Selling Secret #1: The first impression is the only impression
No matter how good the interior of your home looks, buyers will judge 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. Entryways are important. You use it 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 some cookies. Make sure your home smells great, bake some cookies or use a plugin. Spruce up your home’s exterior with inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers.
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 to see the place and it has to be in tip-top 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 #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. 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 #4: Take the home out of your house
One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to de-personalize 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 #5: Don’t over-upgrade
Quick fixes before selling always pay off. Before you put your house on the market., 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. You might not get your money back if you do a huge improvement project.
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 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, find a place for Fido for the day.
Selling Secret #7: The nose knows
A secret sale killer is walking into a home that has a musty smell or pet odor. The smell is one of the five senses that you want to engage in the sale of your home. Open your windows and doors when able and air freshen your home. Make sure all pets and pet paraphernalia are clean and scent-free. Utilize potpourri, plug-ins, or whatever it takes to make your home smell inviting as they walk through the door!
Selling Secret #8: Light it up
Maximize the light in your home. Next to location, good lighting is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Takedown or open 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 to make your house bright and cheery – it will make it more sellable.
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. Be sure you put valuables away for safekeeping!
Selling Secret #10: Price it right
Find out what your home is worth, then shave 10 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.