We started the article with a trick. You should never sell your home. Your home is where you belong – you and your family. If you think of selling a house in terms of selling “your home,” it may lead to emotional turmoil for you and will likely delay the sale.
Let 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 a change! Time for bigger and better things.
Dovetailing with this previous step is the concept 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 project their imagination into it – so they can imagine themselves in it. Paint the walls a neutral color. Remove the posters of your favorite band. Empty the bookshelves.
This follows the previous step. Go around the house and get rid of clutter – that bag in the corner, that box by the stairs, and the sports stuff your teenage son always leaves by the hallway. The things that make a house look “lived in.” This is a time to make the house look “ready for new owners.”
Do a general spiffing up
Look for scuffs on the baseboards, nail holes in the walls, marks on the doors, etc. Focus on the easy cleanup, the five-minute fix, the low-hanging fruit. You’ll be amazed how much better the place looks after a few dozen such fixes.Time for a change! Time for bigger and better things. Learn to let go of your old home with a 'Last Hurrah' Click To Tweet
Green Up the Place
Get some potted plants and place them in high-traffic spaces. Get a bowl of fruit or two and place them on kitchen table and dining room table. Hang a fern or two. For open houses, you might go all out and get a flower arrangement or two.
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 not be driven by friendship or nepotism – “my nephew just got his license!” – but by good results on their own sales.
Spruce up the Landscaping
Curb appeal makes a big difference. Not only is there an important “first impression” factor, but also, if it looks like you care for 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, the trees and plants, and the front yard. What can you do, within your budget, to spruce it up?
Curb appeal makes a big difference. Not only is there an important “first impression” factor, but also, if it looks like you care for the place, it conveys to potential buyers that they should respect your asking price.
Price It Right From The Get-Go
The first month on the market is decisive. If you price too high, many buyers might 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 lowerings. 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. Assume drawers will be opened and things will be moved and shuffled. 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 Rover with a friend or relative for a few weeks is an easy solution.
Make the House Easy to Show
If you can leave the home and stay with your in-laws, friends or relatives for a few weeks, it’ll make the realtor’s job that much easier. Otherwise, try to appoint someone to be available for showings at all times.
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!