1. Take care of your landscape.
Some of the first things buyers are going to notice as they pull up to your house is the landscape – lawn, plants, flowerbeds, etc. Now you don’t have to be extravagant, install a fountain or even hire a professional, you just need to tidy up and make sure things look neat and preferably alive if possible. Mow the lawn, trim your bushes and buy a few bags of mulch to pour in the flower beds to tie things together. In real estate sales first impressions really count. This is one of the simple improvements that will increase home value. Make it count!
2. Remove clutter.
One of the most cost effective home selling tips is to make your home clutter free! You want to maximize the perceived space in the home. The more clutter, the more cramped things will feel. Go through everything and clear out all the non-essentials. Even if you don’t feel like going though all of your things and sorting them, you should at least put things away in places where buyers won’t be looking – so no cramming stuff into closets or the garage. Rent a storage space if you need to.
A cluttered home can make your home feel a lot smaller than it really is. This is not a good thing when trying to get the most you can out of your sale. Today’s buyers like bright open spaces unfettered by an abundance of someones personal property. Keep in mind there is a large percentage of the population who do not have vision. Make things easier on the buyer by giving them something they can visualize.
3. Paint your interior if it needs it.
Dark, dreary colors can really shrink the perception of a space. Old, stained paint makes rooms look decrepit. By painting with contemporary colors and ideally with a little insight from a knowledgeable Real Estate agent or interior designer, you can change the whole feel of your home. There is not another home improvement that will give you more bang for your buck than a fresh coat of paint. From a selling standpoint it is important to stick with neutral colors. Remember selling your home is not about personal preferences but appealing to the masses. Stick with off white and light creamy colors for maximum benefit.
4. Hire a great Real Estate agent.
If you are noticing a trend here, that’s because there is one. Working with a professional to sell your home has a ton of benefits, and takes a lot of the heavy lifting off of your shoulders. An experienced Realtor can often sell your home faster, and for a better price, than you can on your own. This in fact is one of the most important tips for selling a home. Just make sure you hire the right agent!
Before a real estate agent even begins their work of selling a home they can be a great source of knowledge in pricing your home correctly. Without the right price everything else you do will be meaningless! Don’t be like so many other sellers who put pie in the sky price tags one their home. This is a sure recipe for failure.
An exceptional local real estate agent who knows the market like the back of their hand is worth having in your corner. Keep in mind that pricing a home properly is vital to your success and some agents will intentionally mislead you just to get your business.
Avoid this kind of agent at all costs! There is nothing that will prevent you from getting top rand faster than hiring a real estate agent who overprices your home!
5. Put up a sign in the yard.
With all the emphasis on online marketing – which is extremely important, of course – it can be easy to forget about the basics. Putting a “For Sale” sign in the yard will let everyone know what’s going on, and makes it easier for people to find the house. There are some folks who want to “keep their home a secret” for a multitude of reasons. This frankly is a mistake. Home sellers should never under estimate the power of real estate signage. Many homes have been sold over the years due to a sign.
More often than not this can happen with a person who was not thinking of buying but have always said to themselves if that certain home comes on the market they would be interested. That home could be yours! One of the creative ideas ideas I came up with years ago was to incorporate a Google this real estate address as a sign rider. Many buyers forget the fact they can Google the address of a home when they are in a neighborhood. A quick search on their phone will point them to the exact places I want them to go including my website, video tour and other enhanced marketing channels.
6. Make sure your photos are exceptional.
The pictures you post on your listing can make or break your sale. They are the first thing anyone sees. If you are not skilled at photography, and your Real Estate agent isn’t either, then hire a professional. It is worth the expense. So many sellers hire a real estate agent but don’t bother to check on one of the most important parts of the selling process – how does the home being marketed look online? This is such a vital consideration, yet so many sellers underestimate the importance. Your homes photography is the gateway to a buyers perception of the property – good or bad! Want to see a quick example of really bad real estate photos posted online? Take a look and keep in mind when buyers and other real estate agents see this they cringe. It is Real Estate agents that market like this who give our industry a lousy reputation!
7. Consider a video tour.
The best Real Estate agents today are utilizing some form of video or slideshows, in addition to photos. Buyers like to take a tour before they decide to visit, which a video allows. Again, working with a professional here is important – either a Real Estate agent skilled in video tours or a professional who makes real estate videos. Do you want to see an example of what a professional real estate video tour looks like? Take a look at this video tour of 45 Camp Street in Milford Massachusetts. Would you not agree that this is an exceptional way to market a property? Home buyers will probably look at the photos first but once they take a look at the video, it will seal the deal and they will be scheduling a showing.
