14 Tips When Selling Your House
- Take care of your landscape.
In real estate sales, first impressions count. Some of the first things buyers are going to notice as they pull up to your house are the landscape – lawn, plants, flowerbeds, etc. You don’t have to be extravagant, install a fountain or even hire a professional, you just need to tidy up and make sure things look neat. Mow the lawn, trim your bushes and buy a few bags of mulch to pour in the flower beds to tie things together. This is one of the simple improvements that you can do. Make it count!
- Remove clutter.
One of the most cost-effective home selling tips is to make your home clutter free! You want to maximize the perceived space in the home. The more clutter, the more uncomfortable things will feel. Go through everything and clear out all the non-essentials. Even if you don’t feel like going through all of your stuff and sorting them, you should at least put things away in places where buyers won’t be looking – so no cramming stuff into closets or the garage. Rent a storage space if you need to.
- Paint your interior if it needs it.
Dark, dreary colors can shrink the perception of space. Old, stained paint makes rooms look dated. By painting with contemporary colors, and ideally with a little insight from an interior designer, you can change the whole feel of your home. There is not another home improvement that will give you more bang for your buck than a fresh coat of paint. From a selling standpoint, it is important to stick with neutral colors. Remember selling your home is not about personal preferences, but appealing to the masses. Stick with off white and light creamy colors for maximum benefit.
- Put up a sign in the yard.
With all the emphasis on online marketing – which is critical, of course – it can be easy to forget about the basics. Putting a “For Sale” sign in the yard will let everyone know what’s going on, and makes it easier for people to find the house. Some folks want to “keep their home a secret” for a multitude of reasons. This frankly is a mistake. Home sellers should never underestimate the power of real estate signage. Many homes have been sold over the years due to a sign.
- Make sure your photos are exceptional.
The pictures you post on your listing can make or break your sale. They are the first thing anyone sees, and are worth the expense to hire a professional. So many sellers hire a real estate agent, but don’t bother to check on one of the most important parts of the selling process – how does the home being marketed look online? This is such a vital consideration, yet so many sellers underestimate the importance. Your home’s photography is a gateway to a buyer’s perception of the property – good or bad!
- Consider a video tour.
The best Real Estate agents today are utilizing some form of video or slideshows, in addition to photos. Buyers like to take a tour before they decide to visit, which a video allows. This is an exceptional way to market a property. Home buyers will probably look at the photos first, but once they take a look at the video, it will seal the deal, and they will be scheduling a showing.
- Make sure you are marketing using all channels – particularly online.
Old school Real Estate agents can sometimes be slow to adopt new marketing channels, which is why you should hire someone who has a demonstrated ability to utilize the web. A Realtor with a website is great, but you also want to use someone who has a complete understanding of how to make your home shine online. Real Estate agents who have command of their online presence understand the importance of making your home “stand out” from the competition. Again, it all starts with your photography. Without good photos you can be all over the internet and it won’t matter because your presentation will be lousy. Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Linkedin and Twitter. If they are looking for a home, we will be marketing in these channels. You could very well see an increase in activity.
- Take advantage of good lighting.
A bright, cheery home is more inviting to buyers. Let the sunlight in if you can, and add some better lighting if your home is dim. Even buying brighter light bulbs can help. One of the things you can do is to make sure all of your curtains are drawn and lights remain on when there is a scheduled showing. Again, the presentation of your home is critical. Small things like lighting can make a big difference with no money coming out of your pocket!
- Consider a professional cleaning.
A clean home is inviting to buyers, whereas a dirty home can turn them away faster than just about anything. The easiest way to know your home is spotless and looking its best is to hire a professional cleaning company. Make sure your kitchen and baths are spotless. Buyers will pay closer attention to these areas. In addition, make sure your carpets are as clean as possible. If need be, consider having your carpets professionally cleaned. This is one of those things where spending a few hundred dollars can save you thousands by preventing the buyer from thinking they need to replace the carpets immediately.
- Make sure you repair the things that your Real Estate agent advises.
Many renovations are arguably a bad investment for sellers, as it is hard to get your money back in the sale. But if your real estate agent advises that you fix some things, like faulty wiring, a hole in the fence, a leaking toilet or a visible stain in the ceiling, you should do it. These are things that the buyer may balk at, or demand a lower price because they feel immediate attention is needed. Secondarily when the buyer does their home inspection, more than likely they will be trying to renegotiate the sale price.
- Address all odors.
Smell is powerful, and can easily drive someone away from buying your home. However, you may not even realize the smells are there. Ask an outsider that you trust, like your Realtor, to let you know if there are any unpleasant odors – like pet or cooking odors – and address them before you show. Believe it or not, pet odors can kill a home sale. This happens because some buyers fear they won’t be able to get rid of the odor once they purchase the house. Don’t take any kind of chance with home odors – remove them!
- Make your kitchen appealing.
Many buyers are very focused on kitchens, which is why you want to make sure yours is reasonably appealing. Formica counter-tops from the 70’s may need to be updated, and you might want to install a new appliance or two if the existing ones are in really bad shape. Most Real Estate agents will tell you that the kitchen is the most important room in the home. It makes sense as it is typically the place where we spend most of our time. Do what you can to make your kitchen as appealing as possible.
- Get organized.
The people that are looking at your home are going to open every door, including closets and the garage. You may help your sale by making sure these areas are relatively organized. The better they look, the easier it is for buyers to imagine that they can fit all their things in the home. Organizing your closets and garage should be done as part of the process.
- Take your pets somewhere for showings.
It is hard for pet owners to imagine sometimes, but some people really don’t like pets. As a dog or cat owner, you may not want to hang out with such people, but they might make a great offer on your home. Take the pets somewhere safe and comfortable, like a friend’s house. Having evidence of your pet, including their odors can be a real turn off to some people.