Selling Tips

• Selling Secret # 1: Pricing It Right: This is a pricing strategy used by realtors in the current seller's market. Find out what your home is worth, then shave 10 to 15 percent off the price. Your realtor should establish a submittal date and time for all offers. The number of showings and open house visitors to your home should give your realtor a reasonable idea if you will be receiving multiple offers. With low inventory of homes for sale in your community, this may result in the possibility that buyers will bid up the price over asking. It takes some courage but it is an excellent strategy to sell a home in today’s market. There is always that fine balance between accepting the highest qualified price versus the likelihood of getting an appropriate appraisal valuation. When the market is trending upward, there is a good chance of getting the right valuation. It would not hurt to keep a back-up offer if possible from one of the other buyers. If the offer is all cash, then the valuation is of no concern.

• Selling Secret # 2: Half-Empty Closets: Storage is something every buyer is looking for and can never have enough of. Take half the contents out of your closets then neatly organize what’s left. Buyers will snoop so be sure to keep all your closets and cabinets clean and tidy.

• Selling Secret # 3: Light It Up: Maximize the light in your home. After location, good lighting is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. Do what you have to do make your house bright and cheery – it will make it more saleable.

• Selling Secret # 4: Conceal the Critters: You might think a cuddly dog would warm the hearts of potential buyers but you’d be wrong. Not everybody is a dog or cat lover. Buyers don’t want to walk in your home and see a bowl full of dog food, smell the kitty litter box or have tufts of pet hair stuck to their clothes. It will give buyers the impression that your house is not clean. If you’re planning an open house, keep the animals away for the day.

• Selling Secret # 5: Don’t Over-Upgrade: Quick fixes before selling always pay off. Mammoth makeovers, not so much. You probably won’t get your money back if you do a huge improvement project before you put your house on the market. Instead, do updates that will pay off and get you top dollar. Get a new fresh coat of paint on the walls. Clean the curtains or go buy some inexpensive new ones. Replace door handles, cabinet hardware, make sure closet doors are on track, fix leaky faucets and clean the grout.

• Selling Secret # 6: Take the Home Out of Your House: One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to de-personalize it. The more personal stuff in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. Get rid of at least a third of your stuff – put it in storage. This includes family photos, memorabilia, collections and personal keepsakes. Consider hiring a home stage-er to maximize the full potential of your home. Staging simply means arranging your furniture to best showcase the floor plan and maximize the use of space.

• Selling Secret # 7: The Kitchen Comes First: You’re not actually selling your house, you’re selling your kitchen – that’s how important it is. The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless and the best part of it is that you’ll probably get 85% of your money back. It may be a few thousand dollars to replace counter tops where a buyer may knock $10,000 off the asking price if your kitchen looks dated. The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware. Use a neutral-color paint so you can present buyers with a blank canvas where they can start envisioning their own style. If you have a little money to spend, buy one fancy stainless steel appliance. Why one? Because when people see one high-end appliance, they think all the rest are expensive too and it updates the kitchen.

• Selling Secret # 8: Always Be Ready to Show: Your house needs to be "show-ready" at all times – you never know when your buyer is going to walk through the door. You have to be available whenever they want to come see the place and it has to be in tip-top shape. Don’t leave dishes in the sink, keep the dishwasher cleaned out, the bathrooms sparkling and make sure there are no dust in the corners. It’s a little inconvenient but it will get your house sold. If done right, your showing period will be over before you know it.

• Selling Secret # 9: The First Impression Is the Only Impression: No matter how good the interior of your home looks, buyers have already judged your home before they walk through the door. You never have a second chance to make a good first impression. It’s important to make people feel warm, welcome and safe as they approach the house. Spruce up your home’s exterior with inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers. You can typically get a 100-percent return on the money you put into your home’s curb appeal. Entryways are also important. When you’re selling, make it welcoming by putting in a small bench, a vase of fresh-cut flowers or even some cookies.