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Tips for Selling Your Home

by Guest Post on May 15, 2012

There are only four major items to concern yourself with when selling a home, and yes there are minor details and technical items. No matter what those details may be in each individual situation, these four items are key to successfully selling your home.

Price

The most important is price. No matter how you may feel personally about your home, it is still only worth what someone else is willing to pay for your house. Try to keep into consideration that if you overprice your home, it will not sell.

Buyers are taking the time to comparison shopping more so than in the past. This leads to more bargaining (this will vary depending on the neighborhood).

Some properties may not qualify for bank financing, and some people may not be in a position to offer to carry financing. This may be addressed on an individual basis.

Exposure

If a property is well priced and not properly exposed to the buyers in the marketplace, it most likely will not sell.

Properly exposing your house just does not include just those that call on newspaper ads and yard signs. Depending on variables this could account for less than less than 35 percent of all buyers.

Preparing your Home for Sale

  • Clean everything! -- When cleaning the house, pay particular attention to the kitchens and baths. This is the clincher. If you could maintain these two areas, the buyer usually feels confident the rest of the house has been maintained.
  • Clear out ALL clutter -- This way not only will the rooms show better and larger, but more importantly the closets will appear larger. Anything that you will be not using in the next few months is packed up and put into storage. I would suggest a garage sale or large donation to a charitable cause (check your tax adviser for a potential tax write-off).
  • Use brighter light bulbs -- This may seem odd, but by switching everything to 100-watt bulbs or larger (check fixture for maximum wattage before using a higher wattage bulb). The lights will allow the rooms to appear brighter, larger, & warmer. Some rooms may benefit from the warmer color light bulbs also.
  • Lights! -- In addition to brighter light bulbs, open all curtains, shades, and blinds. Leave all lights turned on before and during the potential buyer is at your home. The additional light makes the rooms look larger and more open.
  • Touch up and paint -- If a potential buyer sees that you have neglected simple things like peeling paint, they may assume that you have not taken care of the heating system or appliances either.
    • Important note: The smell of fresh paint is offensive to some people. Also, your potential buyer may suspect that you are covering up a problem by painting over it. Most importantly appraisers are taught to be suspicious and investigate if they smell fresh paint.
    • A seller's secret is to use water-based latex paint and mix in 3 drops of REAL vanilla extract with each gallon. With most paint brands, this will neutralize 90% of the paint smell. Check with the paint manufacturer for best results.
  • More Scenting Secret -- Everybody has heard that vanilla scenting is a pleasing aroma when viewing a home. Many products are available, or you could merely place one drop of vanilla extract on a hot light bulb before your agent shows the house. Whatever you do, do not use a lot of air fresheners or perfumes, some people find them offensive.
  • Do not forget the exterior of your home -- Some studies have shown that 50% of the purchase decisions are made during the first minute of looking at a home. Make sure that the exterior is in good shape. This includes paint, siding, windows, shutters, fixtures, and most important the front landscaping.
  • Ceilings? -- Before you start showing your home, clean the ceilings, fix any cracks or imperfections, and repaint if necessary. It is a common saying that most people never look up, but when looking at a home, people are more likely to look in places that they normally do not. If a buyer sees a water stain, they will assume there is a problem with the roof, even if you tell them it was repaired.
  • The Personal VS. Real Property Dilemma -- The distinction between personal property and real property can be the source of difficulties in a real estate transaction. A purchase contract is normally written to include all real property; that is, all aspects of the property that are fastened down or an integral part of the structure. For example, this would include light fixtures, drapery rods, attached mirrors, trees, and shrubs in the ground. It would not include potted plants, free-standing refrigerators, washer/dryers, microwaves, bookcases, swag lamps, etc. If there is any uncertainty whether an item is included in the sale or not, it is best to be sure that the particular item is mentioned in the purchase agreement as being included or excluded, or simply have it removed before showing the home.
  • Last Run Through -- Each time someone is going to look at your home make a quick run through your home and think about anything that you might have neglected, just use common sense.

Showing your Home

  • When the agent is showing your home, let the Realtor do the job you hired them to do. Greet the Realtor and client at the door, and let them into your home. Let them know that they are welcome to look around, and you will be in the other room if they have any questions. It really does not matter where you are, but try to stay out of their way.
  • You may ask why you are letting them wander around your home without you to show them around.
    • If you wander around with the Realtor and buyers, you are only going to hurt yourself. Even if the Realtor does not know his or her way around. Let them go by themselves.
    • Each additional person in a room makes the room look smaller
    • Buyers will not discuss concerns about the house while the owner is present. By not being in the room, you allow the agent to overcome any buyer objections.
    • Only answer questions, not offer any other information other than what is necessary. By not offering any additional information, you are probably saving pointing out something the client didn't notice.
  • Do not appear anxious and set yourself up for a low offer or make the buyer suspicious of your motivations for selling.

It is well known that to sell your house fast you need to make sure you have a good plan in place. Otherwise, you are risking having your property sit on the market for weeks and quite often even months. So next time you are planning to sell your home, remember these 4 valuable tips that you read in this article.

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