Set your price carefully
Price it too high and buyers may not even look at it, too low and you’re cheating yourself. A Realtor® may give you a free market analysis if you ask. This gives you an idea of how your home compares with similar, recently sold homes in your area. The analysis should also include how much you might expect to earn after closing. To get yours click HERE.
Don’t do major remodeling
Don’t get carried away preparing your home for sale. Pricey remodeling (items such as a new roof) may be big hits with buyers, but rarely is the cost covered by the buying price. When possible, stick with the simpler (and less expensive) options rather than major remodeling.
Make a good first impression
Curb appeal is important. Keep your lawn and other landscaping neatly trimmed, weeded and watered. Check the exterior of your home for signs of wear and damage, such as peeling paint, foundation cracks or loose shingles. Evaluate and fix what is needed (but do NOT try to cover up defects). Clean the outside of the house, including windows. Often suggested is giving the front door a fresh coat of paint for that warm, welcome feeling. Adding a few flowers in the spring and summer, or keeping the walks cleared of leaves and snow in the fall and winter can be inviting to potential buyers.
The obvious seller’s commandment: thou shalt clean. Remove all clutter and personal effects from every room, including closets. Have a garage sale with all the stuff you don’t want to move to your next home! Paint walls and trim if necessary. A neutral color palette might appeal to a wider range of potential buyers. Clean all windows, light fixtures and ceiling fans. Bathrooms should always be squeaky clean. Inspect and make any necessary repairs to the plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical systems. Highlight the bath and kitchen by selecting some attractive new towels, curtains or cabinetry knobs. Decorating these two rooms alone can sell your house!
And keep it clean
Maintain the new and improved interior and exterior of your home in spottless condition until you successfully sell. It’s hard, but it’s necessary. A professional cleaning service may be able to help maintain the new clean look with occasional visits.
Light it up
When showing your house, provide plenty of light and make your home a warm, welcoming place. Open the curtains to let in the sunshine. In the event of an evening showing, make sure you have ample lighting available in all areas. Fresh cut flowers make a nice addition, and a pleasantly scented house is very inviting. Like to bake? How about fresh chocolate chip cookies? Or for something simple and quicker, warm water (on the stove?) with vanilla. In the winter cinnamon or citrus smells are inviting also.
Many agents (read potential buyers) would prefer that the seller not be present during a showing to avoid limiting the buyers’ conversation or making them uncomfortable. Make sure any pets are also gone, or at least well detained and that the selling agent knows about them.