11 Things to do Before Putting Your Home on the Market

for sale signThinking of selling your home?

If you’re wondering if now’s the right time to put your home on the market, just look at these stats.
And these stats.
And these.

Convinced yet? The Charlotte seller’s market is hot and still heating up, so if you’ve been thinking of selling, make sure you do the following 11 things before you hold that open house.


11. Start With Landscaping

The earlier you start landscaping, the better it’ll look come open house day. Spend a weekend or have a professional come in to prune the bushes, plant flowers, and spread some new grass seed if necessary.

10. Dig Up Paperwork

Do you know where the deed to your home is? How about all your mortgage docs? Spend some time getting all your files in order that you’ll need comes sales-time to save yourself the hassle when packing.

9. Small Renovations

Read: Small. Now’s a good time to fix that broken gutter and maybe even get a new dishwasher. Just before you want to sell is NOT the right time to put in a pool or add on that sun room you’ve always wanted.

faucet8. Modernize

There are a few small changes you can make that can really un-1990s your home. Change out cabinet knobs, plumbing fixtures, or even just the furniture to make your home feel bright and fresh again.


7. Do Some Spying

On your neighbors, of course! Attend a few open houses in your area to see what you’ll be competing against. Take note how other people’s homes show and what you like and don’t like through the eyes of a “buyer.”

6. Consider Price

Of course, you’ll want to rely on your broker for expert advice on the market value of your home, but spend a few hours talking and thinking about what the reasonable value for your home really is. That way, when you’re asked about pricing, you’ll have a starting point.


5. Paint Everything

Now’s the time to turn your daughter’s room from magenta to beige, and take that bathroom wallpaper down a notch. In general, neutralizing your home will help make it more appealing to buyers.

4. Declutter

Along the same vein as neutralizing, you need to depersonalize your home as well. Remove family photos, clean up closets, and generally do your best to make it look like a model home. When in doubt, remove five things from every room.

3. Deep Clean

Whether you hire a cleaning service or do it yourself, just before you hit the market you want to deep clean everything. From the carpets to the baseboards to the windows, make sure your house looks as sparkly as possible, and smells great, too.

2. Make Arrangements

Whether you’re going to rent a house until you find “the one” or you’ve got your eye on a move-up neighborhood nearby you definitely want to buy in, have a plan for where you’ll go if (and when!) your house sells quickly.

group favorite1. Call a Realtor

Sure, it can seem temping to try and sell your home yourself, but you need professional advice, guidance, and connections to get your property sold fast for the best price possible. Contact On the Move Charlotte today to talk to Leigh Bryant about why now’s the right time to sell your home.


7 Reasons NOT to Try “For Sale by Owner”

for sale by ownerWith a noticeable uptick in home sales in the Charlotte market, the On the Move Charlotte team has seen more and more “For Sale by Owner” signs posted around town. While it may seem tempting to try to sell your house yourself to save on listing fees, there are dozens more reasons why you’ll probably ultimately lose money (and time) by going it on your own.

We hear the same complaint from clients again and again. Many assumed it would be a breeze to sell their own home between online listings and the hot Charlotte real estate market. Time after time they come to us looking for help selling their house after weeks and even months spent lingering on the market to no avail.

Here are seven reasons you should always use a professional Realtor when selling your home. Forget “For Sale by Owner.” How about “SOLD by On the Move Charlotte?!”

7. You are not a real estate professional.

No matter how well you know your neighborhood and how many hours a day you’re on Zillow, you’ll never have the knowledge and experience a professional Realtor has. Between the legalities of selling a home, pricing specifics that aren’t available to the general public, and long-term market knowledge that only comes from experience there are plenty of reasons to pay a listing agent for their services. Afterall, you wouldn’t think of trying to perform your own root canal; you’d visit a licensed dentist! Is the sale of your home any less important?

6. Pricing is hard business.

Every homeowners knows what they’d like to get for their house but unfortunately sometims that number is rather far away from what the market actually dictates as the house’s value. A Realtor is exactly the objective eye you need to help determine what your house is really worth to buyers. Starting at a slightly lower list price now but selling in 5 weeks as opposed to 5 months can actually save you money. Let a qualified Realtor perform a CMA on your home before you ever think of listing.

5. Your home needs to be on the MLS.

The Multiple Listing Service is a crucial resource for real estate agents and the first place your buyers’ agents are going to look when they’re searching for homes. If you try to “Sell by Owner” you won’t be on the MLS listings (there are some ways around this but they can be very expensive!) and your home may not be as visible as it could be. Likewise, don’t count on your house being listed correctly in online databases like Trulia and Zillow.  Realtors work hard to manage your home’s visibility which is something you simply can’t do on your own.

open door4. A Realtor can help keep you safe.

