How to Sell Your Home for More

Thinking of selling your house? Today we’ll go over how to prepare your place so you can get the best price for it!

What You Need to Know to Sell Your House for More

Selling a house, especially when it is your first place, can be overwhelming. Even in a seller’s market like we have here in Raleigh, you have work to do.  

You have to fix up your space, stage your house, and have it ready for showings. 

Let’s not forget this added layer of social distancing and safety we need to practice while we deal with the coronavirus. 

However, selling your house at the best price can also be a huge boost to your finances and bring you closer to your goals. 

The difficult part can be getting to that point

Which is why I’m glad Mariella Guillama is here today. She’s an award -winning Real Estate Broker at Daymark Realty.

We used Daymark when we sold our first home and for buying our current place. We’re super happy with the experience. 

In this episode, we’ll get into:

  • finding the best price to list it 
  • what mistakes to avoid so you're not wasting time or money
  • how to prepare your place so it wows potential buyers and you get top dollar offers 

We have a lot to cover, so let’s get started!

Resources to Get Top Dollar When Selling Your House

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Key Takeaways for Selling your House

If you're busy and can't catch the whole episode, no worries! Here are the key lessons:

Be objective. 

One of the areas where I see that it can be very hard to do is pricing your home.

Here's where I feel like having a trusted and knowledgeable partner, like your real estate agent can really help you out.

Mariella gave a high level overview but you can see that there are a lot of factors that are considered before coming up with the right price to list your home.

Consider the ROI. 

As you're preparing your house and making it appealing to buyers. Look for ways that you can increase its perceived value without spending a ton of money.

You hear about paint colors, which does seem basic, but it makes a true impression.

We had that experience when we were selling our house, we neutralize all the rooms except for one, which at that time was our nursery and our kids room.

We even put in the paperwork that we would gladly paint it whatever color the potential buyer would want but when it came to feedback in the showings that's exactly the same room that kept coming up.

The seemingly small things really do matter.

Putting a little bit of money and effort upfront. To have these great showings can help you get top dollar.

Think of the big picture. 

As you're preparing to sell your house, this is one stage. What are you going to do afterwards? Are you moving to a new area? Are you moving to a home that's a better fit for the size of your family now?

Having your goals firmly in your mind makes the decision process much easier.

I know we only scratched the surface. There's so much to talk about and I'd love to chat some more about this. So if you want, please join us in our free and private Facebook group, thriving families. We're all about helping and encouraging one another.

With our family and financial goals. We love to swap stories, ideas, and tips. Just head over to simplify and We'd love to see you there!

Selling Your House? Here's What You Need to Know

Elle Martinez: When we were selling our old place, there were so many things that we didn't know about was our first home at that time. It can be overwhelming and a complicated process, but one of the first things we struggled with just was trying to figure out what. How much to sell it for.

Right. A lot of families, this is going to be a huge financial impact for that price. And they want to get a good price, but at the same time they want to be realistic.

I've talked to some people and you've probably with clients seeing where they think that. What they bought the house for and what they put into the house is automatically like that's going to be the price, whether things in the market has changed.

Can you take me high level, how do you figure out what is a good price to put the house for a market on?

Marielle Guillama: Yeah. So the first thing definitely as a seller, what you want to do is reach out to a real estate agent to do a, what they call a CMA, a comparative market analysis. They're going to take into consideration comparables.

In my case, what, what we do is we definitely want to get comparables sales in your immediate neighborhood first. Okay. So we want to look in your subdivision first. If there are none, there's nothing in your subdivision, then we go outside your subdivision.

We're not appraisers of course, but I worked closely with an appraiser early on in my career so learned some things from him.

So in your subdivision first, if not, you go outside your subdivision, depending on what type of area you live in. If you live in an area that's in the city, in a HOA. So the max, we want to go out as two miles.

Then when you gather three or four comparables, then you start making adjustments.

You're looking at adjustments anywhere from condition of your home compared to the sales number of bathrooms. We never make adjustments on bedrooms because that is based on square footage.

Elle Martinez: Oh, okay.

