14 Dec 5 Step Plan For House Sellers | Jacqueline Gunn
When asked what makes me unique as a Realtor, I immediately know my value – I make the complicated look simple.
What does that mean exactly? Earlier this year, I was interviewed on the very same subject. You can view the video accompanying this article for a detailed look at what makes my approach so special. I’ll give you a hint… It has a lot to do with me, my team and my keen design eye.
The process of selling a home begins with getting market ready. My foolproof way to sell a home quickly is as follows:
1. PRICE AT MARKET VALUE OR SLIGHTLY UNDER TO GENERATE MULTIPLE OFFERS. Resist the urge to not believe comps. If a Real Estate Agent can’t justify the price of your home you will sit on the market. And the more days on market you have on the MLS the more of a stigma your home develops. BE REALISTIC. Know your worth and strategize with your agent. Be aggressive. Get a broker price opinion to make you feel better. Yes, we do this! Your agent should be well networked and liked in the community. A collaborative agent can bring a few Realtors from different agencies, who are area specific experts in your neighborhood, to your home. Together, they can chat about the potential flaws of your home prior to bringing it on the market. Also, these agents will all give an estimate on your home’s value. This process benefits you in two ways. One, you know what price the market is dictating. And two, you’ve just had the top brokers in your area through, who have real buyers. That means when your home comes on the market these agents will already have shared your beautiful, well-priced home with their buyers. The more buzz you can create, the more interested parties you will have. Congratulations!! You just put yourself in the BEST position possible. . . You may be in for a multiple offer situation.
2. DE-CLUTTER – Even your drawers!! Buyers will open drawers. You don’t want to be caught off guard when someone stumbles upon your checkbooks and all of a sudden you discover you’ve just purchased a new Rolex. Or, worse .. Someone finds grandma’s jewels and makes a run for it. Keep things clean, simple. Nothing on counters. If you have to, I suggest renting a storage locker or a POD.
3. REMOVE FAMILY PHOTOS – While meaningful to you, these only distract. It essentially removes the potential buyer from envisioning him/herself in the home. Also, do you really want strangers to know where you live or that you are selling a home and potentially making A LOT of money?
4. REFRESH YOUR HOME – Eliminate signs of wear and tear. You’ll be competing against new construction so you’ll want to bring your “A” game. Small things like swapping out dated light switches for new fittings can make your home look current. Similarly, swapping out your old thermostat for a new LED design can take you from 1960 to 2014 for just $50. Hire a painter to paint your walls white. Buyers need to see LITERALLY a blank canvas… So give it to them. Bold colors and patterns on walls only make rooms look smaller. White tricks the eye into thinking a room is larger than it really is .. And, it will be loads brighter! Buyers tend to want homes that are “light and bright.” Remove window screens and clean your windows – let in unfiltered light. And, definitely refresh all your thresholds. Thresholds are the life line of your home. They tell you just how worn out a home is. DO – Buff floors. Or spot treat floors. Did you know you can feather wood floors if a certain section is damaged you don’t have to replace the whole thing?!? Which brings me to my next point, – DO – fix anything that can come up in a general home inspection report. If you had a leak in your roof that you fixed but you neglected to take care of the nasty little ring on your ceiling.. now is the time to paint. Buyers will RED flag it and put in an offer that is lower thinking they’ll have to do work… That goes for settlement cracks. It’s natural for a home to settle a bit each year. No home is exempt from settling. So, do your best to fix those. Uneducated buyers will definitely see cracks as a sign the home is in disrepair.
5. STAGE YOUR HOME!! – Your home is designed specifically to your personal tastes. To open up your buyer pool you have to put the ego aside. You have to ask yourself. Does this enhance my home? Is my furniture too big or too small? Is it too colorful? Is it too specific in style? You have to filter your furniture choices to muted colors (white preferably for couches) and a clean soft palette on the walls. Keep it simple. I use white paint on the walls. Currently, transitional furniture sells homes in LA – furniture that is both modern and traditional at the same time. And, a minimal approach is key. If I get a bit more granular, you really have to know the trends in your neighborhood. If you’re in Silverlake a more eclectic aesthetic reigns, and you can get away with bold patterns and textures. You may find you can partially stage your home and save money. In the Palisades, keep to the East Coast, traditional style. So you may find you just need to swap grandma’s sitting chair for another chair and get some minimal artwork and you’re set! On the note of artwork – You don’t want to offend anyone so please …no religious references. After reading this hopefully you’re not asking – Does staging my home mean I have bad taste? No… gosh no!! It means it’s perfectly suited for your everyday life and functions exactly as you need it. ** Rule #1 in selling real estate** don’t be too specific when selling… An agent asking you to stage your home means, your only flaw in your design is that it’s just a bit too specific to you. I had a stager once put a piece of furniture strategically so as to mitigate the glare of a building into the home I was selling. We created a whole curtain scheme on a balcony once, to privatize the balcony from the neighbor’s stares. Stagers actually make you more money. So, don’t be alarmed when an agent discusses staging because they are there to help you make more money. If you’re priced appropriately those monthly fees won’t tick on. You’ll sell relatively quickly and once you remove contingencies from the sale – you can remove the furniture.
That’s my 5 step plan for sellers. Follow it, and you’ll see the results. I promise.
I handle the whole process for my clients. It’s called “The Mini Flip.” And, I do it on a budget with my own team who I’ve been working with 3 years. It’s extremely effective and successful. Most clients see about at least an 8% return on their investment.
I guess at the end of the day, I’m not just a real estate agent. I’m a consultant. In fact, I’ve become quite specialized in working with builders and flippers – for many I’ve become their tastemaker. They run all their design decisions by me. I help them source products etc. I’m very hands on. I know that the quality of the build they produce will directly affect how long the property stays on the market. I’m a business woman. The goal isn’t for me to sell a home as fast as I can and at the highest price possible, to allow for maximum profit. So the extra work I put in with sellers and developers is worth it to me.
So far this year I’ve sold and purchased 27 homes and I’m hoping to hit 30 by Jan. 1. I’ve been doing this for 4 years. So you can imagine all the scenarios I’ve seen. I even put my money where my mouth is and invest in flips. As my success grows, I’ve made it a goal to support others. In 2015, in addition to donating to friend’s charities, I plan to donate 3% of what I earn to a charity of my client’s choice. My journey has been littered with people who believed in me and encouraged me. I want others to be encouraged and empowered. A goal of mine one day, is to start a fund to support Real Estate Education for those that can’t afford books. Because, I was that girl struggling to afford the simple pleasure of education to better my earning power and help me succeed.
You can learn more about me and real estate in Los Angeles by visiting jacquelinegunn.com.
I’m also on Instagram – @jacgunn
T: 323 842-2527
LA HOME: lahomemag.com