When you decide to sell your home your home there’s so much to do: find a Realtor®, do touch-ups, get that balky air conditioner fixed, look into staging… It’s no wonder that sometimes things fall between the cracks. Big things.  Finding a good Realtor® is key and they will help do the items below and so much more. Robbyn Battles your local La Crescenta, La Canada-Flintridge Realtor®, has worked with many home sellers— she will be sure to help you the to-do’s below are not overlooked.
Heed this sound advice, and there’s a good chance selling your house won’t be nearly as stressful as everyone tells you it is.


To-do No. 1: Google your address

Not all sellers scour the Internet to find out what’s being said about their property, but they should. Nearly all buyers—90%—search online during their hunt for a home, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. You should be aware of what your online listing looks like since it could influence the kinds of concerns buyers will have.

Watch out for Zillow and other online estimates many times the site’s estimated value very different from your true home’s value.  It might be because tax records have the wrong information about the number of bedrooms or bathrooms your house has, and this is easily fixed. Many times theses estimates are simply off and you will need heavy social media marketing to out perform the online estimates. Robbyn Battles and JounHart Real Estate know how to do this. Consider this too: Google Maps’ street view of your property may not show improvements that you’ve made, so you’ll want to be sure to include those updates in your listing.

To-do No. 2: Account for improvements and issues

California requires disclosures where you will list all the problems you’ve solved while you’ve lived there as well as improvements. This could include chimney fires, water damage, or a flood in the basement. This will also include new paint, updated kitchen, new windows, as some examples. Whether you solved the problem or not,  Robbyn Battles will stress to you the importance of disclosure no matter how big or small the problem. The best method to complete these disclosures is to walk room to room once on your own and then Robbyn Battles will walk room to room once last time with you to clearly understand your remarks and ensure nothing has been missed. Don’t fret about disclosures,  disclosing invisible improvements that you’ve made, like re-grading or adding a French drain system, can also be a great source of comfort for buyers.

To-do No. 3: Check your real estate agent’s references

An agent’s bad behavior or incompetence could cost you time, money, and peace of mind, so it’s well worth taking extra steps to find the best real estate agent for you. Ask friends for recommendations.

Check that the people you’re considering have a current real estate license—with no complaints filed against them. Meet with the agent and reach out to a few of their references directly.

Real estate agents should be happy to provide a number of references for a new client to call. Don’t think just because someone has hundreds of online reviews that will make them the best agent you. Look at their consistency in your neighborhood or surrounding neighborhood as well as the ears they have been in business. 2-4 years in real estate may not be enough experience to provide you with the comfort level when selling one of your largest assets. As far as talking to your friends about a real estate agent recommendation, here are some questions to ask:

  • Did you have confidence in your real estate agent?
  • Do you think he/she had good knowledge of the local market?
  • Did your agent communicate well and keep you informed during the entire transaction?
  • Do you think that he/she negotiated well on your behalf?
  • Did your agent have good vendors who could assist you?
  • Did your agent return calls/emails in a timely fashion?
  • Would you recommend this person? Why? (Or why not?)

To-do No. 4: Insist on social media marketing

You staged your home beautifully, picked a competitive price, and listed the property, but there’s something else you’ll need to prepare before you’re fully ready to sell—a social media marketing plan. Video tours, floor plans, and photo galleries promoted on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are must-dos, Robbyn Battles will add more than just the previous standards.

“You want to make sure that your agent is using all avenues to attract the right buyer for your home,” she explains. “Make sure your home has a presence on your agent’s website, their agency’s website, and is promoted on various sites that will market the home and give information about open houses.”

To-do No. 5: Make sure the doorbell rings

Ah, attention to detail. It’s those little cosmetic repairs that could cost you your home sale. If buyers see that you can’t even be bothered to repair a busted doorbell, they’re automatically going to think about what else may need fixing and view the home negatively. In addition, clean the front door and front porch. Buyers will stand and review your home while they wait for the door to open. Make sure they are looking at a neat and tidy first impression.

Remember, “First impressions make all the difference,” says Robbyn Battles. “A well-kept home, starting with the view from the curb, gives the perception that the seller has great pride in the home and has taken good care of it—which translates into less energy and costs for the buyer as they prepare to move in.”

To-do No. 6: Clean inside everything

Storage is a huge selling point for homes. So be warned: Buyers are going to poke around inside closets, cabinets, ovens, refrigerators, and even the dishwasher, whether they’re cleaned or not—so you’d better make sure they are clean.

Spending the money on a service to deep-clean your home will come back to you at least 10 times in your sales price. Even if you’ve swept up and scrubbed all surfaces to a shine, you’re not done until dust, crumbs, and creepy crawlies are cleaned out from within the small spaces too.

To-do No. 7: Clarify which items are not included

You don’t want a buyer to fall in love with your house because of the custom window treatments and then rescind their offer when they find out the curtains aren’t for sale.

The CAR contract says that anything bolted to the wall or ceiling goes to the buyer unless specifically excluded in the contract. If you want to take your flat-screen TV, chandelier, or custom pot rack, be sure to disclose this when the house goes on the market. This way buyers don’t bank on owning that item and wind up disappointed. Many times Robbyn Battles will suggest having some items removed and replaced prior to the home going on the market. Every circumstance is different so the details can be discussed prior to the home being placed on the market so the seller is always comfortable and confident with how their home is presented.

When you’re ready to sell your home connect with Robbyn Battles, JohnHart Real Estate. In the meantime use my direct link to check your homes value and recent sales in your neighborhood. Check my homes value