8. Make sure you are marketing using all channels – particularly online.
Old school Real Estate agents can sometimes be slow to adopt new marketing channels, which is why you should hire someone who has a demonstrated ability to utilize the web. A Realtor with a website is great, but you also want to use someone who has a complete understanding of how to make your home shine online. Real Estate agents who have command of their online presence understand the importance of making your home “stand out” from the competition. Again it all starts with your photography. Without good photos you can be all over the internet and it won’t matter because your presentation will be lousy.
Real Estate agents who really have a solid command of their advertising are also using social media to further enhance their Real Estate marketing efforts. Nearly everyone owns a smart phone today. An exponential amount of these people are using one of the major social media channels including Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Linkedin and Twitter. If they are looking for a home and you have an agent marketing in these channels you could see an increase in showing activity.
9. Take advantage of good lighting.
A bright, cheery home is more inviting to buyers. Let the sunlight in if you can, and add some better lighting if your home is dim. Even buying brighter light bulbs can help. One of the things I always mention to my clients is to make sure all of their curtains are drawn and lights remain on when there is a scheduled showing. Again the presentation of your home is critical. Small things like lighting can make a big difference with no money coming out of your pocket!
10. Consider a professional cleaning.
A clean home is inviting to buyers, whereas a dirty home can turn them away faster than just about anything. The easiest way to know your home is spotless and looking its best is to hire a professional cleaning company. Make sure your kitchen and baths are spotless. Buyers will pay closer attention to these areas. In addition make sure your carpets are as clean as possible. If need be consider having your carpets professionally cleaned. This is one of those things where spending a few hundred dollars can save you thousands by preventing the buyer from thinking they need to replace the carpets immediately.
In fact just last week I had a client in Ruimsig country estate (Westrand) who wanted me to list their home. After viewing the property it was clear to me it needed a professional cleaning before anyone set foot inside. A tenant had just moved out and the owner did not realize it was not up to snuff.
11. Make sure you repair the things that your Real Estate agent advises.
Many renovations are arguably a bad investment for sellers, as it is hard to get your money back in the sale. But if your real estate agent advises that you fix some things, like faulty wiring, a hole in the fence, a leaking toilet or a visible stain in the ceiling, you should do it. These are things that the buyer may balk at, or demand a lower price because they feel immediate attention is needed. Secondarily when the buyer does their home inspection more than likely they will be trying to renegotiate the sale price or worse asking to back out of the deal.
One of the things I constantly stress to my clients is being well prepared for the buyers home inspection. This is the number one place where home sales fall apart. It only makes sense to address the problems before hand. If you know about a problem, a good home inspector will more than likely find it.
12. Address all odors.
Smell is powerful, and can easily drive someone away from buying your home. However, you may not even realize the smells are there. Ask an outsider that you trust, like your Realtor, to let you know if there are any unpleasant odors – like pet or cooking odors – and address them before you show. Believe it or not pet odors can kill a home sale. This happens because some buyers fear they won’t be able to get rid of the odor once they purchase the house. Don’t take any kind of chance with home odors – remove them!
13. Make your kitchen appealing.
Many buyers are very focused on kitchens, which is why you want to make sure yours is reasonably appealing. Formica counter-tops from the 70s may need to be updated, and you might want to install a new appliance or two if the existing ones are in really bad shape. Most Real Estate agents will tell you that the kitchen is the most important room in the home. It makes sense as it is typically the place where we spend most of our time. Do what you can to make you kitchen is appealing as possible.
14. Get organized.
The people that are looking at your home are going to open every door, including closets and the garage. You may help your sale by making sure these areas are relatively organized. The better they look, the easier it is for buyers to imagine that they can fit all their things in the home. This again goes back to one of my previous home selling tips of DE-cluttering. Organizing your closets and garage should be done as part of the process.
15. Take your pets somewhere for showings.
It is hard for pet owners to imagine sometimes, but some people really don’t like pets. As a dog or cat owner, you may not want to hang out with such people, but they might make a great offer on your home. Take the pets somewhere safe and comfortable, like a friends. Having evidence of your pet, including their odors can be a real turn off to some people. Have a look at some of the best tips for selling your home with pets for some sound guidance.
There you have it – these are some of the best home selling tips to get you on your way to a successful home sale!