When it was time for us to sell our house, I spent some time preparing it for the market first. When we did list it, we had our first offer within 3 hours of it going on the market-for full-asking price. We ended up selling our house on a schedule that fit us, making a profit, and closing quick.
10 Tips to Sell Your House
I researched real estate tips to sell our home along with my own plans to stage it. I narrowed down my list to ten tips I thought would be the most effective. Here are my tips I used for getting our home ready to sell, which contributed to its quick sale.
When a potential buyer walks through your home you want to make it easy for them to visual living in the house with their own family. It’s hard to do this with reminders of another family all around. But you also don’t want your walls to look bare and the house uncomfortable. Instead of taking down all of your family photos, swap them out for landscape pictures, or pictures from local events and activities. It keeps the cozy and fun feeling in the house while removing the feeling of invading someone else’s home.
While you and I may both be a fan of color, bright colors can be a major distraction in a home. Not everyone is able to look past the paint and decorations either. If you have bright colors, you would benefit from changing them out for neutrals. If you have toned-down or muted colors in your house then you’ll be fine leaving them as is. Even washed out blues and greens are considered neutrals. You just don’t want anything that detracts from the shape of the house or makes it a hard sell.
You want to show off your house in the best possible shape. Most buyers are looking for a home with more space than they have now. They are needing a house that is open and welcoming. Clutter does not evoke these feelings. No one wants a house that lacks in storage so you need to show off how much available space there is! There are a few ways I did this. I cleared extra photos and decorations from the shelves and tables. The extra sheets and towels were packed away so the linen closet wasn’t bursting at the hinges. Even the kitchen drawers were reorganized so they looked tidy instead of overflowing with gadgets. Leave space for the buyers to imagine their own possessions there.
Not everyone wants to own a pet, and no one wants to buy a home that smells like an animal. Take care to properly clean your floors and remove pet odors. Keep litter boxes empty and out of sight (don’t leave it in the middle of the bathroom!). Stow away extra pet supplies, and remove their bed when you are showing your home. Another point that people don’t think about: don’t leave your pet at home when the house is being viewed. You don’t know how your pet will react to strangers being in their territory, even in a kennel. Take them with you when you vacate the house.
Maintaining a clean home is essential once you list your home! You never know when someone will want to see your house so always keep it clean. If you stay on top of the chores then you only need to do a basic sweep before you head out the door. I kept a little checklist handy so even if I was not around before a viewing, my husband would know what needed to be done before he left. Another tip is to keep any small electronics and files you want to take with you in a tote so you just need to grab that on your way out the door as well.
Humans associate smells with memories. You can help leave a good impression of your house with a nice smell to remember it by. Don’t go crazy or too overpowering; let a mild scent greet the potential buyers when they open the door. Smells like vanilla and fresh baking are enticing and comforting to most people without being overwhelming. Also, lots of people associate the smell of lemon with clean.
Plants and flowers bring life and color to a room. I kept a bouquet of fresh flowers on the dining table and in the family room. Carnations last a long time so these are great to display. If you change the water daily they will last weeks! A plant here or there can also be cute, but don’t go overboard with a jungle of potted plants. Remember that you are still going for minimal clutter.
Let In Light
Lighting is important to present a welcoming house. Even if you are not home, keeping the blinds open makes your house appear inviting to those passing by. By opening up the blinds you are also letting natural light in which makes the room appear larger. Make sure to turn on all the lights in your house, including the outdoor lights in the evening. This serves two purposes; it welcomes the next potential owners in, and it’s easier to show the house when the realtor isn’t searching for light switches. Along the same note, take the time to clean your windows both inside and out! Don’t hide the view out your windows with a layer of dirt.
Set the Stage
We were fortunate to have a garage to move some possessions into when we listed our house. This helped me keep only the necessary furniture in the house and stage each room to show off its full potential. Take a look around your room and see if anything can be rearranged to better showcase the house. You want rooms to appear large and open as much as possible. If you aren’t sure what to do yourself, it is worthwhile to hire a home-stager or decorator to give you advice.
Make a good first impression by keeping your yard in good shape. Wash down the siding, windows, gutters, and sidewalk. Keep the grass and trees trimmed, and the flowerbeds free of weeds. If your neighbor’s yard is in rough shape, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to offer to trim their grass or trees too. You wouldn’t want to lose an offer because of the state of your neighbor’s lawn.
These are the top ten tips that I contribute to the quick sale of our house. We listed it after a neighboring house, and sold before them too despite have less square footage. It is never easy having to sell your home and say good-bye, but you can ease the burden of the move by not dragging out the sale process.