It’s time to strike while the housing market is hot. The real estate market in Philadelphia and much of the United States is booming, and many homeowners are cashing in. But before listing a house, you need to prepare your sellers for today’s hot market. With a few added touches, you can help them get way more than the asking price.
Encourage your sellers not to jump at the first offer they receive within hours of listing the home. Inventory is low this summer in the Philadelphia area, and sellers can afford to let their home sit on the market for a couple of weekends. This will allow more buyers to see the house, increase the number of offers, and reduce the odds of ending up with a high-risk buyer.
Preparing to Move Quickly
Before putting the for sale sign in the yard, make sure the sellers have a plan in place so they can move out as soon as the deal is closed. Make sure their finances are in order, and they’re pre-approved for another property. They may want to consider a short-term rental.
Add Instant Curb Appeal
First impressions are everything, and you can raise the asking price by ramping up the curb appeal. A lush green lawn with plants and flowers makes the house look fresh and attractive. Today’s buyer wants a low-maintenance yard. Have the seller breathe some new life into the front yard by adding some native flowers. Mountain mints or black-eyed Susans are popular in Philly and will give their yard a splash of color. Don’t forget to spruce up the exterior as well by giving the outdoor surfaces a good power washing to get rid of any dirt and grime. Finally, it won’t cost much to put in some new light fixtures to make the house feel inviting and welcoming.
Make the Necessary Repairs
While many buyers are skipping home inspections these days in an effort to entice sellers to accept their bids, sellers shouldn’t skimp on the repairs. Make sure the plumbing and electrical wiring in the home is in good working order. All drains should be free and clear, broken shower tiles replaced, and showerheads should be fully operational. Repair holes and dents in the walls, and have worn or dirty carpet cleaned. The water heater, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system should be in good working order, and you should have proof of the last tune-ups on the HVAC system. The electrical panel and circuit breakers should also be up to code.
Stage the Home
While sellers don’t have to fork over cash for expensive remodels or renovations in a hot housing market, staging the home is still a good idea. The search for a home for most people starts online by browsing through photos. Which means you should take quality photos of your space. Encourage your sellers to:
- Remove all personal photos- give the buyer a blank canvas.
- Make sure clothes are stored out of sight.
- Clear bathroom and kitchen counters of all personal items.
- Remove magnets and pictures from the refrigerator.
- Get rid of clutter and maximize the space.
- Make sure the house is squeaky clean on the day of showings.
- Open up the curtains and blinds to allow for light to flood the rooms.
- On the day of the open house, light a candle or plug in a diffuser to give the home a light, pleasant scent.
Round up Documents
Make sure their paperwork is in order. Get a home inspection done so you and the seller can include an up-to-date inspection with your disclosure forms. This gives the buyer a clear picture of any potential issues. And if they waive inspections, they’ll have some degree of confidence knowing an inspection was done.
You’ll have no trouble selling the home in today’s market, but with a little preparation, you and the sellers will get more lucrative offers, and celebrate the closing with an expensive bottle of champagne.
Zach Edwards is a home stager and lifestyle, landscape, and home design writer. He has refurbished a number of older homes with a focus on spaces for entertaining.