Sunday, March 31, 2013

15 Tips For Selling Your House

We sold our McMahon house on the first day on the market and for full asking price, we put a lot more work into the prep this time as we did before.  I compiled a list of my 15 tips to sell you home.

1.  Don't overprice your house!  The longer it sits on the market, the more people think there is something wrong with it and they can offer you low ball bids.  Check your competition before listing.  I live on Realtor.com, its the most up to date real estate listing site, Zillow and Trulia can be over 24 to 48 hours behind. Make sure you take good pictures to post on your MLS listing, a buyer will decided if they want to see the house based on the pictures.

2. Make a Flyers! I always make flyers before I  put the house on the market.  Remember you can only put so much on the actual MLS listing so this is a great place to put a larger list of upgrades and more info about the house and the area.  Fill the Flyer with pictures and have it printed at you local print shop for the best picture quality.  This gives potential buyers something to take away with them and will help them remember all the things to love about your house.

3. Get off site storage!  I strongly recommend a storage unit, for the month or two you will need it, it will be a few hundred dollars well spent.  It will help you when you move to your next house as well as get all of the clutter out of your current house.  People want to see that the reason you are moving is NOT because you are busting at the seams of your current house. 

4.  Don't over fill your closets!  Take out off season clothes, again buyers what to see how much room you have.  If you have every closet in the house full of adult woman's clothes they are going to think there is not enough room for men and kids to store their stuff.  Buyers will open every closet door, so don't try and hide anything in there.  This is also a great time to donate old clothes that you don't fit or you don't wear, better do it now than move it twice.

5. Take pets out of the house for showings!  Trust me, it's better for everyone.  Your pets don't want strangers in their house and you don't want buyers to remember the barking dogs.

6. Take your dirty laundry with you!  For open houses or showings don't leave laundry baskets full of dirty clothes, just toss the basket in the back of the car when you leave.  It will take an extra 2 seconds and make things look neater.

7.  Empty Kitchen Counters!  Take everything you do not use on a daily basis off the counters in the kitchen. Buyers love counter space!  If your kitchen if full of small appliances and yesterdays mail pile buyers are going to think there's not enough space. 

8. Make a House Binder!  Make a binder of all of the house manuals, paint colors, home owners association numbers, warranties', etc..  Leave it out during an open house so buyers can see all the things that have been done to the house. This also shows buyers that you have taken good care of the house over the years.  Leave the binder in the house after closing.

9. Remove personal items!  People don't want to be overwhelmed by all your personal pictures and knickknacks. Empty all the pictures and magnets from the fridge.  Tidy up desks and bedside tables, remove expensive items that could be easily knocked over.

10. Clean Light Fixtures!  Make sure all of the bulbs are working and the fixtures are clean.  You will be surprised once fixtures sparkle and have all working bulbs how much extra light you get.  Buyers love natural light, but let's face it, we don't always have natural light, so before you leave for a showing turn on a number of lamps so the house is nice and bright when buyers walk in.  This also helps for after dark or dusk showings.

11.  Some times it takes money to make money! Each situation is different, but the old saying is true, it takes money to make money.  When we first went to sell our house 6 months ago, the only complaint we got from every potential buyer was the roof.  Buyers offers were lower than asking due to their estimates for the cost of a new roof.  After we took the house off the market, we decided to invest in a new roof, we did a lot of shopping around but was able to find a great deal on a new roof.  In the end from the current sale to the past offers, we got back the price of the roof plus a few thousand. So in the end it was well worth the investment.  Now a roof is a pretty big investment, but fix the little things around the house like the leaky faucet or the broken screen door.

12. Maximize your space!  Rearrange furniture to maximize the space you have, take out pieces that make the room tight or block natural traffic flow into or around a room.  Move larger pieces to the back of the room as to draw your eyes across the room.

13. Clean, Clean and Clean!  Clean every room from top to bottom.  Don't forget to dust the cobwebs off the ceiling and wash the baseboards and vacuum behind the fridge. Before every showing clean the counters in the kitchen and bathrooms, especially if they are stone.  I recommend using Bar Keepers Friend to make your stainless steel shine.   Buyers will notice a clean house.


14. Air out the house!  Open windows to let fresh air in. While you are opening the windows, clean them with some Windex, this will also help to bring in more light.  You want to be careful not to spray too many air fresheners, it may look like you are trying to cover odors.  Light a candle before a showing while you are getting ready, but blow out the candle before you leave, that way a light fragrance will still be in the air.  If you have to use an air freshener, go with a clean sent, like a linen.

15. Stage your house! Try walking in the front door of the house from the driveway, just like buyers.  What do you notice?  Make sure the leaves and landscaping is neat.  If the season allows, add color out doors with flowers.  Put a fresh coat of paint on the front door if needed, Buyers will stand at the front door for a few minutes while the realtor unlocks the lockbox and opens the door.   When the buyer walks in you want them to think they entered a model home.  Remember all the personal items you packed up, take a trip up to Home Goods or Tuesday Morning to find a few new things, be carful not to over do it, just a few things.  Make sure you have fresh clean towels in the bathrooms.  Try a white shower curtain to make the bathroom feel bigger.  Make sure all beds are made and decorative pillows are arranged.  Pick up a few pillows if you don't have any while at Home Goods. 

Don't forget some fresh flowers, I pick up a mixed bunch from Costco.  Then I break up the bunch and spread them over the house.  Put a flower or two in each bathroom.  Use smaller bud vases or fish bowls.  You don't want to use vases that are too big.   To add some color to the kitchen, try fresh fruit.  Lemons, Apples, Limes or Oranges are great for color.

1 comment:

Joan Timmons said...

At Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes you can buy Filter Fresh for less than $2 and put it in the returning furnace filter vent. It makes the house smell great.