Tips for getting your home ‘market ready’

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    Market nowadays are very strong according to real estate professionals, that is why it is very important to get a home “market ready”.

    “The market is very good,” said Lisa Culp Taylor with Bob Parks Realty, “but there’s plenty of competition, so if you want to list your home, you want to meet or beat that competition.

    “Likely the first place your home will be seen is online, so make sure it’s up to speed, outside and inside, before your Realtor has photos made.”

    Taylor suggests having a pre-listing home inspection.

    “It’s better to know up front what an inspector for a buyer will flag; it’s easier to make those repairs or correct problems before you list, not once a contract is made. Buyers can walk away from a deal if the home inspection reveals too many issues.”

    Sue Chilton with Zeitlin and Tina Pierret with the Milam Group at Fridrich & Clark agree.

    “Actually, I would say that’s one of my top recommendations,” Pierret said.

    “The pre-inspection is vital before listing a home,” Chilton said. “You want to be ahead of the curve on identifying problems that you may or may not know exist. And before you list, do a deep cleaning to make the home absolutely pristine.”

    All three professionals agree that while this is a seller’s market, the best-looking homes that are move-in ready are the ones that sell most quickly and bring the highest price.

    Homes in Williamson County are on the market an average of 56 days, said David Logan, president of the Williamson County Association of Realtors, citing January figures.

    “By comparison,” he said, “last January, homes were on the market an average of 77 days, so this year, we see homes selling about three weeks sooner. Those figures include new construction and existing homes and reflect prices across the board in Williamson.”

    Taylor said it’s wise to hire a stager to come to the home before listing to help make your home stand out.

    “Your Realtor will have stagers to suggest to you,” she said. “And a stager can make a difference not only in a vacant home but in one that’s occupied. He or she brings a fresh set of eyes to your home, makes suggestions on moving things around and/or putting some things in storage to make the home, regardless of its size, very spacious feeling.”

    Chilton suggests removing personal items, such as photographs, before the home is listed.

    “You want prospective buyers to concentrate on the home, not who you are or if they know you. You want a blank slate so they can see themselves in the home,” she said.

    All three Realtors suggest freshening up the landscaping and adding fresh mulch. The curb appeal for a prospective buyer is vital, they said. Some homes are bypassed just from a drive-by.

    Making sure the front door is in top condition is another must.

    “As far as the exterior is concerned,” Pierret said, “make sure your mailbox is fresh. Have your gutters cleaned. Check the shutters to see if they need a fresh coat of paint. Don’t have anything on the exterior that is broken, faded or rusted.”

    So how much time and money should you spend on renovations before a home is listed? Taylor said to seek a Realtor’s advice.

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