A home is generally the most expensive purchase one makes. Conversely, it’s also the most expensive sale one makes. Use these six tips to sell your home faster and for a higher price.
To do list:
- Paint. Even if you just painted a couple years ago. Repaint. It’s an inexpensive way to freshen up the look of a home. Currently, light to medium greys are all the rage. Painting every common room the same color helps the space look more open due to the continuity. Painting bedrooms the same color as the common rooms is an option, or go with other neutral, tranquil colors.
- Declutter. Your collection of teaspoons and teacups is darling, but any time a potential buyer spends looking at your collection is time that they are not picturing themselves living in the home. A home packed with stuff appears to lack storage space. If you need to rent a storage room, do it!
- Depersonalize. While your home is on the market, it is a commodity. People will be coming into your home and determining whether they can see themselves living there. Family photos, masterpieces by your children, hunting trophies, and any other highly personal decor makes it hard for potential buyers to picture their furniture, decor, and family in the space. These items should be put in storage then cherished again in your new home.
- Stage. Staging is decorating your home to best showcase it’s features and appealing to the most buyers. Consider buying inexpensive quilts/comforters in neutral or trendy patterns that complement your freshly painted walls. Covering family photos in geometric fabric, patterned wrapping paper, or printed images is an inexpensive way to both depersonalize and stage.
- Landscape. The first impression a buyer has is when they pull up to your home. Make it count! Plant some new flowers, put down fresh mulch, and keep your yard well manicured. It may be worth hiring a lawn service temporarily. If you have a front porch, a potted plant or flowers are always a nice touch.
- Clean. Keep your home clean. The perfect buyer may call at any moment to see your home and you want them to see that you maintain the home. Before you leave for work in the morning, close toilet lids, put dishes in the dishwasher, pile dirty clothes in a basket and put in the back of the closet, empty trash cans, fold and display decorative towels in bathrooms and kitchen, make all beds, wipe down the countertops, tables, and anywhere dust accumulates (if you declutter, this is much easier), get down cobwebs (check corners, lamps, chandeliers, and windows), and open blinds to allow sunlight to fill each room.
- Be available. Yes, showings may be very inconvenient. If you cancel showings, those buyers may not reschedule or may go fall in love with another home before they are able to see yours. Never decline a showing unless you absolutely must.
- Price appropriately. Discuss your priorities with your Realtor. Is getting top dollar even if it takes a year more important, or is selling within the next 30 days more important? This discussion along with both the comparable sales in the neighborhood and the properties currently listed for sale will help determine your list price.
- Hire a Realtor. Statistics show that in 2014, 88% of prospective buyers were working with a Realtor. That 88% will likely not be looking at FSBO listings. The average For Sale By Owner (FSBO) is on the market for 88 days, while the average home listed with a Realtor is on the market for 69 days. Realtors will handle negotiations, paperwork, meeting inspectors, and organizing all people who will participate in the closing.
- Pre-inspect. Consider having a pre-inspection, fixing any issues that arise, and providing both the inspection and the receipts from repairs to prospective buyers. This helps buyers feel confident making an offer on your home and minimizes the opportunity for repair negotiations in the future.