Selling Property for the most Bang for Your Buck in Myrtle Beach and Pawleys Island
Spring time is officially here, and I am sure you will find lots of items pertaining to getting your property ready to sell. BUT - What are the items that will bring the most bang for your spring cleaning bucks?
In our local market here in the Georgetown, Pawleys Island, SC area, the weather for the most part is pretty mild - so when the first day of spring hits, it always seems to be filled with "Spring Fever" - so let's put that to good use and see what to accomplish to sell your property now!
1) Location is the most important item in selling your property. If you are not in an ideal location, there is not much you can do but "dress up" your home, and if neighbors are friendly, ask to see if they would help by keeping their homes decorated too... maybe ask if they need something to be done, and use that neighborly friendliness to show good intentions. If this is not an option, you could also offer them an incentive. Or, if it is a real issue, ask to see what your Realtor can do to help the situation. I find that a friendly letter sent to them can sometimes soften the icebreaking of trying to tell your neighbors to make an effort to "spruce" up.
2) Condition is also one of the most important items, but this one can be spruced up to meet perfection, so buyers will be attracted to not only your Realtor's advertising, but your actual property. (we have to get them in the door, so this needs to be done, BEFORE listing your home with your realtor (me); The easiest way to make the bang for your buck matter is:
2a) First Start off with a list of items that need to be done in the home. Start in one room and walk the whole property from room to room and front to back yards. Make notes on every detail the eyes see that buyer would not be happy about. (ask a good friend to walk the property with you, and be honest). Pretend you are the buyer looking at your home. What do you see that needs to be cleaned? Repaired? Replaced? Decluttered? You may need more than one piece of paper for this list, so be prepared to write down everything that needs to be done. Keep this as your "master list".
2b) Prioritize your master list from what absoulutely needs to be done, to items that might not be as cost effective. Again, put yourself in the buyer's shoes and as the homeowner, what would you want to be taken care of before moving in?
2c) Once the master list is prioritized; Repairs/Replacements - What items do you think you can get done yourself to save that much extra for the bigger ticket items? If you need estimates on certain items, get at least three quotes for each item you need done. When getting these estimates, interview the professional, ask for license and insurance info, references, guarantees and warranties, timelines - how long and when work will be finished, and last but not least, any discounts. If you need help finding reputable companies/people, your Realtor should be able to help you find these contacts.
2d) Spruce up - you are going to move anyway, so why not go through the items on a room to room basis. Get rid of all those items you have not used in a long time (one or more years). I find that the easiest place to start this task is in the kitchen - it is amazing how many spices or dishes take up space that could be better utilized. Make a list of all items you are donating (save this list for tax purposes) so that you can claim tax credits for donations made (see your tax advisor for more info). Get rid of all expired items in your cabinets. Make as much free space in your cabinets as possible so that potential buyers will see all the storage you have in your cabinets.
2e) In addition, make an area for these: Keep, Sell, Donate, Trash. Clean out everything in each room and make a pile for each of these areas. Once you have separated all items, call donation stores to see if they pick up. If not, plan to make several trips, and make sure to get a donation receipt. Itemize what you give to donation stores and keep for tax records. Clean items you want to sell, and keep. For those items you want to sell, designate one spot, and start pricing while cleaning. Put price stickers on all, keep a tab of those items if you would like (for cash flow and budget purposes). Dust and thoroughly clean each room before placing items back in room. Keep personal items such as family photos and personal items to a bare minimum. The point is to have a "showcase" home, not one that looks "lived" in.
3) Get to selling! Once you have finished spring cleaning, hold a yard/estate sale to sell all items. For the items you don't sell, you can donate or call trash collector at the same time you are getting rid of trash. Remember that some items will not be picked up by your regular trash pickup carrier, so be prepared to make a trip or two (or find someone for a small fee to do this for you) to the local dump. Don't be surprised if several Realtors stop by. Don't be shy about telling all that come through that door that you are selling your property. Put a sign up with this information to let people know not to be afraid to ask about the property.
4) Once declutter and organization process is done. Have those repairs taken care of. If you operate on a budget, prioritize the list, and move from most to least important. Decluttering and a fresh coat of paint can add the most value for the price/sweat equity.
5) Rent a storage unit if need be. If you find that you can not get rid of quite enough stuff, and don't have enough storage, consider renting a storage unit so that you can show the home and not all your personal items. If your budget will not allow you to rent a storage unit, ask family or friends to keep items for you. OR just keep going, let go of the emotional pull some things might have for you (easier said than done) .
6) Consider where you are going. In other words, know your budget, what you would like to spend in order to live comfortably. Put together a homebuyers worksheet (if you would like one, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will be glad to send you one) to figure out how much home you can afford. Do this before seeing a lender!
7) Once your home is for sale, get to a lender to get PRE QUALIFIED BEFORE YOU START YOUR HOME SEARCH. This will tremendously reduce the stress and worry about buying your next home for everyone that will be involved in the transaction.
There are many other items that we can discuss about spring cleaning. This article is meant to help you get started to make it a little easier in seeing the "big picture"
If you are interested in selling your next property and finding the right home, please don't hesitate to contact me at your convenience, and thank you for taking the time to consider these points of Real Estate - Tara Melech, (843) 907-8787 - Serving the Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach, Pawleys Island, Murrells Inlet, Little River and Conway areas of Horry and Georgetown Counties.