Imagine your hesitation to list a piece of furniture online only to be bombarded with calls and emails from strangers looking to show up at your house. Using a Realtor helps keep your family out of harm’s way by providing a vetting system for potential buyers and eliminating the need for you to allow complete strangers into your home. Working with a Realtor ensures only qualified buyers ever get past your front door, protecting your family as well as your privacy.

3. Negotiating is difficult work.

You may consider yourself a keen negotiator but all bets are off when you’re suddenly asked to make a very emotional decision involving hundreds of thousands of dollars, all while keeping a good “poker face.” Realtors are specially trained in negotiation and have years of experience handling tricky situations between buyers and sellers. An objective third party is exactly what you need when you’re trying to get the most money possible for your house but you don’t want to lose a deal.

2. Marketing takes more than a “For Sale” sign.

Efficiently and accurately marketing your home is an incredibly specific process. Many “For Sale by Owner” sellers assume that because they live on a busy street people will surely see the sign and call! Not the case. Between making flyers, hosting open houses, networking, and phone calls, marketing a piece of property is hard work. Particularly if your home has any hard-to-love aspects (i.e. strange layout, dated kitchen, small yard), having an experienced Realtor to pitch the property is crucial. You may think your house is so great it will sell itself but even in the upturned Charlotte market, it won’t.

frustrated1. Being a real estate agent is a full time job.

Odds are, you’ve got enough on your plate without adding to it the tens of hours a week that come with selling your own home. Even in the best markets, selling a house takes work – contracts, showings, negotiations – everything about the home selling process means time. Consider the opportunity costs you’re incurring by giving up precious family, work, or leisure time to struggle through a home sale you could simply hire a professional to do. Isn’t your time worth it?


When you decide you’re ready to sell,
contact Leigh Bryant at On the Move
Charlotte to talk about your options.

6 Things You Must Do Before Listing Your Home

Spring is upon us! It’s one of the best times of the year to put your house on the market and many areas (including Charlotte) are posting their best numbers in years. If you’ve been considering selling your home, there are a few things you must do to appeal to buyers even in the best of markets, most of which are quick and relatively inexpensive.

Here are six tips from the On the Move Charlotte team to help get your house sold!


6. Get an Inspection Before Going to Market.

Traditionally, a home inspection is only ordered once an offer is on the table. Smart sellers are now getting their own inspections before ever even listing their home – it’s a great way to identify issues that could sink a sale once a contract’s been drawn up. A couple hundred dollars spent on a quality inspection now could save you months of lost time if problems are identified down the road.

5. Staging, Staging, Staging.

It’s impossible to underestimate the effect of proper staging! Home buyers find it notoriously difficult to imagine what a home will look like filled with furniture, and staging’s a great way to transform ambiguous parts of your home into purposeful spaces buyers can appreciate. Nothing confuses buyers more than an empty shell of a home, particularly when compared to a warm, homey, lived-in house.

4. Know Your Market Well.

Of course, your real estate agent will have a thorough understand of your neighborhood and comparables in the area but as a seller it’s important to check out the “competition.” Walk your neighborhood with buyers’ eyes and try to look at your home objectively. Check out online listings of homes within a few miles and see how they’re presented. Even consider asking your broker to take you through a few comps to check out the way they show relative to your home.

3. Clear Out, Clean Up, and Freshen Your House.

You don’t have to undergo a complete kitchen renovation to get your home sold. Consider which aspects of your home are the most glaringly negative and tackle those first. Does your bedroom look totally outdated? Change out the curtains and bedspread. Carpet look worn and dirty? Bring in a steam cleaner. A few hundred bucks goes a long way when preparing your house for market. And don’t forget to ‘de-clutter’ your house before showing it: remove family pictures, clear off countertops and shelves, and of course, keep the house clean at all times in case of an impromptu showing!

2. Pay Attention to Curb Appeal.

The fastest selling houses are always attractive from the moment a buyer pulls up. Spring is a great time to plant a few colorful flower beds or bring in a lawn care pro to spruce up the grass. Keep the yard clear of debris like pinecones and branches to make it look maintenance-free. It may be expensive but is often worth it to consider having your home repainted for a fresh, clean look.

1. Listen to Your Broker.

Sometimes sellers have a hard time hearing constructive criticism regarding their home. Remember, your broker has your best interests at heart and they want to sell your home for you as much as you want it sold! If your broker is telling you something needs to change – be it your price, your dining room table, or the litter box – listen carefully. Experienced brokers know what buyers in your area are looking for and are typically the best source of information you can hope to have.

Picture of Leigh Bryant, Realtor - Keller Williams Realty

Thinking about listing your home? Call Leigh Bryant today at 704.513.3318 to find out more about your particular neighborhood and discuss your options as a seller. There’s no better time to sell than Spring!