Seller Tips

If you are thinking of selling your Madison Area home, chances are you’re caught up in a mass of emotions. You may be looking forward to moving up to a new home or facing the uncertainty of a major move across country. You may be reluctant to leave your memories behind or eager to start new and exciting adventures. Remember, we are here to help you with any of your needs during this time. Contact Alvarado or call (608)251-6600 with any questions.

10 Steps to Selling Your Madison Home

1. Define your goals, wants, needs and expectations. A good place to begin is by exploring your short and long term goals in life and how selling your home fits in.

2. Determine the best price for what’s going on in the Madison real estate market right now. Assess the current state of the market and what comparable homes are actually selling for by reviewing a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) on your home. That way, you can objectively determine its fair market value and price it right. In any market, Buyer’s or Seller’s, price your house ahead of the market puts you in the best position to get top dollar for your home.

3. Prepare your property so that it is in top-selling condition. Most of us don’t keep our homes in top-selling condition. Think about your home from a buyer’s point of view. Repair, replace or remove items in your home so that it makes a GREAT first impression.

4. Implement time-proven, research-based marketing strategies. Market your home to as many people as possible using for sale signs, internet, open houses, feedback tracking, Realtor connections and relationships, neighborhood mailings, and web listings.

5. Show your property. Ensure that your home is always in top-selling condition. When you leave for work, make sure that your home remains in top-selling condition; you never know when the phone will ring and an agent will be requesting a showing. You know what they say about first impressions!

6. Receive an offer. When a buyer decides to buy your home, an offer will be presented and you’ll most likely have 24-48 hours to respond.

7. Negotiate to sell. Most offers require some level of negotiation. Decide your parameters and be prepared to negotiate towards a win-win situation. There are many different negotiating strategies to consider.

8. Have your home inspected and appraised. Once you have accepted an offer, you’ll work with you agent and your transaction coordinator to arrange an appraisal, inspections and a survey (if required). If the buyer requires that certain repairs be made on your home, negotiate or make them to move successfully from contract to closing.

9. Prepare for closing. A few days before closing (also known as settlement), your transaction coordinator will be in contact with the title company and the buyer or buyer’s agent to ensure that all the necessary forms and documents have been prepared.

10. Close! At the closing meeting, ownership of your property is legally transferred to the buyer. Don’t forget to bring all keys and garage door openers! Congratulations!

But before you get it listed, you need to get your house ready!

Getting Your Madison Home Ready to Sell

First impressions are everything. Here is a list of important improvements that can make a HUGE difference in capturing a buyer’s interest and getting you top dollar!

Paint. Some homes have too much color or wild colors and need to be neutralized. Some homes are too stark with white walls everywhere. Give rooms some color. Touch up paint. Make the home move in ready.

Light fixtures. Outdated light fixtures give the buyers a perception that the home needs to be updated and create the impression that bigger items like the roof and furnace may also need updating. Spending $50 – $300 updating light fixtures is a smart move.

Kitchen and bathroom hardware. Changing the knobs and handles on cabinets and drawers can make an older kitchen newer without having to replace cabinets.

Clean, Clean, Clean. A deep cleaning will make the home sparkle. Be sure to clean cobwebs in the basement, high ceiling corners and around the mechanical equipment.

Pack and organize. You are moving so don’t wait until the last minute to start packing. If you start moving things to a storage area now (or create an organized space in the basement, garage or storage shed) and de-clutter your home, it will look bigger and feel more spacious to prospective buyers. No one can do this for you so if you are overwhelmed with what to spend time and money on, hire out the repairs and cleaning and spend your time packing and organizing your home.

Remove big pieces of furniture. Again, the goal is to make the home feel bigger and spacious.

Replace Appliances. Buyers see new kitchen appliances and are immediately wowed. It is always nice to have a new water heater, but a new refrigerator and stove is a better buy if you are trying to capture a buyer’s interest.

Landscaping. The curb appeal is a huge aspect to the emotional draw for buyers. There are times a buyer is scheduled to see a home and when they drive up to the showing they decide they don’t even want to go in.

Window coverings. Updating window coverings with simple curtains can warm up the room and soften a vacant home.

New flooring. Sometimes it seems it would be easier to replace the carpeting after you’ve moved out but the initial reaction of old and stained carpet or ancient vinyl flooring can be a big turnoff for buyers. If you can’t replace the carpet at least let the buyers know in writing when they come to the home that you are willing to replace the carpet or get the carpets professionally cleaned prior to close or provide a credit for new carpet. Changing vinyl flooring in kitchens and bathrooms can make a big difference and is worth looking into.

Staging. Talk to us about help with staging your home using our services or local experts that provide accent pieces, wall hangings and even furniture to dress up your home.

Maintenance checkups. Have the furnace cleaned and checked, the air conditioner, fireplace/chimney and have a plumber come over and repair any leaky faucets or loose toilets. Providing the potential buyers with these reports and receipts of a well maintained house will go a long way.

It may feel like a lot of work and even a substantial amount of money to prepare your home to sell it. However, if you put your home on the market for $250,000 and you are getting showings but no offers, you are getting feedback from the market.

The three factors in selling your home are:

  1. Price
  2. Location
  3. Condition

Of those three factors, what do you have control over? Price and Condition. So if you aren’t getting any offers you now have a couple of options, one is to lower your price. Most likely your next price adjustment will be a minimum of $5,000. But it may mean changing the price to $240,000 (a $10,000 adjustment). Consider keeping your home at $250,000 and investing $3,000 into improvements and you’ll make more money on your house and sell it quicker!

When you first think about spending $3,000 to sell your house it sounds like a lot doesn’t it? But when you think of lowering the price from $250,000 to $245,000 because you haven’t had any offers and your house has been on the market for 60 days that seems reasonable.

Of course it is all perception. I challenge you to consider this perception when thinking about properly preparing your home for current market conditions.

It is never to soon to call Sara when you are thinking about selling your home. Call 608.438.5005 or email Sara@TheAlvaradoGroup.com.