Clean Up the Interior
First item on this checklist: Remove the clutter! You may want to paint the walls an off-white or neutral color, as it makes the rooms look brighter and spacious. Also, fix any holes in the walls or ceiling. Clean your carpets and wash all tiles and wood floors. Make sure all plumbing fixtures work properly- NO LEAKS!
Hire a Professional
No one knows your local market better than a professional real estate advisor. Having an agent that you feel comfortable with and is looking out for your best interests is one of the smartest moves you can make when you are selling a home.
The Nose Knows
An offensive odor can unintentionally turn a buyer off, so pay attention to cigarette and pet odors. The best way to rid your home of strong odors is to buy an air filter. Either a HEPA or ionic filter will get the job done. Place scented potpourri around the house, or on the day of a showing, bake some cookies or cinnamon rolls for a great aroma.
Get Your Home Inspected
Having your home inspected by a licensed home inspector allows you to make necessary repairs before listing your home. An inspection may help you to price your home realistically, and alert you of any immediate safety issues, like radon or mold. Providing a copy of the inspection report to potential buyers may relieve their concerns, and even waive the inspection contingency.
Set a Fair Price
Have your agent prepare a current market analysis (CMA) showing recent selling prices of homes in your neighborhood comparable to your own. Use this as a base price and then consider your home’s location, special features such as central air or a pool, local schools, and economic conditions in the area to determine the asking price.
Selling in the Right Season
Expenses can add up quickly the longer it takes to sell your home and you will be less likely to find a buyer to pay the asking price. Put your house on the market in the spring or fall, when most buyers are typically looking, and avoid the “seasonal slow periods” of mid-summer and mid-winter.
Marketing Your Home
Whether you are using online or offline methods to market your home, there are a few tried and true methods that get buyers interested. When posting your listing online, write a description that is enticing, simple, and to the point. A picture is worth a thousand words, so showcase your home with many photos that display all of the areas and rooms from multiple angles. Use lawn signs that direct buyers to a website built specifically to market your house so they can check it out without even stepping foot inside.
Stage Your Home
While agents are experts in the field of selling and closing, many are not design savvy. It’s not always easy to get a home into selling condition in a timely manner without some sort of experienced assistance. Professional home stagers are practiced in the art of preparing a home for resale. They work with the “flow” of a home, eliminate clutter, edit and arrange furniture, and even assist in enhancing curbside appeal. With the aid of a professional home stager, your house can make a notable first impression on potential buyers.
First impressions are crucial, and the first area of your home a potential buyer will see is the exterior. Make sure to keep the grass cut and the landscaping neat. Paint or wash the exterior, wash the windows, and check or repair the roof, chimney and gutters.
The Nose Knows
An unpleasant scent can unintentionally turn a buyer off, so be sure to rid your home of cigarette, pet, and other odors prior to showings. Place scented potpourri around the house or, on the day of a showing, bake some cookies or cinnamon rolls for a great aroma.
Don’t Linger Around During Showings
Leave the house when agents are showing your home to prospective buyers or during an open house. This allows buyers to truly shop your house without fear of offending you. It also protects you from hearing how a stranger hates your carpet or drapes. Excessive hovering by an owner scares potential buyers away.