The Short List: Sandy Petermann-Williams’ Tips for Homeowners Entering the Selling Market

by Rachel Mazanec

Sandy Petermann-Williams

Sandy Petermann-Williams, a Realtor at RE/MAX The Woodlands & Spring.

Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we talked with Sandy Petermann-Williams, a Realtor at RE/MAX The Woodlands & Spring.

When homeowners make the decision to put their home on the market, one of the first things they should do is contact a Realtor to guide them through the selling process, which begins long before the first showing.

“Every seller wants their home to sell fast and bring top dollar. Well, it’s not luck that makes that happen, it is careful planning and knowing how to professionally spruce up the home,” said Sandy Petermann-Williams, a Realtor at RE/MAX The Woodlands & Spring. “Keep in mind that when buyers enter a home they begin making a mental list of what they can visually see wrong with the home, which ultimately affects the amount of the offer.”

Petermann-Williams offers the following recommendations to homeowners entering the selling market:

1. Make a to-do list. Work with the Realtor to compose a list of any structural or cosmetic repairs that are needed. Unresolved structural repairs will come up on an inspection report, possibly delaying closing, while needed cosmetic repairs could prove a distraction to a potential buyer.

2. First impressions count. Pressure wash the exterior, clean out the gutters and make sure the windows shine. A well-manicured lawn and landscaping that frames the entryway enhances the exterior of the home, and may help reduce the amount of time on the market.

3. White-glove clean. In addition to a very recent dusting, floors shining or freshly vacuumed and no dishes in the sink, clutter should be reduced in all areas of the home to make it appear larger, giving prospective buyers a feel for the space. That includes countertops as well as cabinets, closets and all other storage areas.

4. Invest in staging. “Staging is an investment, but a great return on your dollar,” Petermann-Williams said, adding that 95 percent of homes staged by an Accredited Staging Professional sell in 11 days or less for 17 percent more, when compared to nonstaged homes of 90 days on the market.

Petermann-Williams suggests that sellers ask their Realtor to take them on a house-hunting trip to different properties so they can compare the appeal of a staged versus nonstaged home.

5. Hire a professional photographer. “Photographs say it all,” Petermann-Williams said. “Since most buyers find the property on the Internet, it’s very important to provide high-quality photos for that all-important first look.”

Sandy Petermann-Williams has been selling real estate in the Houston area since 2006. A member of the Melton Team, Petermann-Williams has gained knowledge of the Woodlands and Spring real estate markets. In 2009, Petermann-Williams became an Independent Realtor with RE/MAX The Woodlands & Spring, and has found a great deal of success as a real estate agent.

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