There are several steps you can take before selling your house to optimize its potential on the market. Take a look at our list of tips below:
Let It Go
First, you have to let it go. As mentioned above, buyers may sense an attachment to the house as they try to get to know it, and that may turn them off to the sale. You have to relinquish your house as your home before you can start the process of letting it go. So, the first thing you need to do to sell a house is to let go of it emotionally. Hold a great “last hurrah” party or two. Go through whatever rituals you and the kids need to hold in order to detach from the house. This might mean copying the growth chart on that wall onto pieces of paper. It might mean taking down the swing in the yard. Whatever it is, do it, and get closure on this stage of your life. Time for bigger and better things.
Next is the process of removing your ownership and personality from the house. You might love that orange wall, but homebuyers will have their own preferences. More importantly, the place needs to look like a blank canvas so that homebuyers can imagine themselves in it. Paint the walls a neutral color. Remove the posters of your favorite band. Empty the bookshelves.
Go around the house and get rid of clutter so the house is looking its best. Move things that make a house look “lived in.”
Do a general fix-up
Look for scuffs on the baseboards, nail holes in the walls, marks on the doors, etc. Focus on the easy cleanup or the five-minute fix. You’ll be amazed how much better the place looks after the fixes.
Green Up the Place
Get some potted plants and place them in high-traffic spaces. This adds a lively, bright feeling to your home, which can also make it more comfortable. Get a bowl of fruit and place it on the kitchen table. Hang a fern or two. For open houses, you might go all out and get a flower arrangement.
Bring on the Maids
A thorough cleaning really helps prospective buyers see the house in its best light. But you might be the wrong person to do a thorough cleaning. After all, you’ve detached, haven’t you? You’re ready to move on. Give yourself a break – hire a team of house cleaners. You’ll be greatly relieved, and they’ll do wonders to make your house look ready.
Get a Recommended Realtor
Look for recommendations from friends, neighbors and relatives; recommendations should be driven by good results on their own sales.
Spruce up the Landscaping
Curb appeal makes a big difference. If it looks like you care for the appearance of the place, it conveys to potential buyers that they should respect your asking price. Signs of disinterest in the property will lead buyers to assume you’re disengaged and in a hurry to sell, which will put you in a weaker position to negotiate. Drive by your property and look at the landscaping of the front yard. What can you do within your budget to spruce it up?
Price It Right From The Get-Go
The first month on the market is decisive. If you price too high, buyers may choose to hold off. Once the home goes past 30 days on the market, your negotiating position will weaken. The last thing you want is several consecutive price decreases. It’s better to get an accurate appraisal, then price your home 8%–12% below that from the onset.
Remove All Valuables
People will be going through your home. Assume folks will be nosy. Even without any malicious intent, stuff can go missing accidentally. And, worst case scenario, that jewelry you treasure might find its way into someone’s pocket. Take all valuables and move them out of the house until the deal is done.
Send Your Pets on a Vacation
Pets are a big distraction when trying to sell a home. Some folks might be allergic to cats. Others might be scared of dogs. Buyers might make assumptions about cleanliness of the carpet simply because they saw a dog in the house. Placing the family pets with a friend or relative for a few weeks is an easy solution.
Review the Listings
Once your realtor informs you the house is listed, find it on Zillow, Trulia, or Realtor.com. Make sure it’s also on Facebook and Instagram – many leads come from social media. Include in your listing some info about your neighborhood – nearby recreation, quality of the schools, fun hangouts and shopping hotspots. Folks are not just buying a house, they’re buying into an area.
Start with a good number of beautiful photos. Then, add a few extra photos at least once a week. This will keep the listing fresh and the interest high.
I hope you found these tips useful!