This list shows a few important tips that will definitely help you out when you list your home and during the process. Selling a home is stressful no matter the circumstances but if you follow these steps, it should make the process a little bit easier on you.
- Pick a selling strategy- Before putting a for sale sign in your yard, it’s important to pick the selling strategy that will work best for you. The for-sale-by-owner option may be best if you feel confident in your ability to market the home and negotiate, but it may not ensure the fastest sale or the highest possible price. If your time is better spent on other details, a real estate agent could be best for you. It’s worth taking a few minutes to consider the best option before making any decisions.
- Hiring an experienced Real estate agent- If you’re selling your home by placing it on the market, as opposed to selling to an internet buyer, having the right realtor is a necessary step. As you interview potential agents, pay close attention to their experience level. You want to find an agent you can work well with who also knows the market too.
- Make sure everything is clean- Nothing turns off buyers like a dirty house. Hire a company to deep clean if you don’t want to do it yourself.
Key places to clean while your home is on the market include:
- Kitchen countertops.
- Inside cabinets and appliances.
- Floors and room corners where dust collects.
- Bathroom counters, toilets, tubs and showers.
- Inside closets.
- Windows, inside and out.
- Scuffed walls, baseboards and doors.
- Basement and garage.
4. Remove personal things- Remove all your family photos and memorabilia. You want buyers to see the house as a home for their family, not yours. Remove political and religious items, your children’s artwork (and everything else) from the refrigerator and anything that marks the house as your territory rather than neutral territory. The same goes for any collections such as figurines, sports memorabilia or kids’ toys that can make a buyer think less about the house and more about you. Family photos can be replaced by neutral art or removed entirely — just be sure to remove any nails and repair nail holes where any hanging photos used to be.
5. Make sure there’s lots of light- People love light and bright, and the best way to show off your house is to let the sunshine in. Open all the curtains, blinds and shades, and turn lights on in any dark rooms. If natural light is lacking in any room, strategically place lamps or light sources throughout to set the mood. And while your house is on the market, open all curtains and turn on lights every time you leave your house for work or errands in case you get word that a buyer would like to tour the space before you get home.
6. Remove excess furniture- Nothing makes a home seem smaller than too much big furniture. Rent a self-storage container or a unit and remove as much furniture as you can. Remove knickknacks from all surfaces, pack them away and store the pieces upon which you displayed them. Take a minimalist approach to books, throw rugs and draperies, and clear off your kitchen and bathroom countertops, even removing appliances you normally use. If you can scale down the contents of your closets, that’s even better, because it makes the home’s storage area look more ample.
7. Staging your home (If necessary)- While you may have a fun sense of style, your furniture may make it hard for buyers to see the home as a blank slate. When that happens, it may be better to have the home staged with furniture that’s brought in. Staging a home in a way that is simple, elegant and welcoming is a safe bet. The goal is to make it look nice for the prospective buyers but not too personal.
8. Use a Professional Photographer- According to NAR’s 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 84% of recent buyers used the internet to search for homes. Of those, 89% found photos very useful in their home search. If listing photos don’t show off the features of your home, prospective buyers may reject it without even taking a tour or going to the open house. Hiring a professional photographer and posting at least 30 photos of your home, inside and out, is a good way to attract buyers. Photography is often free for home sellers, as shoots are often conducted at the expense of real estate brokers as part of marketing the property.
9. Virtual tour- Beyond professional photos, a virtual tour is quickly becoming standard for properties on the market, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, which leaves many people unwilling or unable to tour multiple properties in person. Video tours and virtual offerings by your agent can also help potential buyers feel they know a lot about your property without even visiting it. Keep in mind, however, that 3D tours and video tours of your property will show many flaws that may be easy to hide in photos, so have your house in pristine condition before shooting a tour.
10. Make sure the exterior is as nice as the interior- You’ve heard it 100 times before, and it’s still true: CURB APPEAL MATTERS, You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. A new or freshly painted front door, new house numbers and a new mailbox can breathe life into your entryway. Fresh landscaping and flowers in beds or in pots also enhance your home’s first impression. Trim trees and bushes, tidy up flower beds, remove dead leaves from plants, clear out cobwebs from nooks near the entrance and pressure-wash walkways, patios and decks. Leave the outdoor lights on, too, because prospective buyers may drive by at night.
If you follow these helpful tips, you should be able to get your home sold much quicker than you were expecting. Maybe even for a higher price than expected!