As we prepare to put your home on the market, there are a number of frequently asked questions that often come up. We've included many of these below. Just a bit of info as we get ready.
Of course, we're always available for specific questions, and some of this doesn't apply, but this is a good place to start:
What is the best way to make sure my home appeals to buyers?
- Buyers are far more savvy today than they were just 5 years ago due to popularity of HGTV and information available online. Buyers are often willing to pay more for a clean & simplified home. De-cluttering and removing personal signs of you and your family will help the buyer imagine themselves in your home. Our experience helps us see a home through buyers eyes. In fact, we like to say we are "suspending reality" so what buyers like to see may differ from how the home is actually used on a day-to-day basis. We will discuss with you what items should be shifted around, we may talk about giving a space new purpose, and what pieces may be best sent to the basement/garage/off-site storage. All suggestions are designed to meet your home sale goals.
- Keep in mind the way buyers interact with your home today may be different than how it was last time you did this -- even if that was only a few years ago. The buying approach varies depending on many factors. Age of buyer, purpose for the home and functionality of the home are some examples. We can manage these buyers as well as others, but want you to understand that there are a number of approaches that we will aim to appeal to as we market and sell your home.
Do the closets/basement/garage need to be emptied?
- Despite what we just said above, buyers still understand they will also have items that need to be stored in some way. Closets, garages and basements are expected to house your personal belongings, suitcases, tools and other items you don't access daily. The more these can be cleaned out, organized and stacked neatly, the better it appears. Plastic bins and large tubs are our best friends in these places.
My dog/cat/hedgehog is really friendly. Can he stay in the home?
- It's hard to believe, but not everyone loves our non-human friends as much as we do! Some buyers do not want animals, are scared of them or simply allergic. It's best to remove all signs of pets if at all possible. Hiding bowls and food in cabinets, along with dog beds, treats and toys can help your home out shine the competition. If your friend does need to stay behind, let us know and we'll alert any agents coming into your home ahead of time.
Are there any safety considerations?
- The most common way we handle entry keys in WNY is to use a lockbox on your home. We use electronic lock boxes on our listings that track every person that logs into the box. Only a licensed agent can access the keys and as soon as that happens, the box emails us. The benefit to the Seller is this provides enhanced safety and security as we are better informed of activity an your listing. With the increasingly large number of local agents, our greatest way to guarantee you the best price/timing is to allow all licensed agents to show your home. However, even though all buyers access your home with a licensed agent who watch their clients while in the house, occasionally things do happen. Please remove or hide all jewelry, money, prescription drugs & other valuables that may appeal to the tempted.
My neighbor told me my home is on craigslist for rent? How did this happen?
- We are semi-reluctant to include this here, but today's marketing options and use of technology often present us with many opportunities. However, these same advantages occasionally expose consumers to scams that are unavoidable. Craigslist scams are an ideal example of ways that our digital marketing can be co-opted by less ethical parties, but as soon as we know about them, there are ways to flag the listing and have it removed immediately from Craigslist. If this does happen, it rarely effects the homeowner in any way, but please contact us immediately if you hear this has happened for your home.
Please know that as soon as your house goes on the market, you will get a flurry of emails. These are sent to you for various reasons -- copies of any signed paperwork, final listing for your review, further information that may come up now that your home is on the market, etc. We send you these so that you have information at your fingertips if that is the way you choose to manage this process. We understand that is not everyone's approach, so we expect we will be speaking regularly as well, but wanted you to know this is to be expected the first day or two your home is on the market. We will be available to you in whichever way is best for you.
Don't hesitate to contact us with any questions. We look forward to this being a smooth and productive process for all!