Selling your home is a major life and financial step. If you do it right, you can unlock the true market value of your home and add significantly to the value of your investment. But done wrong, you may never see the true value of your home, and you might have to settle for less than you deserve. Each of the five steps below will help you to sell your home faster and a for more money.
Declutter, Depersonalize and Deep, Deep Clean
Decluttering improves the look of your marketing photos, it makes each room feel bigger and more inviting, and it allows buyers to appreciate the house itself and to imagine what living in it might feel like. Start by making sure that every shelf and every closet it less than half full. Depersonalizing, which means putting away all personal photos, awards and memorabilia, allows buyers to picture what the house would be like for them instead of you. And make sure your home is the absolute cleanest it has ever been. Clean it like it has never been cleaned before!
Repairs And Updates You Should (and Shouldn’t) Do
Knowing what repairs to make before you list your house can be tricky – every price range in every market is different. Make sure to get your agent’s advice before spending money, but here are a few low cost updates that buyers love: repainting outdated colors, replacing old light fixtures, removing outdated window treatments,, minor kitchen remodels and minor bathroom remodels. Make sure to repair leaks and water damage and take care of any required pest control. And here repairs and upgrades that often don’t make sense: new furnaces and air conditioners, new washers & dryers, new roofs (with a few exceptions) and new windows.
Styling Your House So It Will Sell
When most people think about staging, this is what they think about: using furniture, accessories and artwork to create a certain look and feel. Proper styling turns an okay house into a “wow” house, and really makes your marketing photos sing. Pick a style that fits your house – generally one of traditional, transitional or modern will work – and that also appeals to the typical buyer of your home. Focus on color flow throughout the house, balance & repetition and strong contrasts (like dark wood and white pillows). Find an anchor piece in each room and build your style around it. And make suretopick a “purpose” for each room and stick to that purpose. And definitely consider some staging furniture and art where needed.
Get Professional Photographs
Over and over, we see beautiful homes sell for less than they should because they weren’t presented in the best possible light. Nothing helps create interest in your home with professional photographs. So if you want buyers to come see your house, make sure the photos make your house sing.
Work With An Agent
It can be so tempting to try to sell your house without an agent. I mean, how tricky can it be? Take some pictures, list the property and wait for the offers to pour in. And keep all that commission you would have paid to the agent. Yet somehow it doesn’t work out that way …
Research shows that, on average, homeowners who use a real estate agent sell their homes more quickly and for a higher price. And there are several good reasons for this. Agents get paid by commission: the more your house sells for, the more they make. So they have good reason to try to maximize the selling price. And agents get most of their business through word of mouth, so doing the best job they can for you means more work for them down the road.
But those are small things compared to the real benefits of using an agent. First and foremost, an agent knows your community well. He or she will always be intimately familiar with the market and home pricing in your neighborhood. Second, an agent knows the steps you can take to maximize the selling price of your home. What repairs add to the value and what repairs don’t? What home staging tricks work best to get (and keep) buyers interested? Most importantly, agents know how to get offers closed. They know when to be flexible and when to stand firm. And they never let their emotion stand in the way of getting the best deal for their clients.
Closing the House Sale
Once a buyer is interested in the house, they will make an offer against your asking price. The offer may be for what you are asking for, or sometimes less, and very occasionally more. This initiates the negotiation process to arrive at a final price. Your real estate agent will advise you on whether to take the offer, ask for more, or hold out for another offer from other prospects. Do not feel compelled to take the first offer that comes your way. The more buyers you can get interested in buying the property, the better your chances of getting a good final price for the home. Continue scheduling showings while negotiations are ongoing. Based on averages, your home could take as much as 60 days or more on the market before you accept a suitable offer.