Discover Why Mindset Matters in Real Estate
We can adjust our mindset to help us accomplish career goals as well overcoming personal challenges. To quote Mahatma Gandhi, ‘your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, and your habits become your destiny.’
When it comes to selling your home-do you have a seller’s mindset?
Here are a few mindsets to embrace before you list your home.
Teamwork is Dream Work
Selling your home is a team effort! The selling process is time-sensitive and can be a complicated process. Commit to working collaboratively with your realtor, remaining open to different strategies and approaches. Likewise, your realtor should be open to your ideas as well. Have your home show ready and be flexible with showing times.
It’s a Business Transaction
Take yourself, your family and all the emotions out of process. This is not always an easy transition because you have spent many years in your home. You have decorated your home to appeal to your tastes, and have treasured mementos scattered throughout.
A great exercise to help you shift your mindset is to make a list of all features you want in your next home. Would your list include move-in ready, freshly painted, bright and sunny, attractive exterior? I think you get the picture. De-cluttering and staging your home are two of the most impactful ways to transition to the seller mindset. More often than not, your realtor will recommend you paint your walls, remove excess furniture, or potentially even stage your home. You want to create the atmosphere that appeals to buyers and allows them to picture themselves living in the home. TV design shows have influenced the buyer’s needs and wants and they rarely want a total “fixer-upper”. They want to see themselves in your home. Making these changes will create an emotional distance from your home and at the same time help the sale price.
Invest in the process upfront
You have heard this before, you have to spend money to make money and it holds true in real estate, especially if you have an older home. Power washing, painting, de-cluttering, and staging will pay off in the end. Should you decide not to make any improvements there’s a good chance that your home may linger on the market for a much longer period of time. Think about the carrying cost for your home during these extra days on market: property taxes, maintenance, utility costs and potentially mortgage. Work with your realtor to determine what improvements will get you the best possible price for your home and get the work done before listing your home. Time is money in real estate and nothing could be truer.
Selling a home is not only an emotionally taxing experience but can be a bit tricky financially. Sometimes, depending on the market, the process can take longer than anticipated so it is important that you stay in the game. Having the right mindset and remembering why mindset matters in real estate will keep you engaged throughout the process.
Tips for Sellers on Preparing for Professional Photography
Preparing for professional photography does require some work but if you follow these recommendations your home will be camera-ready when your photographer arrives.
Will Rogers once said, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” and this is definitely true when it comes to the listing photographs for the sale of your home. The first contact a home buyer has with your home will be online which is why it’s so important to have the best photos to accompany your listing information.
Have the lawn mowed & shrubs trimmed.
In the winter, clear snow from sidewalks, driveway, patios & decks.
No empty planters; add seasonal colorful flowers to pots placed at the entrance and on the patio.
Weather permitting, open patio umbrellas and place cushions on outdoor furniture.
Remove pet waste.
Trash cans & garden hose should be stored out of sight.
Remove cars from the driveway and in front of the home.
Sidewalks, decks & patios should be swept.
Store soccer goals, balls, bikes, and other toys.
Hide all electrical cords.
Declutter-remove stacks of magazine, newspapers, mail, etc.
Clean out the fireplace and paint the interior if necessary.
Clean the windows (inside and out).
Fireplace mantels- limit accessories to 3-5 pieces.
Remove small rugs.
Coffee tables- limit accessories to 1-3 items.
Stash away trashcans.
Store phones, charging cables/docks away.
Replace any burned out light bulbs; turn on all lights and open all blinds to the same level in each room.
Remove any seasonal decorations.
Vacuum &/or mop all floors.
Touch up any painted surfaces that may show wear & tear.
Remove all evidence of pets- beds, bowls, toys, etc.
Clear all counter surfaces completely; no knife blocks, paper towels, dish towels, spices, etc.
No dishes, scrub brushes, dish racks or soap in the kitchen sink.
Clear any school papers, artwork, photos, and magnets from the front of the refrigerator.
Place a bowl of fruit on the counter.
Clear nightstand surfaces of tissue boxes, phone, magazines and charging cords.
Press bed linens if necessary.
Remove items stored under beds because they will likely show up in the photos depending on the angle if the shots.
Remove personal photos.
Toilet seats and lids should be closed
Remove used towels and replace with fresh towels.
Clear the counters completely; no toothbrushes, toothpaste or soaps.
Remove shampoo and soaps from tub or shower stalls.
A vase with a single flower will add a nice touch.
Advice from a Realtor on Taking the Stress Out of Selling
The process of selling your home can be stressful on the entire family. But with a bit of planning, re-framing and maybe a mindful mindset, you can better manage the process and taking the stress out of selling. Here are the top 5 tips to consider for a stress less transaction.
Keep Your Eye on Your WHY.
