What Really Sells Houses in the Atlanta Market
Every week I talk to home owners who are thinking about selling their house. We get to know each other a little bit and eventually we get down to the nitty gritty of why they want to sell their home. Once we get the motivation for selling out in the open, we can move to the elements of a marketing plan that will help them meet their “life” goals.
Houses are a menagerie of financial asset, emotional treasure chest and sanctuary. This schitzophrenic combination makes the process of moving to a new home a less than logical process for most families. My job, help families sort out emotions so we can move on the process of competing in a dog eat dog real estate marketplace.
When families have worked out the emotional side of the home selling equation, we can move on to the business side of the equation.
Here are my top ten things you can do to sell your home quickly right now in the Atlanta real estate market:
1. Remove personal items from the house. De-clutter shelves, closets, countertops etc. Remove the photos, most of the knick knacks and all of the “stuff” that has accumulated in these very public locations. Have a yard sale, carry stuff to Goodwill, give them away or box them up and carry them to a storage unit. But get them out of the way. And furniture needs to be “thinned out” as well. Less furniture will make a room look bigger.
2. Clean, clean, clean. Ceramic tile needs to be sparkling and the grout needs to be totally clean. Re-finish hardwood floors if you want to really make a statement. Replace worn carpet. Shampoo newer carpet. The kitchen needs to look like a photograph from a magazine: sparkling clean.
3. Windows need to be “revealed”. Take down heavy curtains. Remove clunky blinds. If your window treatment is updated and new ….great. If you have older window treatments, just remove them and let the window do the talking. Remove any storm windows or screens. Clean the windows. Yes, clean the windows. Now notice the light filling the room..
4. Shrubs and trees need to be pruned, cut back and looking neat. Cut back overgrown shrubs. Remove low limbs on trees. Go the the street and then look at your street from the curb. Can you see the house? This is how a potential buyer will view your home, either on the Internet through photos or driving by your home. If they can’t see it you have eliminated a large percentage of potential buyers.
5. Let there be light! Replace light bulbs. We need lots of light to show your home. DO you have some outdated light fixtures or some that are not working. These fixtures need to be replaced. Go to Home Depot or Lowes and buy some “sale” fixtures. An electrician will install them for about $25 a fixture. Get it done. The more light the better.
6. Odors and smells are deal killers for real estate agents. They have to go. Nothing says “honey we need to move on to the next house” like the smell of cat urine. Mold, mildew, pet odors, and their cousins have to be eliminated to sell your home for the most money. Find the source of the odor and eliminate it.
7. Paint overcomes a multitude of sins. The number one way to make a room look fresh and inviting is to put on a new coat of neutral paint. The room will open up and be suddenly larger and brighter. All because of a $20 bucket of paint and some elbow grease. Neutral colors are a must. As a bonus, the fresh paint will help you eliminate odors.
8. Kitchen appliances are the marker of the value of your home. If your kitchen appliances are old and beat up, you will be judged accordingly. If you have brand new stainless steel finish appliances you will receive a high mark. If you are somewhere in between, you will be graded on the curve. Appliances are a hot button for today’s home buyers.
9. EASY Access for home buyers and real estate agents. Your home needs to be on a SUPRA lockbox so a real estate agent can easily show your home. Agents need to give you a courtesy call, leave you a message detailing the time and date they plan to show and then you need to be gone and out of the way when the house is shown. There is really no alternative in today’s marketplace. Unless your home is in the million plus range, appointment only is a deal killer. And home buyers do NOT want to see you around the house when they are trying to evaluate your home. Go to a movie, go shopping but GO.
10. Price your home realistically. The highest price ever reached for a home is your neighborhood IS NOT the way to price your home to sell in the current marketplace. Look and see what homes have SOLD for in your neighborhood in the past three months and use this as your guide for correctly pricing your home to sell. NOTE: this is not what homes are currently listed at, not what your bank appraisal says the “value” is, and not what your cousin told you it should sell for.
Call or text Sally English 404-229-2995 for assistance selling your Atlanta Georgia home.