Bainbridge Island is well known for its views of the Cascade Mountains, beautiful gardens, serene forests, and pristine beaches. It is rich in history, charm, and natural beauty. With so much to offer, it is no wonder the demand for housing is high, and home ownership on Bainbridge Island is highly desirable.
But we cannot deny the market is shifting. Bainbridge Island’s market is still strong, and it is just becoming a more balanced one. If you are considering selling your home, here’s what you need to know.
“We are going from a crazy market where you would list a home and five days later be able to choose from multiple offers. Now it may take several weeks or even more for a contract to materialize,” says Anne Reichard, Broker and REALTOR® with Compass Real Estate in Bainbridge. “Today, you cannot put your home on the market ‘as-is’ and expect a profitable return within days. It is important to take time to prepare your home for the market so you can yield the best financial outcome.”
There are several things sellers should do to prep their property for sale. Don’t rush, and make sure you follow these essential tips.
Find a great real estate agent
Real estate is likely the biggest asset most people have. You must get the best representation to protect it.
“This might go without saying, but do your research,” Reichard says. “It’s essential to get the best representation to achieve your financial objectives. I recommend interviewing at least three real estate agents to ensure the best fit for you.”
Reichard highlights the importance of speaking directly to a real estate agent to assess chemistry and qualities like honesty, integrity, and friendliness. “You want an agent you can trust who can navigate you through the home selling process.”
Ensure your agent is knowledgeable about your specific market and has the skill set to give you valuable advice. Consider how the agent will market your home. Do they have a strategy for photos and virtual tours? How about strong negotiating skills or the ability to offer home staging?
Curb appeal gets buyers through the door
Positioning your home in its best light is crucial. You want to ensure a potential buyer’s first impression is good.
“A home’s curb appeal should entice buyers to inquire further. Some things to consider: Cut back trees and shrubbery so that they accent your home, not hide it; plant grass where needed; mulch. A fresh layer of mulch can completely transform a property. Update your front door if needed. This can be as easy as adding a fresh coat of paint,” Reichard says.
Reichard also reminds clients to declutter. Less is more when it comes to home décor.
“Decluttering makes a home seem larger and allows potential buyers to envision themselves in the home,” Reichard says. Decluttering also means depersonalizing the home. It is challenging for potential buyers to visualize themselves living in the house if surrounded by someone else’s wedding and baby photos. The goal is to create a blank canvas so buyers can project their vision of living there.
Fixing the small stuff means not sweating the big stuff. Tending to all those deferred maintenance projects will go a long way in getting top dollar and selling quickly.
“Make sure everything that needs fixing, such as cracks in walls, hardware, and leaky faucets, is complete. Ensure your HVAC system and fireplace are up to date on routine maintenance. These elements will come up in a home inspection if not taken care of, and buyers may think your home isn’t well taken care of,” says Reichard.
Finally, clean, clean, clean. Deep cleaning is essential even for the neatest of people. And don’t forget the windows. Particular attention should be paid to the kitchen and bathrooms to ensure they sparkle and shine.