Lake State Realty & Appraisal Blog, Selling a Home

Tips for Selling Your Home

October 8, 2017

Are you thinking of selling your home in the near future? If so, check out these 10 tips for selling your home fast and for top dollar. If you follow these tips you are sure to have a successful sale.

1.   Improve your curb appeal.

 In real estate, first impressions are huge. Make buyers fall in love with your home from the moment they drive up.

  • Refresh planting containers with colorful flowers or add them where prospective buyers would enter the home.
  • Power wash concrete surfaces, the front porch, and even the siding of your home if it looks dirty (although keep a distance so that you do not strip off any paint).
  • Tidy up the front (and rear) yard by removing any garden implements and tools.
  • Maintain a healthy front lawn by fertilizing and reseeding as needed.
  • Kill weeds growing in between cracks in the sidewalk, driveway, and any other walking surface.
  • Top off any gardens with fresh mulch, you will be amazed at the difference it makes.
  • Trim any overgrown vegetation and lower limbs of trees.
  • Replace any burnt out exterior lights.
Tips For Selling Your Home - Curb Appeal
Power Washer On Sidewalk

2.   Freshen up the front door.

 As stated before, first impressions are key and a clean and unblemished front door may be the difference between a buyer just liking a property and falling in love with it. Consider either refinishing or replacing the front door if it looks worn.

3.   De-Clutter your home.

   One of the best tips for selling your home fast and for top dollar is to remove any clutter. Not only do cluttered rooms look smaller, they can cause potential buyers to feel stressed. Before you put your home on the market is the time to decide whether to keep those spare Tupperware containers your mother in law gave you last Christmas or toss them. Go through closets, spare bedrooms, and the basement to get rid of anything that will not be coming to your next home with you.  Also, if you have a lot of possessions that you would like to keep consider renting temporary storage to store some of your stuff while marketing your home.  Many companies offer a big discount for the first month of storage so it isn’t even that expensive and can have a huge impact on the value and perception of your home.

Tips for Selling Your Home - De-Clutter
If any of your rooms or closets look like this you will want to de-clutter them before marketing your home.

4.   Clean!

  After cleaning their home, most people feel relieved and enjoy spending time at home more. The same is true with prospective buyers, if they do not enjoy the short time spent in your home during a showing they are less likely to put in an offer.

  • Clean windows can bring in more light which makes the space in a room feel more welcoming.
  • Remove cobwebs in the basement, garage, and front porch gives the impression of a well taken care of home.
  • Deep clean all bathrooms.
  • Clean the kitchen so that it sparkles. FYI: The kitchen was found to be the most bacteria ridden room in the home according to the 2011 NSF International Household Germ Study.
Tips for Selling Your Home - Clean
A clean bathroom is a happy bathroom.

5.   De-personalize your home.       

   One of the often overlooked tips for selling your home is to de-personalize it. As much as you may love your moose antler chandelier, a potential buyer may not. Buyers like to imagine themselves in their potential future home so do not let your personal tastes get in the way of that. Unfortunately, that can mean removing or placing in storage anything that is uniquely you. Examples can include personal photos, taste-specific furniture, unique light fixtures, and controversial artwork.

Tips for Selling Your Home - De-Personalize It
Unless you are selling a rustic cabin in the woods, it is probably a good idea to replace that moose antler chandelier with something a bit more universal.

6.   Paint the walls.

   Paint walls in a neutral color if they are not already. Fresh paint in a light and neutral color can brighten a room and make it look more inviting. Best of all, painting a room makes it appear clean, and fresh!

Tips for Selling Your House - Paint the Walls
Paint the walls a neutral, light color which can brighten a room and actually make it appear larger.

7.   Ensure adequate lighting!

Maximize the amount of light in your home. If you are looking to get top dollar for your home you are going to have to make sure every room has ample lighting.

  • Open or remove the drapes.
  • Replace burnt out light bulbs.
  • Increase the wattage of existing light bulbs-if they are insufficient.
  • Clean all your windows.
  • Trim the bushes around your home that are blocking any windows.
  • Add bright lamps to any rooms that do not have built in lighting.

Any little bit you can do to improve the interior lighting will be a hit with potential buyers and make your home more salable.

Tips for Selling Your House - Improve Lighting
Having adequate lighting is paramount to making your home appeal to buyers.

8.   Stage your home.

According to the 2017 NAR Profile of Home Staging, 33% of buyers agents and 29% of sellers agents said staging a home increased the dollar value of an offer between 1% and 5%. The living room was found to be the most important room to stage followed by the master bedroom and kitchen.

Tips for Selling Your House - Stage Your Home
The living room is the most important room to stage as it often feels empty and unwelcoming without any furniture or decorations.

9.   Remove evidence of pets.

  One of the most overlooked tips for selling your home is removing evidence of your pets. While you may love your pets and have all their accouterments scattered throughout your home, not everyone is cat/dog/lizard friendly. Consider this when showing your home to potential buyers and remove any evidence of your pets.

Tips for Selling Your House - Remove Evidence of Pets
As cute as you think your pets and their stuff might be, some people might not. For that reason it is important to remove evidence of pets prior to showings.

10.   Make your home smell beautiful.

  Every home has a unique odor. This is not necessarily the best case when trying to appeal to a wide range of buyers. When showing your home light candles; run an essential oil diffuser; and consider placing some water, nutmeg, and vanilla on a baking sheet in the oven to replicate the nostalgic smell of fresh baked cookies.

Tips for Selling Your House - Make Your Home Smell Beautiful
Consider burning incense, or setting out scent sticks prior to showings to make your home smell beautiful

11.   Price it right!

  Finally, one of the most important tips for selling your home the fastest for the highest amount possible is to price it right. A too high initial list price and the home will sit on the market and ultimately sell for less than properly priced home. Too low and you may receive a full priced offer right off the bat that could be less than a well-priced home. Enlist the help of a RealtorĀ® or an appraiser to help determine a good list price.

Tips for Selling Your House - Price it Right!
The most important tip in selling your home is to price it right. If your home is priced well it will sell in an average amount of time.
WRITTEN BY: Alex Schwartz

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