You must be good with money.

Realtors usually need to have a few months worth of savings in the bank. Due to the inconsistent timing of paychecks it is difficult to budget without having a padded savings account to buffer those times when a loan has been delayed, or a home doesn’t sell in a timely manner.

You need to be ambitious.

If you are not the type of person who is a self starter, then real estate isn’t for you. There are no required hours to appear at the office, no hourly pay and typically no benefits. No one will be calling to find out where you are if you don’t come in at all for a week or two. They might just assume that you are busy making sales. So you will need to be your own boss, and this means having self discipline and self motivation.

You need to be likable.

In order to have lasting relationships with clients who are undergoing many times the largest transaction in their lifetime, you must be likable. There’s a lot of stiff competition out there, and sometimes your personality is all that seperates you from the other agent. Also, repeat customers don’t come back for their next home if they didn’t like working with you the first time.

Rent Out a Room in Your Home for Additional Income

Times are tough right now for everyone, and making ends meat seems to be harder than ever. There are some options out there that can help you make the bills. Have you considered renting out an empty bedroom or converting an unused office in your house into a room for rent? Or finishing your basement and turning it into an apartment for added income?

Everyone is different, and your comfort and safety is of upmost importance. You need to find someone who is responsible, can hold a job, and won’t interfere with your normal daily activities. Having a renter who has a lot of late night visitors or likes to party would not be a good match for a family with young children or someone who likes peace and quiet. When thinking about opening your house it is best to weigh all of the pro’s and con’s so you can make a well thought out decision. I find that personally I am more comfortable with someone I know like a friend or family member as opposed to a stranger.

You also need to figure out what to charge them for rent. This would be based on what you are offering (room vs. apartment, cable, phone, washer, and other amenities …), your monetary needs, and don’t forget your utility, maintenance and food bills will also rise. The last thing you want to do is lowball the rent to get someone in and then sink deeper into debt because of the added expense of an additional person living in your home.

Bringing someone into a room vs. an apartment also has it’s own set of challenges. In a room they will be sharing all of the common living space in the household, like the kitchen, bathroom(s), and washer/dryer area. You want someone who is flexible ad easy to live with, not someone who flips on the washer every time you hop in the shower.

You do loose a certain amount of privacy, but when money is tight, sometimes it is an effective solution to lessen the burden of the household bills. With an apartment you need to decide if heat, electrical, phone etc… is included or not. You do maintain more privacy, and can charge a higher rent but it is costly to build a basement apartment. You should be able to recoup the investment, but only if you have a stable renter. Once properly finished it can increase your homes value to have an “in-law” apartment, and when un-occupied can serve as a lovely place for guests to stay.

Interview the prospective renter to find out if they are a good match for you. Never take in someone you do not feel comfortable with or are uneasy about. And if need be have lease papers drawn up to spell out exactly what is included and what is and is not allowed in the house (like pets). You may be able to run a credit check on the prospective renter or possibly a criminal background and/or a sexual offender check (laws vary state to state, you may need an application from the prospective renter with their permission to run some of the background checks).

Sometimes it is nice to have some extra hands in the house to help out with chores, and of course the bills. It is however good to remember that sometimes it is easier to let people in than to get them out if the situation is not working for you. Like any landlord, there are many things you need to consider when prospectively renting a living space; I hope this article is helpful with some of those considerations.