How To Get Your House Ready To Sell (2020)

today we're gonna talk about how to get

your home ready to sell

stay tuned hi my name is Malcolm Lawson

my Maryland real estate agent and I put

out videos all about Maryland and real

estate so we're interested in either

those topics make sure you subscribe and

hit that little Bell icon to stay

current on my latest content so the one

question I'm asked most by many my

clients is how do I actually get my home

ready for the market that's what we're

gonna talk about today what steps you

can take now so six months twelve months

down the road when you're ready to sell

the home you'll be able to sell it for

top dollar and in the shortest amount of

time so the first thing I want you to

focus on is any small maintenance issues

that you are aware of with your home

right these are known as deferred

maintenance this maintenance that you've

just been kind of putting off I'm

talking about little holes in the

drywall caulk around a bathtub gutters

that are clogged so just these little

deferred maintenance things that you've

been putting off and you don't really

notice anymore take care of all of these

things now because they may be

insignificant and you may not even

notice them anymore

but buyers absolutely will notice them

when a buyers walk through a property

and they're saying well I gotta take

care of that I gotta take care of that I

gotta take care of that they start

getting overwhelmed and the entire

perception of a house really changes

pretty quickly even a small thing that

you may have to hire a contractor for if

a contractor would charge you $100 when

a buyer is walking through a property

and they're trying to work out the math

in their head it may actually only cost

them $100 but in reality they always

overestimate the cost of repairs in

their mind they're thinking oh man

that's gonna be 200 $300 at least I

packed a small hole in the drywall so

the more of these little deferred

maintenance items that you can take care

of now the better next I want you to

start decluttering your home look we've

all been there things has tend to

accumulate pretty quickly in a home and

it can take a long time to start

organizing your stuff and figuring out

what you want to sell what you want to

keep what you want to donate but start

that process now and try to eliminate as

much stuff in as much clutter in your

home as possible when I walk through a

home with a buyer and a house is

cluttered and then I walk through

another home that's exactly the same but

it's open and it's not cluttered at all

that home feels larger it may not be

larger but it feel

larger and that's what is really

important what a home feels like to a

buyer I would say try to declutter as

much as you possibly can it's hard to

over declutter if you have a garage or

an attic or storage space start getting

boxes and boxing all the little things

up now put them away for a few months

and once you move into your new home

then you can take out all those little

knickknacks and decorations at that

point next I want you to try to brighten

up your home as much as possible there's

nothing that will turn a home more

unattractive than walking in and it'd be

incredibly dark in there even with all

the lights on and again with a buyer is

about what a home feels like so if they

walk into a home and all the lights are

on but it's still incredibly dark in a

room that's a very different feeling

than if they were walking in a home the

windows are open and it's bright and

sunny and very colorful that fire is

gonna feel two different emotions there

so find ways to make the home as bright

as possible if you have very dark

curtains open them up or even replace

them with lighter curtains if you have a

dark paint color in your home replace it

with a much lighter color that reflects

the light around if you have a dark

carpet in a room again I would consider

replacing it with a much lighter color

carpet or even a light color rug on top

of the carpet this is also important

when you have showings on the home I

always recommend that you leave your

blinds and curtains open and let it's

much natural light into the home when

you know you have a showing that day

it's also recommended that you leave at

least one light on in every room for

that showing now not all my clients feel

comfortable doing that because

electricity cost but if you do feel

comfortable doing that I do recommend

that just to make the rooms feel much

brighter next I want you to ask yourself

when was the last time and this was

updated and I want you to ask yourself

this question about your your kitchen

your bathroom your floor's your hardware

like the door handles and all your

electrical outlets and faceplates

because this is what buyers are gonna be

looking at when they come to the

property all right they're gonna open up

the door and if the handles 30 years old

you can absolutely tell they're like oh

man I gotta I gotta update this house

they're walking through and all your

face place are Allman colors and

obviously from the 70s or the 80s

they're gonna notice that if they walk

into a kitchen your kitchen may be

perfectly serviceable but in their minds

you're thinking

man I got to update this kitchen that's

gonna cost me 10 $15,000 to do same

thing with the bathrooms I would save

your kitchen or bathroom hasn't been

updated in about 20 years I would

strongly consider investing a little bit

of money in those areas and just kind of

bring them up to modern standards next I

want you to focus on your curb appeal so

this is the front of your home when a

buyer first walks up to your property

that is what they're gonna see typically

when they see your home online the very

first image that they're gonna see is

the front of your house so there's an

interesting psychological concept known

as confirmation bias so when we first

see a person or a house or anything

we're gonna make a snap judgment

decision right then and there about that

based off of our very first image of

them later on we're more likely to

accept facts that confirm our initial

decision rather than accept facts that

contradict our initial decision so how

this plays out in real estate is if they

walk up to your house and they see wow

what a cute and pretty house then they

walk in they're more likely to look and

accept the facts that confirm that

that's a cute and pretty house rather

than the facts that contradict that that

