5 things to do if you want to sell your Southern Maryland house

Kimberly Bean
Kimberly Bean
Published on February 19, 2020

There are throngs of Southern Maryland home buyers and not enough homes on the market for them to buy. Like last year, 2020 should see continued robust buyer demand, according to George Ratiu, Realtor.com’s senior economist.

This is great news for any homeowner who is thinking about selling. But, even though demand is high and supply is low, there is still competition in the marketplace, and buyers are still particular about the homes they want to see.

Let’s make yours one that is high on their list by doing 5 things to get home buyers out of their cars and into your home.

1. Hire the right Southern Maryland real estate agent

There’s more to listing a home for sale than for-sale signs and lockboxes. Even in the best sellers’ market, homes need to be professionally marketed.

Since your home is such a huge financial investment, now is not the time to feel you have to be loyal to your Aunt Martha or cousin Joe who happens to hold a real estate license.

You need an ace marketer. Ask for examples of how an agent has marketed homes in the past. Look for professional photographs, compelling presentations, and a broad range of marketing venues.

2. Avoid trying to test the market

Unless you really don’t need to sell your home and you have lots of time to let it sit on the market, list your home as close to market value as possible.

Yes, it’s tempting to list higher, testing the market to see if a higher price will fly. But the chances are that it won’t, and your listing will lose its most valuable marketing period. Lowering the price later tells buyers and their agents that something might be wrong with your home.

Listen to your listing agent. If you took our advice and hired wisely, he or she knows just where to price the home.

3. Grab them at the curb

Agents know that home buyers make their decision about whether to see the inside of a home while sitting at the curb, looking at the outside. We’ve had many clients who, despite the compelling interior photos of a home, decide not to tour it when they see the exterior.

Appearances do count, especially in real estate. Take the time to spruce up the exterior of your Southern Maryland home, from landscaping to paint, if required.

Some inexpensive fixes that add star power include:

  • Fresh paint on the front door
  • Colorful plants in pots on the porch
  • New house numbers to match the new hardware on the freshly-painted front door
  • New mailbox
  • New front door mat
  • Clean windows
  • Fresh layer of mulch in the planting beds
  • Mowed lawn
  • Pruned trees

4. Do sweat the small stuff

It’s easy to overlook small problems when you’ve lived in your home for a while. You’ve learned to ignore that dripping faucet, the wiggly banister, or the rip in a window screen.

But home buyers will notice these problems and, if there are enough of them, your home will appear uncared for.

Before the first home buyer tours your home, do your own tour, checking each room from ceiling to floor. At a bare minimum, do the following:

  • Remove cobwebs near the ceiling
  • Check that all the light fixtures work
  • Check the windows for cracked glass and torn screens
  • Do any of the baseboards need repair, replacement, or a coat of paint?
  • Inspect the floor coverings for signs of wear

5. Inform the appraiser

Appraisers aren’t mind readers, and many welcome input from a homeowner. Gather up any documentation you may have on home improvements you’ve performed or had professionally performed and major purchases or replacements (such as a new HVAC system, roof replacement, major plumbing overhaul, etc.) and organize them in a folder.

Also, if you have information on any neighboring home sales that the appraiser may not be privy to, write about them, and include the document in the folder.

For instance, Joe down the street sold his home for $50,000 less than market value. You know that he took the low offer because he needed to quickly move to take a job transfer. This is important information for the appraiser to have, so by all means, document it and include it in the folder.

Don’t hover over the appraiser while he or she is working, but do mention that you have a folder of information you’d like to pass along.

Don’t take anything personally 

Here’s a sixth tip: It’s not personal, it’s business.

It’s hard to set your emotions aside when you’re selling your Southern Maryland home. This is a business transaction, and you may need to keep reminding yourself of this fact.

Don’t be insulted by lowball offers, suggestions for improvements, attempts to negotiate repairs, or snide remarks you may overhear from potential buyers.

Divorce yourself from the home – treat it as the commodity it now is, and you’ll be able to negotiate like a pro.

Accokeek MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309

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