By: Diane Fitzpatrick
If you want to know how to sell a house quick and effortlessly, it means making it stand out among the competition and making wise marketing decisions that will attract buyers, whether they’re looking at the home from the street or taking a tour of the inside.
1. Price It Right
Before putting your house on the market, research current market trends, look at comparable houses in the area and price your house to sell. Don’t be tempted to overprice your property just to see if you can make a quick, high profit. Selling your house quickly means pricing it right the first time around.
2. Make Your House Neutral
You may love your hot pink kitchen wallpaper and your lime green bedroom, but it’s unlikely you’ll find a buyer who has the same tastes as you. To appeal to as many prospective buyers as possible, make your house interior as neutral as possible. If you’re repainting or recarpeting to sell, choose beige, cream and other neutral colors.
3. Clean and De-Clutter
When showing your house, clear off all counters, dresser tops, desks and tabletops to the bare minimum. It may look plain, but when seen through a buyer’s eyes, the more bare and stark, the better. Also clean out cabinets, cupboards, closets and all storage areas to give a neat, roomy appearance. That way, they can imagine their own items in your space.
4. Give the Exterior Curb Appeal
Look at the exterior of your house in the way a stranger would see it. Is there peeling or cracked paint? Dirty windows? Dead flowers and dried-up leaves in the flowerbeds? Regardless of the season, give your house a good sprucing up. If house shoppers fall in love with your house before they ever set foot in it, they’re likely to overlook some of its faults.
5. Shine a Light
You can’t have too much light in a house that’s on the market. For showings and open houses, turn on every light in the house, including ones you rarely use, ceiling lights and all lamps. During the daytime, open blinds and curtains. Also wash the windows before you put your house on the market. Check all lights, and replace any burned-out light bulbs.
6. Leave During Showings
When your house is being shown to prospective buyers, don’t follow them around the house. In fact, don’t even be there. Let the real estate agents handle the showings of your house. Put the kids and the pets in the car, and leave. House shoppers don’t want to feel rushed or on the spot while they’re looking at your house. Give them all the time they need. If for some reason you can’t leave the house while it’s being shown, try to stay in an out-of-the-way area of the house, and don’t engage in conversation with the prospective buyers.
7. Advertise Online With Photos
Real estate advertising has changed with the times. If your real estate agent isn’t putting multiple photographs of your house on the Web, they’re missing out on the bulk of the interested buyers. Home buyers often find the houses they want to look at by surfing the Web, and they let their agent know what they want to see. If they can’t see photos of the interior of your home, they’re likely to skip over it. Talk with your real estate agent about how they plan to advertise your sale.
8. Leave Anything That Should Stay
Don’t be greedy with items in your home that really should stay. Window treatments, especially drapes and blinds that are custom made to fit your windows, should stay in the house. Taking them to a different house is rarely successful, and it causes the new owners of your house to buy new ones. The same is true for custom-fitted rugs and built-to-fit furniture. Ask your real estate agent about regional standards for leaving refrigerators, washers and dryers, and other items. The more you’re willing to leave in the house, the more attractive your property will be to buyers.
9. Be Anonymous
Don’t offer personal information about yourself, your relationship to the home or your reason for moving. If a buyer knows you need to sell quickly, your situation may encourage prospective buyers to make a lower offer. You and your listing agent are under no obligation to tell a buyer why you are moving, your financial situation or any other personal details.
10. Don’t Overdo It
Some sellers set their dining room tables with elaborate centerpieces, plates and all, as if a dinner party were about to begin. Champagne on ice and two glasses next to the tub or the smell of simmering potpourri throughout the house are too obvious. Even the most gullible buyer will think you’re trying to hide something. Don’t waste your time staging a mood in your home. Use that time to make your home as clean and roomy as you can.