What is your why? Have all the kids finished college, moved on and you are “right-sizing”? Has your employment changed and you need to reduce your overhead? Possibly you have outgrown your current home and are looking forward to living in a larger home. Having a clear purpose is a strategic tool for cutting through the distractions and staying focused. All the time and effort you put into preparing your home for showings and open houses contribute to you reaching your “why”. Stay focused and try to keep your emotions in check.
Hire a Full Service Realtor
You need a Realtor who does more than put your home’s listing on the MLS with 40 photos and hosts the occasional open house. Selling your home requires hiring a full service real estate team that has the ability and experience to guide you through every step of the process. One of the most daunting steps involves decluttering and possibly getting rid of unwanted household items. At The Vanderblue Team we have aligned ourselves with several different charities that will make sure your cast-offs get in the hands of people who need them. From sifting through items to having them picked up at your doorstep rather than piling up in your garage, The Vanderblue Team takes care of all the details. Make donations not dump runs!
Be Ready to Show
We typically feel stressed when we are not prepared for situations. When sellers develop and maintain a daily plan that includes keeping up with dishes, trash cans, counter clutter, etc., the home is ready to show. You should involve the entire family by assigning them specific areas to maintain. You can easily conquer your counter clutter by keeping a small plastic bin in a closet or cabinet where you can stash all your daily necessities out of site. We have found this so helpful, that now The Vanderblue provides these bins for our clients to make it even easier. Often times Realtors don’t have the luxury of much advance notice, but with a bit of proactive planning you can keep your home in “show shape”.
Be Flexible on the Deal Structure
With Millennials moving out of larger cities in search of the perfect town to raise their children some are looking to lease before buying. If you don’t need the proceeds from the sale to move onto your next home then consider leasing with the option to buy. Clients relocating also want to get a bit settled before making such a big decision so a 3-month rental prior to purchase is an option we have used to seal the deal. There are countless creative ways to get buyers to jump off the proverbial fence.
It Takes a Village
Many forget the importance of networking when they are planning to sell their home. Imagine this- you’re starting to prepare and you realize you need a painter or handy man or want to do a pre-inspection. You’re trying to also declutter and sift through 20 years of keepsakes. Chaos starts setting in…so you rush to Angie’s List and begin browsing through the reviews. All you really want is to get the jobs done so you can get the house sold! Using a team that is highly networked with the right service providers will save you time and money. It’s not only your real estate team, but also the network behind the real estate team. Your Realtor should be connected from soup to nuts; from special prices for movers, to handymen and painters to get your home in perfect shape.
Creating the Vision that Sells
So you’ve decided to sell your home and there’s always a reason-
- The kid’s have all grown and moved on leaving you with too much house?
- Possibly a job has you moving to another town or state?
- Lifestyle change. You want more property so you can have privacy, a garden, or kids can stretch their young legs more?
- Your family is growing and you need more space or the “right space”
There are many reasons but one thing is for sure- if you’re moving because the space no longer works for your family there’s a strong chance that buyers will share the same opinion.
At the Vanderblue Team, we council our sellers from the very start to confront any possible objections so that we hit the market with solutions. Often times the challenge is the floor plan, the home is lacking a mudroom, or you need a playroom for the kids, or maybe the main floor lacks the open concept so many buyers desire. Whatever it may be it’s important to create a way to overcome the objection, because often times buyers have difficulty envisioning the possibilities.
As a Realtor we forge relationships with appraisers, mortgage brokers, real estate attorneys and various home service providers to assist in navigating the transaction. It may seem like putting the horse before the carriage but working with an architect to help market your house can be a seller’s best way to counter any objection right from the beginning! At the Vanderblue Team we often work with Tanner White of Tanner White Architects, LLC. An architect is trained to see options or opportunities. They visualize in three dimensions – providing an amazing added value to the equation! Having a physical drawing of what “can be” will definitely help a buyer visualize the possibilities and also reduce the time on market.
After the initial phone consultation the architect will meet clients at the property for a walk through where ideas, budget, timing and process are discussed. All this provides the homeowner or buyer with an overall game plan to consider, including an estimate for the renovation. From this point floor plans and renderings are developed and tweaked to meet the client’s desires. Clients always find it helpful to see what it can look like- really bringing the project to life by creating a vision that sells. As a Realtor, we like to include as many renderings as possible in our marketing materials. Providing a real vision will definitely create the emotional buyer who suddenly has that “A-Ha” moment they need to submit an offer!
151 Merwins Lane is currently on the market in Greenfield Hill. The house has a beautiful open concept main floor with 2 bedrooms & 2.1 baths. The unattached garage has a walk up full floor studio. Possible objection: This home needs a large Master suite and additional bedroom on the upper level to make this a 4 bedroom. 3.1 bath home.
151 Merwins Lane with the renovation: The expansion over the garage allows for the addition of another bedroom, laundry room, walk-in closets and a full master suite on the upper level. On the main level the proposed plan includes a mudroom, sunroom and direct access to the two car garage.
Lori Auerbach is a Realtor with the Vanderblue Team at The Higgins Group.