The “REAL” in Real Estate

By Elle Smith,

Realtor, J&B Real Estate

For this month’s article, I asked friends and clients what they would like more information on, and several said they would like to know what to do to prepare to sell. Even in a seller’s market like we’re currently seeing, there are things you can do to make the process smoother. Houses are still selling quickly and often getting multiple offers, but there are still things you can and should do to make your home shine for listing photos and for showings. These tips will help you get the most for your property.

1.    Keep up on your maintenance and repairs. Keep service records,     receipts, and information on work you have had done to your home.

2.    Keep records on updates you have completed, such as new roof, new windows, new hot water heater, etc.

3.    Declutter.

4.    Take down most of your personal items. For example, removing family photos allows the potential buyers to imagine living in the house.

5.    Touch up paint. Repaint any loud or out of the ordinary colors or designs. A neutral color scheme presents like a blank canvas for potential buyers. Touch up doors, baseboards, and ceilings—these are often overlooked when preparing a home for sale, but buyers notice them.

6.    Make sure all lightbulbs and exhaust fans are working. These are other items potential buyers notice.

7.    Resist the urge to hide things in your microwave, oven, closet, etc. (I’ve seen this). Buyers might look, and you don’t want to appear that these items do not have a home.

8.    Don’t use too many strong scents—plug-in air fresheners, candles, etc. are very noticeable and will make potential buyers wonder if you are trying to hide something.

9.    Don’t ignore the curb appeal—mow, weed, mulch, and prune. First impressions matter.

10.  Clean, clean, clean. Consider hiring a cleaning service before listing photos are taken.

One thing I recommend to sellers—especially those with busy households—is to keep a tub or large bag by the door, and when you have a last minute showing, you can toss anything laying around into the bag and take it with you. This can alleviate a lot of stress when you have multiple showings a day. Also, whenever possible, sellers should leave for showings, being present can make a potential buyer uncomfortable. Remember to put your valuables away and out of sight. And always tell your real estate agent if you need notice for showings or if there are days or times that you cannot accommodate. It is much better to let potential buyers know this in advance instead of declining or canceling showings. These tips can make the showing part of selling your home go a little smoother and hopefully help you get even more for your property.

Everyone is always interested in how our local market is performing. Here are stats from March 2022 for the Catoctin High feeder area:           12 homes sold in March; Average Sales Price = $302,910; 19 residential properties for sale and coming soon as of April 17.*

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