If you are here, you are likely thinking about selling your home in Tallahassee.  You may be looking for advice on where to start.  The process can be overwhelming and cause sleepless nights, especially if you do not feel like there is someone in your corner watching out for you.  We believe in providing sellers as much information as possible and help guide them through the many options available to them.  For us, it is always people over property.  We do not believe negotiating a sale should be a zero-sum game.  We believe all parties should walk away from the transaction happily.

 

The Process of Preparing to Sell a Home

 

Below you will find some general information on the process of selling a home in Tallahassee and in Florida.  We discuss the things we wish sellers knew and some common issues. We trust you will find this information useful whether you work with us or not, but we do hope you give us a call.

  1. Honest Evaluation

Take a step back and look at your house with the eyes of a stranger.  Start a to-do list of items that need to be cleaned, fixed, removed, or freshened up before having strangers decide whether to live in your house.  Remember that showing condition is NOT the same as living condition (for most humans anyway).  If you have a lot of furniture (or belongings) you may want to consider renting air-conditioned space to store some things until you are ready to take them to your new home.  This is also a good time to interview Realtors.  Have them come and make recommendations and give you ideas of how to increase the perceived value of your home in a buyer’s eyes.

 

  1. Clean, clean, clean, repair, replace, purge and pitch

Take the to-do list and start addressing what you found.  There is no such thing as too clean – especially during this pandemic.  If you are handy, you will be able to complete many repairs on your own.  If not, we have a list of handymen and general contractors who can help.  This is good time to empty out closets and get rid of any clothes you have not worn in the past two years.  Small things can have big impacts.  In as many areas as possible, make it bright and airy.  While you may like sleeping in a cave (we do), buyers respond better when rooms are filled with light. Replace any low watt or burned-out lightbulbs. Remove any dead plants (inside and out). Check out our checklist for sellers prepping their home for sale.

Gather your warranties and paperwork for all repairs and work you have had done to your home since your ownership.  Make a list of the professionals you have worked with in the past that may be able to answer questions or supply documents (like paid invoices, permit applications, etc.).

 

  1. Paint and Freshen

New paint is one of the quickest and cheapest way to improve your first impression on a buyer.  Choose neutral colors for the inside.  We had one listing in an extremely popular neighborhood that sat on the market longer their neighbors.  The buyers who toured it did not like the blue of the kitchen.  Once repainted, we had an offer quickly.  The most cost-effective way to increase curb appeal is landscaping – especially if you have a green thumb and can do it yourself.

 

  1. Depersonalize and de-clutter

It can be difficult for buyers to see themselves living in your house if they get distracted by the photos of you on vacation, your trophies, knickknacks, etc.  Pack that stuff away and get a head start on moving.  We have worked with buyers who would not make an offer because they were sure that the seller would not be able to remove their things even with six weeks’ notice.    Your cupboards and bookshelves should have empty space on the shelves, and we should be able to see the floor of closets.  Removing excess furniture and clutter will make your space feel bigger and provide a more inviting atmosphere.

 

  1. Pets

Our noses are funny in the way that we do not smell scents we are used to, and pet odor is one of the best examples of this.  (Smoke is another one!)  Before you list your home, ask a couple friends to be honest with you (and ask your Realtor too) about the smell of your furry family. Keep litter boxes clean and the back yard picked up.  During showings stash the pet food bowls. You will need to decide how to make sure your pets are kept safe while strangers come and go viewing your home.

 

  1. Hire a Professional Full-Time Realtor

Many people want to try to sell their homes on their own and save the commission for themselves.  We can understand that.  However, studies have shown that experienced Realtors are worth more than that 6% you pay them to help guide you through the complex process, market the house, negotiate your contract, and get you to closing so can find your next home.  Hiring a professional means signing a listing agreement and this will be your first experience negotiating for the sale of your home.  How the agent handles this will tell you a lot about how they will work for you during the process. Check out our listing agreement walk through. Knowing what to ask can be tough.  Read the questions we recommend and our answers to common interview questions.