maybe this house isn't as cute and

pretty on the inside and vice versa they

walk up to your house and the first

impression is wow look at this overgrown

yard and it's ugly and there's mildew

all over the house you're gonna be like

oh geez what do we have here they're

gonna notice all the little things like

outdated door handles and smears and

smudges and stains all the little things

that reaffirm their initial perception

of your property this is absolutely a

real thing is called confirmation bias

and this is why focusing on your curb

appeal is so important now you don't

have to do anything really over the top

a lot of my sellers they just need to

focus on their landscaping a little bit

a lot of times bushes and can get

overgrown you just gotta trim them back

a bit make sure your grass is cut

possibly go buy some mulch and lay some

mulch down in the front of your house if

you have any mildew or algae growing on

your siding get a pressure washer and

clean that off if your welcome mat is 15

years old maybe get a new welcome mat

the door to your house hasn't been

painted in 10 years maybe give it a

fresh coat of paint try to do whatever

you can

make that initial impression of your

home as pleasant as possible so the next

step it's the hardest one for many of my

clients but I want you to de personalize

your home so when a buyer walks through

the property they need to be able to

envision themselves in this home and in

need availa envision their TV and their

couch and their furniture in this home

and when they come in and they see all

these family photos of another family

living in that property it absolutely

just kind of destroys that illusion in

their mind so I'll admit it's a little

awkward walking through the strangers

home sorry they have all their furniture

there and when you start seeing family

photos in the house and all these

personalized knickknacks I'll admit it's

even a little awkward for myself like

I'm invading somebody else's personal

space you don't want to you don't want

to portray that feeling to any potential

buyers so I know this is hard but I want

you to take down all your family photos

all the photos in your house of you your

husband your kids your grandkids and I

want you to very delicately box those up

in a box and stick them away in a closet

just for a few months until you're fully

moved into your new home once you're

fully moved in that can be one of the

first boxes that you unbox but while

you're selling your home I want you to

take down all your personal family

photos so my last tip is to start

interviewing real estate agents early

too often sellers go with the very first

real estate agent that they find or the

first ad that they see or the first

recommendation that they get and I

really want you to interview multiple

real estate agents ideally two to three

real estate agents before you finally

choose one now there's a couple areas

that I want you to focus on with these

real estate agents one is what kind of

marketing are they gonna do for your

listing are they taking pictures on

their cell phone or are they hiring

professional photographer to come in

there and take some beautiful pictures

I'll be honest

unfortunately the majority of the real

estate agents out there they don't

invest anything into their listings they

take all their pictures on their cell

phones and then they upload them to the

MLS and that's it what top agents do and

what I do as well is I invest money into

my listings and what I find is by

investing in marketing the homes

actually sell for more money and because

I get paid off of commission I actually

earn more money it makes up for a

portion of my marketing

cost personally depending on how large a

home is I spend anywhere between 500 and

$1000 marketing my listening so this is

paying for stuff like professional

photography which I do in all my

listings many of my listings get a video

tour of the property this video is

uploaded to YouTube it's uploaded

directly to Zillow so it's on your

Zillow listing automatically we also use

this video and a Facebook ad which I run

to the general area of the listing so

make sure whatever real estate agent

yous are investing in marketing and

they're investing in getting your home

so it as well

the second area I want you to focus on

with the real estate agent is

communication according to the National

Association of Realtors number one

complaint about real estate agents is a

lack of communication there are some

agents that they won't communicate with

their clients for weeks even months on

end personally what I do is I call every

client that I have every single week I

call it follow-up Friday and every

Friday I run through every single seller

client that I have and I just give them

an update

hey last week you had three showings

here's the feedback on those showings

this home down the street just so a few

for this price you have two new homes

that just came on the market in your

neighborhood I just give them a quick

update and I end every call with do you

have any questions for me so those are

the two areas that you really want to

look for a lot of people say you want to

look for experience I don't really find

that to be true I know plenty of agents

that have been doing this for a long

time and they're still bad agents they

still don't communicate with the clients

very well they still take pictures on

their cell phones and don't invest

anything in marketing for me personally

I think the two most important things

that you want to look for in a real

estate agent are effective marketing and

good communication so it's time for the

question of the day what do you guys

think about the difference between a

very bright home in a very dark home

when you walk in does it make a

difference it does a stir up a different

feeling in you if you walk into a home

and all the curtains are closed and

there's one little faded light off in

the corner versus if you walk into a

room and it's bright and the windows are

open and there's sunlight streaming in

does that make a difference of how

attractive a home is to you I'm really

curious let me know now in the comment

section below this video

and once again I am a Maryland real

estate agent and everything about buying


investing in a home here in Maryland I'd

love to have a conversation with them

feel free to reach out anytime and I'll

see you over in the next video