May 16, 2019 at 1:35pm | Denise Bodman
Written by Jason Botello
Sponsored by Amy Oehler with Big Life Austin

Selling your home can be one of the most stressful and hectic times of your life. Not only are you thinking about the process of moving out, but you are going through the process of transitioning to your new place as well. Even though selling your home can seem like an intimidating and daunting task, with a plan of action, guidance from an experienced realtor, and enthusiasm you can expedite the process so that you can sell your home in no time.
Once you are ready to start the process of selling your home it is crucial to have a conversation with your realtor so that you can create an appropriate timeline and know what to expect. Coordinating everything that needs to be done and knowing what you need to stay on top of while your home is on the market will help everything run smoothly.The average number of days on market for the Austin area is 64 days according to the Austin Board of Realtors March 2019 monthly statistics. Once the seller and buyer agree to terms, the transaction can take anywhere from 30 to 45 days to close. It’s important to be aware of the time frame you are working with and to make yourself as flexible as possible given your home can sell in anywhere from a few days to a few months.
While any home sale is going to be dependent on the market, there are a number of things that a seller can do to greatly increase their chances of getting an offer and ultimately sell their home quickly. The first and most important of these tasks is to make sure the property is ready to be toured by a potential buyer or agent.Here are a few tips to help you prepare your home to go to market:
Hire a professional cleaner.
It helps to have a professional come in and do a deep cleaning prior to going to market to ensure your property is looking its best.
Change any light bulbs that are out.
This is a simple task that is inexpensive and can help the home show better.
Repair any items that need repair or are an eyesore.
If you don’t have a handyman, ask your realtor if they have one they recommend who can address any items that need to be fixed. It’s cheaper to do repairs up front than to have the buyer negotiate for a repair which can easily double in cost.
Declutter.
It’s always a good idea to walk the property with your realtor before you go to market so they can help you identify what might not be appealing to potential buyers. You will want to remove any unneeded personal items or junk to help the property show better.
Paint.
If you have any rooms in your home that have bold colors it is recommended to transition to a neutral more welcoming color.
Address the exterior.
If your property has a yard make sure that the grass is cut, leaves are removed, and any trash is taken away. It is also recommended to clean windows, front door, and entry area.
Now that you have taken the steps to prepare your home to sell quickly, it’s time to go to market!
 While your home is on market you will want to make sure that you have open communication with your realtor, are flexible with your time to make the property easy to show, and are open to constructive criticism.Listing Your Property.
I recommend that my clients put their property on market first thing Thursday mornings to give buyers a chance to review the listing before the weekend. Putting your home on market right before the weekend helps increase your chances for tours from potential buyers given that weekends have the highest traffic times. Buyers are generally off of work and use their down time to tour and visit open houses over the weekend.
Showing Your Property.
It’s highly recommended that you plan on being away from the house the first few days for large blocks of time (if you’re able to do so) so that agents do not have to schedule a tour but can visit your home directly. This helps increase traffic as soon as you hit the market. In my experience, when sellers take this approach, you often have an agent or two waiting to enter the property while another group tours. This can add excitement to the buyers and show the property is getting a lot of traffic which, in turn, can produce an offer quickly.
You should also plan on your agent holding an open house for the first few weekends you go to market (if you don’t have an offer already). It’s the best practice for your realtor to market an open house to the surrounding area and any potentials buyers and agents since your house is new to the market and this can help you gain traction.
Handling Pets.
You will want to make sure that your pets are picked up after before showings. Some buyers may not be pet friendly and can be turned off by the sight of pet hair or pet odor. It is also wise to leave any notes for visitors to help keep the animal safe while tours are occurring. For example, you may want to let people know if you own a cat that is an escape artist who will try to leave when the door is open. If you have a large or aggressive dog it is recommended to have the animal removed from the property or kenneled while tours are taking place to make the visitors feel safe and to minimize the chances of someone getting hurt while touring the property.
Making the Extra Effort.
Another tip that can often be overlooked is to make sure the house smells good while on the market. Odd smells or odors can turn off potential buyers. Purchasing new air fresheners, oil-based candles, or simmer pots and placing them throughout the house is highly recommended. Just make sure you don’t get too carried away and make the aroma overpowering!
While on the market you will also want to make sure that the home stays clean and decluttered while potential buyers are touring. It can be easy to get back into your usual pattern of throwing your things down when you get home or letting stuff pile up. Stay on top of it and focus on keeping the place decluttered and cleaned so that it is in the best condition for potential buyers to tour. This also goes for the exterior space as well. Make sure to maintain the yard so that the grass does not get overgrown and your yard turns into a jungle. Curb appeal will greatly increase your chances of selling as this is the first thing buyers see when they pull up to the property.
Get Feedback.
Feedback from buyers and agents is a great tool for someone selling a property. If you aren’t getting offers and you feel the home is in good condition, it is recommended to have your realtor ask for feedback from visitors so that you can address any concerns or problems that you may not be aware of or have overlooked.  You will want to address any concerns immediately to help increase the feel or look of your home to make it more appealing to the next buyer.
The task of selling your home can seem intimidating and overwhelming but with preparation, communication with your trusted realtor, and diligence you can greatly reduce the stress and help expedite the selling process. The extra work upfront before you go to market as well as maintaining the property while on market will greatly increase your chance of selling your property as quickly as possible for the highest price possible. If you'd like help selling your home, condo, or investment property, contact a Prospect Real Estate agent today!

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