Tricks of the trade to help you get top dollar when selling your home.
Selling Secret #10: Pricing it right
Find out what your home is worth, then shave 15 to 20 percent off the price. You’ll be
stampeded by buyers with multiple bids — even in the worst markets — and they’ll bid
up the price over what it’s worth. It takes real courage and most sellers just don’t want
to risk it, but it’s the single best strategy to sell a home in today’s market.
Selling Secret #9: Half empty closets
Storage is something every buyer is looking for and can never have enough of. Take
half the stuff out of your closets then neatly organize what’s left in there. Buyers will
snoop, so be sure to keep all your closets and cabinets clean and tidy.
Selling Secret #8: Light it up
Maximize the light in your home. After location, good light is the one thing that every
buyer cites that they want in a home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows,
change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes
outside to let in sunshine. Do what you have to do make your house bright and cheery –
it will make it more sellable.
Selling Secret #7: Play the agent field
A secret sale killer is hiring the wrong broker. Make sure you have a broker who is
totally informed. They must constantly monitor the multiple listing service (MLS), know
what properties are going on the market and know the comps in your neighborhood.
Find a broker who embraces technology – a tech savvy one has many tools to get your
Selling Secret #6: Conceal the critters
You might think a cuddly dog would warm the hearts of potential buyers, but you’d be
wrong. Not everybody is a dog or cat lover. Buyers don’t want to walk in your home and see a
bowl full of dog food, smell the kitty litter box or have tufts of pet hair stuck to their clothes. It
will give buyers the impression that your house is not clean. If you’re planning an open house,
send the critters to a pet hotel for the day.
Selling Secret #5: Don’t over upgrade
Quick fixes before selling always pay off. Mammoth makeovers, not so much. You
probably won’t get your money back if you do a huge improvement project before you
put your house on the market. Instead, do updates that will pay off and get you top
dollar. Get a new fresh coat of paint on the walls. Clean the curtains or go buy some
inexpensive new ones. Replace door handles, cabinet hardware, make sure closet
doors are on track, fix leaky faucets and clean the grout.
Selling Secret #4: Take the home out of your house
One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to depersonalize it. The
more personal stuff in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living
there. Get rid of a third of your stuff – put it in storage. This includes family photos,
memorabilia collections and personal keepsakes. Consider hiring a home stager to maximize
the full potential of your home. Staging simply means arranging your furniture to best
showcase the floor plan and maximize the use of space.
Selling Secret #3: The kitchen comes first
You’re not actually selling your house, you’re selling your kitchen – that’s how important
it is. The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless, and the best part of it is that
you’ll probably get 85% of your money back. It may be a few thousand dollars to replace
countertops where a buyer may knock $10,000 off the asking price if your kitchen looks
dated. The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet
hardware. Use a neutral color paint so you can present buyers with a blank canvas
where they can start envisioning their own style. If you have a little money to spend, buy
one fancy stainless steel appliance. Why one? Because when people see one high end
appliance they think all the rest are expensive too and it updates the kitchen.
Selling Secret #2: Always be ready to show
Your house needs to be “show ready” at all times – you never know when your buyer is
going to walk through the door. You have to be available whenever they want to come
see the place and it has to be in tiptop shape. Don’t leave dishes in the sink, keep the
dishwasher cleaned out, the bathrooms sparkling and make sure there are no dust
bunnies in the corners. It’s a little inconvenient, but it will get your house sold.
Selling Secret #1: The first impression is the only impression
No matter how good the interior of your home looks, buyers have already judged your
home before they walk through the door. You never have a second chance to make a
first impression. It’s important to make people feel warm, welcome and safe as they
approach the house. Spruce up your home’s exterior with inexpensive shrubs and
brightly colored flowers. You can typically get a 100 percent return on the money you
put into your home’s curb appeal. Entryways are also important. You use it as a utility
space for your coat and keys. But, when you’re selling, make it welcoming by putting in
a small bench, a vase of fresh cut flowers or even bake some cookies.