#1 Stage your home so buyers are ready to move in
Buyers will have an emotional response of some kind when they see your home for the first time.
The feeling you want to leave them with is, “This could be my home.”
Achieve this by making your home’s exterior stand out, and by staging the interior.
- Power wash the outside of your home and make sure the windows are washed too.
- Keep your driveway and sidewalks clear and your house well lit at night so buyers can easily spot the property and make it to the front door.
- Consider painting your front door a cheery color and spruce up the landscaping so your home really stands out.
- Remove personal mementos like personal photos, memorabilia and knickknacks that clutter shelves or countertops so buyers are distracted by your decor or personal taste.
- Hire a professional cleaning company to come once weekly during the selling process.
- Open all the window treatments during the day to make sure your home is as well lit as possible. If showing at night, and plenty of floor lamps or desk lamps to make your home look warm and inviting.
#2: Price it right
If you’re planning to price your property high and bring down your price gradually, think again. Homes receive four times the traffic in the first two weeks after listing, so a property lagging on the market can be a red flag to today’s buyers. Think about the eager buyers who will see your home in “Just listed” ads across the web and in email alerts, and offer them a fair price right away. The feeling of getting early showings or an offer will far outweigh the feeling of an offer that comes after you’ve lowered your price a month later.
To make sure you price your home right, obtain a comparative market analysis of recently sold properties relevant to your home’s size, location and condition. Together, you and your agent will work to find a price that matches the local norm, while taking into account your home’s individual features and upgrades.
#3: Don’t over upgrade
Many large, expensive remodeling projects simply don’t pay off when you sell your home, so remodeling a whole room is just not worth the time and money. Instead, complete small, inexpensive updates that will help you get top dollar for your home. Paint boldly colored walls to a more neutral palette, and paint over any scuff marks on white walls. Instead of buying new kitchen appliances, consider painting the cabinets white, and add modern cabinet hardware and light fixtures. Rather than replacing your avocado green toilet and sink, go stark white on all walls and add a funky vintage vibe with your shower curtain and bathroom artwork.
#4: Be ready for a showing at any time
Today’s buyers are excited and competitive. They may be willing to drop everything in order to see your home the minute it comes across their screen. Here’s how to stay ready:
Clean your home after every meal and between laundry days. Don’t leave for work, or even a quick trip to the store without
making sure your home could be toured before you return.
Add a lockbox to your front door, so buyers’ agents can come into the home even when your agent is not available for a showing.
Ask your agent to hold a “broker tour,” which allows Realtors to preview your property before bringing their client through your home. If an agent returns with their client, your home likely has the basic features the buyer is looking for.
#5: Don't forget your neighbors
Your neighbors want good neighbors - and they may also know someone who wants to live in the neighborhood. By getting your neighbors involved in your sale, you may save time. Make sure you or your agent invites your neighbors to any open houses you hold, and use social media posts to mention that your home is being listed. Every time you mention your home sale to a neighbor, whether it be online or offline, remember to ask if they know anyone who may be interested. You’ll be amazed at how quickly the word spreads.
#6: Be ready to sweeten the deal
Across the country, most sellers are at an advantage in the market. But if your home isn’t quite modern enough, or isn’t as nice as the one down the road, you may have to sweeten the pot by paying closing costs, a buyer’s home warranty, or even just getting a pre-sale home inspection so buyers are confident in your home’s ability to sell as-is.
Don’t assume you’ll get multiple offers and your choice of well-qualified buyers. Be realistic about how your home will be received, and you could end up selling sooner.
#7: Make sure you trust your agent
Selecting the right agent is extremely important. You should hire an agent who has not only had great success in working with local sellers, but who also matches your style of communication. Ask your agent what makes them the right fit for selling your home, and have them walk you through the process of pricing your home before signing a listing agreement.
Once you sign the contract, trust your agent to advocate for you in the market, and to negotiate on your behalf with potential buyers and their agent representatives.