Selling Secret #1: Have a plan & budget
Before you do anything, get advice from your real estate agent. Make sure you get a list of what should be done to your home along with an approximate cost for each recommendation. Prioritize your actions based on your budget. If you don’t have the money to do anything to your home, decide whether an “As Is” sale will work for you.
Selling Secret #2: Fix the obvious
Replace door handles (especially the main entry), cabinet hardware, make sure closet doors are on track, fix leaky faucets and clean & repair the grout. Patch cracked walls. Make sure your doors don’t stick, especially after applying a fresh coat of paint. If you have termite or wood rot damage in your pest report, decide whether to make the repairs. Do not mask over known problems.
Selling Secret #3: Carpet & Paint
In most cases, the two best investments a home seller can make are 1) a fresh coat of paint and 2) new carpeting. If the carpet is still in good condition, a professional cleaning may be all that’s needed, but in most cases the carpet needs to go. And unless you are a professional interior designer, do not try to pick the colors for your home. The wrong colors or finishes (flat vs. semi-gloss) can actually work against you. Hire a professional to pick the colors. P.S. – put a fresh coat of paint or stain on the front entry door.
Selling Secret #4: Light it up
Maximize the light in your home. After location, good light is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. Do what you have to do make your house bright and cheery – it will make it much more sellable.
Selling Secret #5: Deep Cleaning
Hire a professional cleaning service to perform a deep clean. Windows should also be professionally cleaned. Sliding glass & window door tracks should spotless. The front threshold and door All appliances should be cleaned thoroughly. Thin closets & drawers out.
Selling Secret #6: Conceal the critters
Not everybody is a dog or cat-lover. Buyers don’t want to walk in your home and see a bowl full of dog food, smell the kitty litter box or have tufts of pet hair stuck to their clothes. It will give buyers the impression that your house is not clean. If you’re planning an open house, take your pets out for the day.
Selling Secret #7: Depersonalize your home
One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to de-personalize it. The more personal stuff in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. Remove family photos, memorabilia collections and personal keepsakes. You want buyers looking at your home, not last year’s family vacation.
Selling Secret #8: Staging Your Home
Hire a professional home stager to maximize the full potential of your home. Yes, it costs money, but staging can have a huge impact on the selling price and your time on the market. Also, staged homes photograph well!
Selling Secret #9: Use a professional photographer
Lighting, camera angles, focal points, composition and image size(s) are just a few considerations a professional photographer makes when shooting your home. Great photos drive online traffic. More online traffic means more showings. More showings = more buyers!
Selling Secret #10: Always be ready to show
Your house needs to be “show-ready” at all times – you never know when an agent will call to request a showing. Your home should be available to be shown when a buyer wants to see it – and it has to be in tip-top shape when being shown. Don’t leave dishes in the sink, keep the dishwasher cleaned out, the bathrooms sparkling and make sure not to cook any foods that may leave a lingering odor while your home’s on the market. It’s a bit inconvenient, but it will help get your house sold.
Selling Secret #11: Prepare for a Bidding War!
Find out what your home is worth, then shave 5 to 10 percent off the price. You’ll create a buyer frenzy and will receive multiple offers – and your home will very likely be bid up over what it’s worth. It takes real courage and most sellers just don’t want to risk it, but this approach is the single best strategy to sell a home for top dollar in today’s market.