Marielle Guillama: Always going to do an analysis based on square footage, but bathrooms definitely, you know, a number of bathrooms, you're going to get an adjustment.

Of course, Condition, like I said, if you've had any updates, we definitely take that into consideration lot size, you know, we can't give you as a seller, the same value of a home to have, you know, if you have a quarter of an acre and then a comparable has an acre, we have to make a negative adjustment on your home.

So there is a process that we take to determine price on a house.

Elle Martinez: Yeah. I think one of the the big takeaways for me is How objective that analysis is, I think on our side, you know, homeowners or home sellers, we have this emotional attachment.

And so we were like, I've been here for so many years. This is a great neighborhood and so in your mind, you're thinking, Hey, this is going to be this price, but I think that's why it's so important to have a partner. If you have a real estate agent, who's very knowledgeable at the local area. That makes a huge difference because you kind of need that objective pair of eyes to tell you, Hey, that, that decoration, you know, you did this update, but this is not what the market wants, or this is not what people were using it for to kind of temper your expectations.

Marielle Guillama: Yeah. And, and the fact, you know, if you're working with an agent that also works with a lot of buyers they know what buyers are looking for.

They work with buyers closely. They hear their comments, they see what they like, what they don't like so, you know, that experience is good for our listing agent to bring into a seller .

Most buyers, don't like the shocking pink color, you'll have to neutralize that, you know, things like that.

Yeah, in terms of comparables, there is a process that we take, because the goal is for your home to appraise.

When you sell your home, I mean, a buyers can, you can be asking whatever you want for your home. And you may find a buyer that's willing to pay it. But once you get to the, to the point of the appraisal, which is the lender, you know, sends an appraiser out there and the home doesn't appraise it and you're back at square one.

So the goal is always for the home to, to appraise, you know, to continue going forward to closing.

Elle Martinez: Many home sellers they're looking to get the most money and they're looking for any tip to save. And one of the things people say is , you have to list it, you know, certain time of year is better, or, it could be day of the week.

I mean, I've seen everything on the internet. When you're putting your house for sale, how much of is that true?

What should you consider when you deciding when's the best time to put it up for the market?

Marielle Guillama: So right now in this crazy market today. Okay. Like now any day, basically everybody, you know, people believe that spring is the best time, but if you do a little bit more research in. In my case, I always recommend to put the home on the market maybe a little bit before spring.

Why? Because you have less competition. Okay. Spring, everybody wants to put their house in spring time. So if you do it. Maybe at the late, late winter. Okay. You're going to have more interesting your house, right?

Because there's less competition. I mean, right now there's, there's no competition. It's a sellers market, but in a typical market, I would say put it on the market a little bit before spring time.

Elle Martinez: Yeah. Yeah. And I do appreciate you mentioning, in this market, we're in Raleigh, North Carolina, because it does vary where you are.

Like we mentioned before, we started recording my mom different part of North Carolina, and it's a totally different market. It's a buyers market down there it seems. And here's the seller.

But. Even though you are, you know, in a great market savior or seller you're here in Raleigh, there's still some things that you could do to maximize your price. So do you have any tips for potential sellers?

Like what do they need to do now to prepare their house? What projects or what updates? You mentioned, like neutralizing, maybe the paints that they have, some bold color choices.

Marielle Guillama: Yeah. So neutralized or paint. That's key. I know it sounds boring, but most buyers don't react very well to shocking colors. It's a personal choice, right.

When you paint your, your dining room, maybe a dark color or a bright color. So you want to depersonalize and I'm know, everybody has heard that in HGTV and it's true.

So neutral paint. I always tell my sellers to professionally clean their carpets. Okay.

One thing I always recommend in terms of carpet is to try and go the dry route instead of the wet route, especially if you have pets.

If you go the wet route, you may just start an odor the owners may just come out of the carpet. Unfortunately, I learned that the hard way with a past customer mind that I was selling their condo. At the last minute she decided to. Clean her carpets so what method.

She had a large pet, a large dog. And the day before closing the buyer requested a credit towards the carpet, but definitely you want to neutralize the paint, the carpet.

