You have a house that you want to sell. It could be a home that you have moved from, an investment property that you want to cash out. You want to get top dollar for your property. Who wouldn’t?
There are so many questions going through your mind. You feel your head spinning and going in so many directions. Let’s face it, you are overwhelmed. How will I do it? You ask.
Rest assured my friend you have come to the right place to get you started. This comprehensive, albeit, a short guide will get your spirits up and put you on the right track.
Let’s go ahead and explore the secrets one by one.
#1 The price has to be right.
There are several ways to determine the price of a property. You can look it up in Zillow and Redfin. There is a caveat here, though. These apps tend to inflate the price.
Another surer way is to ask your real estate agent to run comps in the neighborhood.
Once you have determined the price, go ahead and cut it down by 10 or even 15 percent. It sounds ridiculous. Why should I reduce the price? Once you do, you will have hordes of buyers trying to outbid each other, bringing the price up again.
#2 Take great photographs.
In today’s hi-tech world, a large percentage of buyers will start looking for prospective homes online. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. The first impression, as discussed later, is the most lasting one. Make sure that you showcase your house in all its brilliance.
Let your listing attract your buyer. Get a professional photographer to take at least 30 pictures of your home. The best part of this deal is that there is no cost to the seller. The broker foots the bill, usually for the photos.
#3 The first impression.
This one should be secret number 1, but money is the main object when selling something. For that reason, it comes second – it is as important as the first.
We all know the saying, the first is the last impression. Let’s modify it a bit for our house – the first impression is the only impression.
You want your buyer to feel safe and comfortable as they approach the house. The “energy” has to be positive. The buyer has to be attracted.
The moment a prospective buyer lays their eyes on the house, they have already formed a deep impression. They have made up their minds already. The “curb appeal” is what makes or breaks the deal.
Let’s see what you can do to make sure the prospective buyer loves your home.
Here are a few things to keep in mind. Trim the shrubs and mow the lawn. Clear out any weeds in the driveway. If there are no shrubs, get some inexpensive ones. Add color with flowers at the entrance.
The curb appeal has to be impeccable.
When the door opens, and the buyer walks in, they want to feel “at home.” Clean the porch. Clear the coat closet and other items you put in the entryway. Replace them with a bench, fresh flowers, and some cookies.
Whatever you invest in this, you will probably get it all back without a doubt.
If you have pets, it would be a good idea to send them off on holiday. Buyers don’t want to walk in a house and see a bowl of dog food or smell your cat’s litter.
#4 You are not selling your home. You are selling your kitchen.
The first thing buyers will want to look at is the kitchen. Make sure that it is clean. Don’t leave any dishes in the sink. The aroma has to be appealing.
Statistics show that you will get almost 85% of your money back that you have spent getting the kitchen up to date. Think of it; a buyer might reduce the price by $10,000 if the kitchen does not appeal to them.
There are inexpensive ways of getting the kitchen buyer ready. Use neutral colors to paint the hardware. Look through the buyer’s eyes. Give them a clean canvas to imagine how it will be for them.
A trick I learned is to add one high-end appliance. Why one, you ask? If the buyer sees one expensive appliance, they will feel that all of them are high-end.
#5 You are selling a house, not your home.
Get the home out of the house. Remove as much as possible of your personal stuff. Put it in storage if you have to. Remove family photos and anything that links the house to you.
The idea is that when the buyer walks in, they want to see themselves living in the house. The distractions to this thought need to be minimized, if not removed entirely.
Many folks hire professional stagers. If you are willing to spend some extra cash for a quick turnaround, this would be the right choice. These folks will rearrange your furniture, and if required, get appealing items to enhance the appeal and charm the buyer.
#6 A clean house sells.
Go the extra mile to have your house professionally cleaned. You don’t know where the prospective buyer’s eyes will fall. They have to be attracted to each inch of the house.
Here is a list of areas requiring special cleaning attention.
- Room corners where dust collects
- Kitchen cabinets – inside and out
- Kitchen appliances – inside and out
- Windows – inside and out
- Bathroom floors, tubs, tiles, accessories, cabinets
- Scuffed walls, doors, baseboards (as mentioned in #7, get them painted if you can. The payoff is much more)
- The basement and garage – keep them stuff-free and clean.
- Shelves in all rooms
- All closets – best to keep them as empty as possible. Leave some stuff neatly arranged to give an idea of ample space.
#7 Avoid over upgrading.
In the hopes of getting top dollar for their properties, the owners spend thousands in getting major upgrades. There is no return on investment here. It is an excellent idea to do inexpensive fixes, like a new coat of paint, cleaning the curtains or getting less expensive new ones. Replacing the door handles work wonders. Make sure that the closets are opening and closing with ease. If there is a leaking faucet, fix it.
These simple upgrades will give you a higher percentage of return on your investment.
#8 Get the right agent and broker.
Your broker will play a crucial role in this deal. Make sure you have done a background check on them. Ask them if they keep up with the MLS. The more tech-savvy they are, the better it is for you. They should be aware of the comps; they must know the neighborhood.
If an agent does not work out, be brave. Let them know that you need to get the house sold, and you are willing to go to another broker. But give them a chance. Don’t go agent jumping, as it will leave you with an unsold house and no agent to help you sell it.
#9 Light up your home.
Make sure that there is plenty of light in the house when a prospective buyer walks in. Lighting is only second to location when it comes to selecting a house.
Light it up. Increase the wattage of the bulbs. Get new lampshades. Clean the windows. Trim the trees and light-blocking shrubs. Do whatever it takes.
#10 Put yourself out there.
Go ahead and spread the word. Use the help of your neighbors to sell your house. They will be more than happy to get a buyer who they know is in the market for a home.
Use the power of social media to let the world know you are selling. Get together with your listing agent and make a plan. Facebook, Twitter, and email are some ways to spread the news. You can go wild. If you are paying for advertising, make a budget which you can afford.
These are 10 simple and common sense secrets to keep in mind when you decide to sell your home.
Before you finalize the decision to sell your home, read this article, make a checklist, budget for the extra expenses.
Wishing you the best of luck in getting your house sold. The feeling of elevation and achievement is overwhelming when the board outside the house changes from “For Sale” to “Sold.” Good luck.
If you have experience in selling houses and have any other ideas, please feel to share your experiences.