Selling a house is much more work than buying a house. If you’ve never sold a home before, you may be surprised at how complex it can be. From determining the correct listing price, to navigating contractual agreements; it’s an exhausting process. The best place to start is by choosing a good Realtor who you trust and enjoy working with. Ask their advice through each step of the process and leverage their experience. A good Realtor will keep you focused on the things that will help you sell your home fast and for top dollar.
Below is a list of top items to work on before listing your home for sale.
1. Remove personal decorations that reflect your personal choices and lifestyle such as family photographs or religious items.
2. Clean everything thoroughly – most buyers expect the house they move into to be cleaner than their current home. A clean house gives the impression that the property has been well maintained and is easy to move into.
3. Remove evidence of pets & kids. Statistically, pet odors are one of the most common reasons for a home to stay on the market for a long time and clutter from toys or other children’s items can deter buyers as well.
4. Replace outdated fixtures. This is an easy fix that can have a huge impact.
5. Shampoo and/or replace carpets. A home with worn out, dirty carpets is hard to sell. If you want to compete for top dollar, you’ll need to tackle this objection right away. Carpets hold a lot of dirt and odor. It’s important that they look and smell clean for your showings.
6. Touch up and/or repaint. If it’s been more than a year since the interior of your house has been painted, then it’s time for touching up areas when there are nail holes, scrapes, hand prints, etc. If you have any strong colors in your house (purple, burgundy, lime green, etc.), it would be wise to paint over them with a neutral color.
7. Get a storage unit. To stay competitive, it is wise to rent a storage unit and start loading it with everything that you are not going to need while your house is on the market. Start with all of your memorabilia and pack the unit with the items that you are least likely to need in the back. The more you put in storage, the better. Start packing as though your house is sold and you only have a month left in it. The more you put in storage, the less you will need, because your home will sell much faster!
8. Freshen up landscaping. Statistically, landscaping is the biggest bang for your buck when listing your house for sale. The fastest way to freshen up your landscaping is new mulch. Spread a layer of it all throughout your landscaped areas. This is inexpensive and requires very little time commitment.
Once your home is in top condition, the next step is staging.
Staging is a strategic marketing tool designed to show a property in its best possible light. Most realtors believe in the power of this technique no matter the current market conditions — potential buyers can see all the possibilities a home offers and sellers can get top-dollar and a quicker sale.
According to the Real Estate Staging Association, professionally listed staged properties simply look better; spend 73 percent less time on the market; typically sell for more money; end up on buyers’ “must see” lists; are viewed as “well-maintained;” and sometimes have fewer concessions requested of the seller during negotiations.
It also helps sellers accept the idea they have decided to sell. Once you’ve decided to sell your home, you have to start detaching from it, which can be difficult to do. You have to start looking at your home as a commodity. You have to decide whether you just want the house sold or do you want the possibility of selling it faster and for more money? It really doesn’t matter what the market is like. Statistics prove that staging a house works.