Checklist for Sellers

We take a holistic approach with our clients and consider every detail of buying or selling a home and how it will affect our client’s lives. Buying and selling homes tends to be one of the largest financial transactions of a person’s life. Finances aside, choosing to sell or purchase a home affects a person’s health and lifestyle as well.

 

Here is a checklist for selling your home we think you may find helpful:

 

  1. Pricing your home to sell. Home sale prices directly correlate with days on the market in our current market conditions.
    When a home is on the market for more than 30-60 days (generally in the $500,000 and below range), buyers perceive that there is a problem with your home and your offers will tend to get lower and lower with time.
  2. Home Inspection Issues. We can identify potential inspection issues for you when walking through your home and
    consult with you on repairs so that your sale will not fall through based on inspections. You might also consider getting a pre-listing home inspection to avoid complications during your sale as there are things we will not be able to see.
  3. Home Warranty Coverage. Some homeowners get frustrated by a home warranty because they assume they can hire anyone they want to make a repair and that if something is broken or old they can simply have the item replaced by the warranty policy. Home warranties offer important protection from unexpected repair bills, but they won’t usually be enough to replace an item that has worn out, had pre-existing problems, or were improperly maintained.

4. Seller Disclosures. These disclosures provide a wide range of information. Overall the basic premise of the disclosure is to have the seller explain any known material or legal defects with the property. Some of the items to expect in the disclosures are the seller’s knowledge of any zoning or legal violations on the property, legal actions affecting the property, location within a Greenbelt, damage to the roof, past-due utility payments (ones that affect title), problems with culinary water, damaged sewer or septic tanks, damaged heating and cooling devices, etc.

A. Fraud. In Utah, lying on a seller’s disclosure in a way that induces a homebuyer to purchase your home is fraud. For instance, if you were to say that you’ve never repaired leaks in the basement, but in fact have patched an area that’s now hidden by boxes, that would be a lie. Don’t do it. Fill out the seller’s disclosures, and fill them out honestly.

B.  Fradulent Nondisclosure. Fraudulent nondisclosure involves failing to disclose a material defect. For example, if you

were to incorrectly claim that you never noticed any leakage in the basement at all, that would be a nondisclosure.

7. Staging.Before listing your home it is important to have your home looking its best. Staged homes sell an average of 17% faster than homes that are not. There are many statistics to be found from many sources but staged homes also appear to sell for 1-5% more than a home that is not staged. We work with many different staging companies so we can tailor staging services to each unique home’s needs.

8. Marketing. We achieve high list-to-sale ratios and very low days on market in contrast with other brokers. We excel in evaluating homes, making them better with staging, advising of needed repairs and setting the right price to get the best outcome for our sellers. We set realistic expectations based on anticipating repairs needed after a buyer’s home inspection, preventing most of the typical drama that comes up during a sales transaction.

9. Showings. Sellers should be aware that same-day and even last-minute requests for showings are common, so a seller with a ‘24 hour notice to show’ stipulation often cuts himself out of a good chunk of the buying market. The only standard lag time that should be necessary is when you must give ample notice to a tenant. In Utah the standard is 24 hours notice. Once a house gets tagged as difficult to show by agents, you won’t receive as many calls to show it.

Broom Clean and Free of Debris

What exactly does “Broom Clean and Free of Debris” mean when selling a home? For starters, this does not mean the home has been professionally cleaned by any means. Also, when sellers take down art and or photos off the walls, there are often nail holes left behind and the seller is not obligated to spackle them.

 

In addition, once furniture is removed, there can be spots on the carpet and other surprises that the buyer should anticipate potentially dealing with as there is no way to see everything when a home is occupied and there is furniture in the way.

 

Often times when a seller moves out and the home is vacant, many things that were not visible in photographs when furntiure ext. where still in the house, are now visible when empty. This can include stain on carpets, holes in walls and perhaps even issues with other types of flooring, like laminate floors with stains or damage.

 

Be prepared to either hire a professional service to clean the house to your satisfication or factor in the time to do it yourself. Expecting that it will already been done, is an unrealistic expectation and one that cathces a lot of buyers off guard.

 

“People’s perception of broom clean is very different, so buyers should plan on hiring a housecleaner so the home is clean to their liking,” Monique Higginson said. “Often sellers will leave paint or other items at the home, but those should be removed by the seller unless the buyer gives them permission to leave the items.”

 

Behind the Scenes, A Photo Tour

 

Come with us behind the scenes on a photo tour! We love exploring old houses and neighborhoods, some of the treasures we discover can transport you to a different time. From vintage stoves, carpets, wallpaper and even thermostats, to creative outdoor living spaces that are both functional and welcoming. Take a look at some of our fun discoveries.

