Agritopia Homes for Sale
Getting yourself ready
Getting ready for the listing appointment. Remember that the minute you list your house for sale, it stops being your house and becomes a product for sale. It’s competing with all the other products for sale in the same general price range. Try this. Go shopping, either in person or online, for something you like. Whether that something is a new novel or a new car, or a vintage camera, compare the features and price of the available items for sale. Now imagine buyers doing the same thing to your Agritopia homes for sale. Once you can really imagine strangers assessing your Agritopia homes for sale as a product, you’re ready to meet with Realtors and have a non-emotional discussion of the list price.
Know the square footage of your home. Most home owners do a very common thing, they overestimate the size of their house. Knowing the correct square footage will help you think about potential asking prices logically. Don’t know? Ask the Realtor who’s coming to meet with you about listing the home for sale. Or, you can look your home up online, either in tax records or on commercial sites like Zillow.
Focus on THIS YEAR’S prices. What homes sold for 2 years ago or 6 years ago doesn’t matter. Today’s sale prices matter. Know the square footage of your home. Most home owners do a very common thing, they overestimate the size of their house. Knowing the correct square footage will help you think about potential asking prices logically. Don’t know? Ask the Realtor who’s coming to meet with you about listing the home for sale. Or, you can look your home up online, either in tax records or on commercial sites like Zillow.
Focus on SOLD prices, if you can find them. Again, ask your Realtor. Sold prices are all that really matter, because those are the amounts willing, ready and able buyers offered.
No, but really. Focus on SOLD prices. Let’s say you think your home is worth about $150,000 based on other homes near yours that have sold in the past 8 to 15 months. Let’s also say your neighbor has put in brand new kitchen appliances and resurfaced their pool, then lists their house at $205,000. What do you think that means for the value of your house? The answer is nothing. Until your neighbor sells you don’t know what his home value means about yours. SOLD prices are what matter. See above.
Give Zillow its due. Zillow is good at estimating prices in newer, master-planned neighborhoods where all the homes are of a similar age and were built by the same builder. Where Zillow really struggles is older neighborhoods, neighborhoods where a bunch of different builders built, and neighborhoods where a lot of customization was put into houses. This is because Zillow’s “Zestimates” are mathematical formulas that are based on current list prices and recent sale prices of other homes on your block. If those homes aren’t very much like yours, the Zestimate might be off. In some cases, Zillow is off by as much as 20% to 40%.
Getting your Agritopia home ready, for photographs or showings.
Turn on the lights and open the blinds before your Realtor’s photographer comes. Light and bright equals space in most buyers’ minds. Turn on all the lights before photographs are taken. Let the photographer adjust his camera for the light, and turn off indoor lamps if needed.
Get rid of clutter. The more visual space you have displayed in your home, the bigger potential buyers will think it is. It sounds foolish, but it does work. Remove 1/3 of all books from bookshelves. Pack up 1/3 to ½ of your movie collection, if it’s visible.
Take down family photographs. Your house is now a product for sale and strangers will enter it to view it, and compare it to other products on the market. No one needs to know what your children looked like when they graduated from kindergarten (or high school). And potential future buyers won’t love your house more because they see 50-year old photographs of your wedding day (or your parents’) in every room.
Spritz. Spray a window cleaner on counters and a furniture polish on wood surfaces. Dust the TV screens. Sweep up pet hair off hard floor surfaces. These things won’t take more than 5-10 minutes of your time, but will have a great impact on showings. Buyers like light and bright (see above), and they like clean.
Focus on product. Remember that your home – as long as its for sale – is a product. It’s competing with other products for sale in that price range. If your looks light, bright, clean and uncluttered, you’re well ahead of the pack.
Focus on the buyers’ feelings. Buyers aren’t actually home shopping. Most of them are lifestyle shopping. Especially for first time home-buyers, looking at houses is a little bit like mentally trying on different short-term futures for themselves. They’re imagining their stuff in your house. See above about clutter – you need to have visual space on shelves and inside cupboards – for potential buyers to mentally insert themselves into your home.
- Bedrooms should invoke a feeling of peace and tranquility. All you really need in a bedroom is a bed, a small table beside it, and a lamp on that table.
- Bathrooms should feel like a spa. If there’s a bathtub, open the curtains or the glass door. Put candles on the edge. If the tub has a wide edge, stack a few books there too (place them with the spine to the wall, so buyers don’t get distracted by titles). Place a scrubby sponge or a new cake of soap in the soap holder.
- Kitchens should feel like entertaining spaces. These days, most buyers want to walk into the kitchen of a house for sale and imagine themselves cooking there while the Food Network is filming a new hit show. Clear the countertops of everything. Yes, everything. Discipline yourself to get out and put back any small appliances you use daily, like coffeepots and toasters. Is this a pain? Yes. But so is having your house for sale for 8 to 12 months. Keeping it ultra-neat and tidy for 3 months and selling it for top dollar makes the daily pain of getting out and putting away small appliances bearable.
Buy new art. Don’t spend a fortune though! Go to a discount home furnishing store and spend as little as you can. Buy art that looks like it belongs in model homes. Buy neutral colored paintings or prints. Buy landscapes or still lifes (fruit in bowls, flower arrangements). Buy modern art that’s just squiggles and splashes of paint. As long as it’s in neutral tones, buy it. Even if you hate it. Model homes are decorated with this bland, personality-free art for a reason.