If you're looking in the kitchen if you have a coil range, I would recommend to replace that with at least a one of those clear glass, the glass top ranges. Other than that, I mean, I think it definitely matching appliances help as well.

Elle Martinez: Yeah, I think you bring up good points, I was helping my mom out.

She had a pre-existing condition, so I was her eyes and ears when she was buying home last year of all years.

Even though as a buyer, maybe your objective you're like, these are my must haves and things I like. Just being in the space. If you don't prepare it for showing. Right. Changes.

When I was talking with our realtor, I don't want her to pay more than this because I felt if they didn't take the here, the condition of their home. I want a lower price. So she could have more money to maybe fix it up or have a buffer. I mean, those things and maybe structurally, they were fine, but if they're not taking care of details, like the carpet was much older.

The cabinets weren't aligned, like those little things that you could do before that doesn't cost a lot of money definitely puts a better impression.

I do want to talk to you about that line, where you as a seller, want to fix it up enough that it sells for a reasonable price, right?

But you don't want to put a ton of money. Cause I think some people go the opposite route where they're like, well, if I put this in I'm going to get immediately get that money out.

Have you seen like any mistakes with that with sellers? How do you kind of nudge them in the right direction of where to spend their time and effort?

Marielle Guillama: If you're talking about a single family home, you want to have for sure, your exterior in good condition. Okay. Because when the buyer goes to your home with their agent, they're going to be looking at the exterior as well. If they see that the exterior hasn't been maintained in a proper way, they're going to start wondering what else may be wrong with the home.

I think cosmetic wise, We'll go along way. You're not going to get a hundred percent back of what you put into the house right before putting it on the market but how that helps you is getting more money for your house, either full price or in this market over the asking price. If your home is presentables.

Once a buyer walks in through the home and they start looking, Oh, the home needs carpet, the home needs paint.

They start deducting automatically in their minds, off your purchase price. And many times their deductions are not realistic. They don't re they may think that the carpet's going to replace it. It's going to cost $5,000. In reality, they may just cost 2000. So they start deducting and then.

When they get to the next house that they're looking at, and that house doesn't need as much updating, then yours automatically gets kicked off that list. So you want to stay at least, you know, at the top of the list so they can decide to go with your home. But so getting it ready for the market with paint.

Now if your carpet is old, then the recommendation is to replace it, you know, just in full, so paint carpet, your appliances need to be clean and in good condition.

Kitchen cabinets, what I tell my sellers is if they're dated, replace the doors just replace the cabinet doors. Okay. If anything, if you want to paint, paint the cabinets, the cabinet boxes, but replace the doors, the cabinet doors, and that'll go a long way and I'll save you a lot of money.

I believe that you will get more for your house, if you do some of these updates.

Elle Martinez: Yeah. You have a lot of great tips and I know there are people who are thinking of putting their house on the market and now they have a checklist.

Let me do some stuff around the house, but we do have listeners in the Raleigh triangle area and they are looking for a real estate agent and a partner for them for selling their home.

So if any of them want to reach out to you or to Daymark, what's the best way they could do that?

Marielle Guillama: Yep. They can go to Daymark's website, which is www

Our office number is (919) 882-6700, or they can also call my office, which is (919) 744-2703.

We're on social media too. You can reach out to us there. We're ready to help.

Elle Martinez: Yeah, absolutely. It is a crazy market, but you know, we're happy with our home and my mom is happy. She's 10 minutes away. She's right on the Raleigh Knightdale border. So, I mean, it's like a gray area.

Marielle Guillama: That is a great area. I think Knightdale is a great area because it's so close to Raleigh and you can still, you know, it's still affordable.

Elle Martinez: Yes. Which is a key issue for a lot of families. So there's some great spots and it's great to have someone local who knows the area inside and out to guide you to those neighborhoods. So thank you so much for joining me. I hope you have a great morning.

Marielle Guillama: Oh, you too. It was my pleasure. Thanks for having me.

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Music Credit

Our theme song is from Staircases. Additional music by various artists from Audiio.

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