Properties with carpet that takes you back in time is always fun to explore. Vintage elements may not appeal to all buyers, but can’t you just see yourself dressed up in disco attire and enjoying this space? We sure can.
Creative, yet functional outdoor spaces can actual gain you more living space, an outdoor room is great for entertaining or for just having an outdoor retreat. Here are some of the fun designs we have come across.

For more real estate tips, check out these blog posts:

 

Staging Your Home in the Winter Months

Staging your home in the winter months is just as important, if not more so, than in the summer time. Accomplishing that warm and welcoming feel just takes a few steps and some attention to some minor details and your home can be brought out of hibernation. Make a good first impression from the moment perspective buyers pull up curbside. By creating a welcoming and relaxing environment, buyers will take extra time exploring the home.

1. Snow removal.

This may seem like an obvious first step as you want people to not only have easy access to your home, but for obvious safety reasons as well, but don’t forget those outdoor spaces you may also want to feature. Decks and patios that are a sellable feature for your home need to be accessible as well.

2. Create a warm welcome.

Hanging a winter wreath on the front door. If possible, have seasonal plants like spruce on the walkway or front porch. Be sure you turn those lights on early to avoid people approaching a dark house.

3. Provide a place to wipe feet.

Have a welcome mat and an indoor rug inside the door. Decide whether you want to keep the outdoor elements outside and then provide a place for people to wipe their feet or take off their shoes. Offering shoe covers is another affordable option.

4. Turn up the lights and the heat!

No one is comfortable meandering around a cold, dark house. You want guests to linger, checking out all the details that make your home appealing.

5. Create cozy spaces.

If you have a fireplace, light it. Use extra pillows and throws on the furniture, light some candles and pile a few books on that coffee table. This will allow potential buyers to see decorating possibilities as well as make them comfortable.

Looking for additional tips on staging or selling your home?  Here are a few more articles that might help you out:

Beyond Curb Appeal: Staging the Exterior of Your Home To Sell

They say first impressions are important – and the exterior of your home is the first thing potential buyers will see. That’s why staging the exterior of your home is just as important as staging the interior. Here is our project list for getting the outside of your house ready beyond just curb appeal.

 

Staging the Exterior of Your Home: Repairs

The first thing you need to ask when getting your home ready to sell is if there are any obvious repairs that need to take place.  Walk around your house with a critical eye.  Look at the paint, trim, siding, roof, window casings, doors, foundation – is there anything that looks old, chipped, damaged or rough?

Sometimes when staging the exterior of your home it helps to stand back at the street and look from the point of view of a buyer that might be driving by.  What can they see?  Where are the rough spots? What are the best features of your home that you want to highlight?

 

Staging the Exterior of Your Home: Pressure Wash Surfaces & Wash Windows

Homes collect dust, grime, dirt and pollution.  Your house may look like it needs a coat of exterior paint, but it *may* just be dirty!  When staging the exterior of your home, removing the layers of dirt from your house and driveway and walkways will make it look fresh and new again.

When staging the exterior of your home you should even look at cleaning any patio furniture and potted plants – they get dusty too.

You can DIY a pressure wash, but it might be worth your time to hire a professional.

 

Staging the Exterior of Your Home: Fix Any Pet Damage

One important aspect of staging the exterior of your home is fix any damage caused by your dog!  You may love your dog – but the next owner of your house won’t want to deal with any yard problems.

Some things to look for:

  • Scratched fencing, scratched wood on the deck or scratches on the back door
  • Bare patches in your lawn or dead grass
  • Holes dug in the garden

Ideally, there should be no sign of your dog (or cat) when prospective buyers come to call.

 

Staging the Exterior of Your Home:  Think Green

During the summer, greenery makes all the difference.  Make sure that the front lawn is green, weeded and trimmed.  Flower beds should  be manicured and freshly planted and weed-free.   No one wanted to move in and feel like they have instantly have weeding to do.  Finally, adding some potted plants to the porch is a nice touch and a way to go the extra mile.

 

Staging the Exterior of Your Home:  Little Touches

A few extra touches will make a BIG impact:

  • Replace or refresh the hardware on the door
  • Make sure that any fountains, fire pits or spot lights are turned on
  • Make sure that blinds or shads look clean and well cared for
  • Refresh your home address signage – make the numbers big and easy to see from the street
  • Leave your lights on at night – it allows people to drive by and see the house in its *ahem* best light in the evening

 

Some additional resources: