Best Tips for Selling Your Home

Dated: June 16 2021

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Best Tips for Selling Your Home

Gray House

So you’ve decided to take on the project of selling your home. Now it’s time to put in the effort to get it sold. Right now you might be asking yourself, “What sells a house fast?” or “How can I increase my chances of selling my house?” I’m here to help you answer those questions. I’ve tested out all of these tips and tricks on all of the houses I’ve sold. Using these strategies I’ve had success selling listings for their maximum value. The two main things that sellers can do is properly prepare their house for sale and implement marketing best practices.

 

How to Best Prepare Your House for Listing

What Should You Fix When Selling a House?

Buyers want a home that is well maintained. If you leave small issues unrepaired then buyers will assume that there are bigger problems that they aren’t seeing. Furthermore, anything found during the home inspection will give the buyer an opportunity to negotiate a lower price or back out of the sale. If you want to sell your home fast for maximum value, ideally, you should fix everything that you can… even in this time of being a “seller’s market”, you will want to carefully look at the cost of the repairs vs the value that will be added to your home. It is wise to get a professional opinion (ie: your local real estate agent). They know how quickly homes are selling and what it is taking to get the maximum sale price in this market. These repairs may include fixing broken door handles, leaky faucets and anything that you just haven’t gotten around to yet. The two best things you can fix are doing a fresh coat of interior paint and replacing your carpets. These two improvements will make your home feel brand new. 

 

It is helpful to have your real estate agent or a friend walk through your house and tell you what they notice. They might see something that needs to be fixed that you have a blindspot for because you’re just used to it.  If you do choose to leave something unrepaired you should be aware that the buyers may ask you to repair it, or they may ask for a repair credit. A repair credit is an agreed upon amount that covers the amount of the repair. The amount of the credit comes out as a “seller’s credit for repairs” on your final closing statement, which will be a reduction in the amount of money you will obtain from the sale of your home. Of course, it is always your decision on what you are willing to repair and if you are willing to agree to a repair credit. Check with your real estate agent on what they would advise! 

 

Clean and Stage Your Home

Declutter

It’s time to make your home look like it’s being featured on an HGTV show! If you’re living in your home while it’s being listed, the first step is to remove excess clutter. This means you might have to rent a storage unit if you’re not ready to move into your new place. Potential buyers are going to be looking in your closets, garage, cabinets and other nooks and crannies. Anything cluttering up your home is going to make your home feel less spacious and lower quality. Get rid of as much clutter as you can. This will also help you keep your home clean for walkthroughs.

 

Clean

Once you’ve removed the clutter from your home it’s time for a deep clean. A clean home goes a LONG way to attracting the right buyer and getting the highest value for your home. You could consider hiring a professional cleaner to come through and clean everything. Hiring professionals can save you valuable time and energy during the stressful process of buying a home. Professionals will also do a high-quality job using the proper techniques. They will also get to those tough to reach spots that you usually ignore. If you are set on cleaning your house yourself make sure you thoroughly clean every room. Vacuum all carpets, wipe down all surfaces, scrub any grime in the sinks, bathtubs and toilets. Wash the windows and get rid of all those smudges and streaks. Do everything you need to do to make your home feel like new. If you have pets you need to do some odor control. Even if you don’t think your pets are stinky you still need to do some odor control regardless. Most buyers fear that animal odors will never come out and list it as a main reason they wouldn’t buy a house. 

 

Landscaping and Exterior Repairs

The outside of your home is the first impression for every buyer doing a walkthrough. Make sure that your landscaping is up to snuff. Get your plants into shape by mowing your lawn, and trimming overgrown hedges and trees. Something that you can do to go above and beyond is plant flowers. Fresh lively flowers really brighten up a space and add a lot of curb appeal.

 

Make sure all of your patios, walkways and paths are clear of obstructions and swept clean. Fix anything that needs repairs. The most common exterior repairs are fixing broken lights and fixing broken irrigation systems. If your exterior paint job is old make sure you repaint or touch up any problem areas. Make the exterior of your house look amazing!

 

Marketing Your Listing

Take Good Photos

Having high-quality photos is incredibly important. If you aren’t familiar with the intricacies of taking good photos, this is an area where you really should consider hiring a professional.  A professional photographer will make your house look its best. They know all the tips and tricks to get the perfect shot.  If you want to take the photos yourself I highly suggest taking a look at these beginner tips for professional photos. When taking good photos you want to start with a good camera. Use a real camera instead of your smartphone if possible. Consider how the elements of your photo are arranged, also known as photo composition. People want to see the house, so including the street in the shot isn’t necessary. Try to keep people out of the photo unless you’re including it as a lifestyle shot. Ensure that you have good lighting. Make sure that you have enough light so that you can capture details, but also not too much hard light that ruins your shot with unwanted shadows. Oftentimes if you are listing your home with a real estate agent, the professional photos will be included at no charge to you, the seller. Ask your agent what will be provided for you!

 

Make a Video Tour

A Video tour is a great way to show off your home. A video tour gives a better feel for the home compared to photos. It also makes your listing appear more professional. The biggest thing that a virtual tour will do is to create more interest in your listing. The more potential buyers you have the more competition you have which drives up the price. A University of Iowa study found that virtual tours will increase your selling price by 2%-3-% on average. Video tours are also now more affordable as technology continuously gets better and cheaper. If you want more buyers and a better price, making a video tour is a no brainer.

 

Set a Realistic Price

One of the main reasons that homes don’t sell is that they are overpriced. I know that you want to give room for negotiation, but be careful about setting that list price too high. If you ask for too much you won’t have any buyers to negotiate with. Another pricing strategy is to list with a competitive price that attracts multiple buyers. Multiple buyers bidding on a home drives up the price instead of it coming down during negotiations. Be realistic about your home price and you’ll have much more success. When you’re setting a price you should also decide on a timeline for price reduction. How long do you want your home to be on the market before you’re willing to decrease the price? Having a plan for when and how much you reduce your price will prevent you from making emotional decisions down the line, because you’re feeling rejected or pressured for time. Again, this is another time the advice of a professional real estate agent is critical. They will have the knowledge of the current market pricing and you will likely see that if the price is set appropriately, (in today’s hot Colorado seller’s market) you will have multiple offers exceeding the asking price. 

Time Your Sale.

Normally, the best time to list your home is early in May. With warmer longer days, people are more likely to get out and buy a home. Also spring and summer is a great time to move, which many buyers think about when purchasing. You’ll also get all of the benefits of school letting out. Families want their kids to finish out the school year before moving.  Avoid winter listings. In winter people are focused on traveling for the holidays. They are less likely to venture outside in the cold. Kids are still in school. There are less people buying so you’re less likely to have a bidding war. Of course every rule has an exception. If you’re selling a cabin or a ski condo, winter is a great time to sell, because you’ll showcase exactly what the property was made for! And of course... since right now it is a seller’s market, it is a great time to sell. Your real estate agent may already have the perfect buyer waiting for a home just like yours! 

 

Put Up a Sign in The Yard

This one might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t have a for sale sign. A for sale sign is a great idea because it opens opportunities for people in your neighborhood to become potential buyers. Maybe one of your neighbors isn’t in the market to buy a home, but they would consider purchasing if just the right house came on the market. A Sign also helps potential buyers find your house when they’re coming for a viewing. A sign is also the perfect place to put information such as a phone number, listing URL and other relevant information. This easy step isn’t one you want to skip.

 

Hire a Great Real Estate Agent

Selling a house can be stressful and a lot of work. A real estate agent will help take some of that work load off of your shoulders in addition to all of the other benefits of having a real estate agent. A good real estate agent will also help you implement all of these best practices and more. With a real estate agent you’re more likely to get a better price for your home and attract more buyers. A great real estate agent is fantastic at negotiating. Remember, you are hiring them to work for your best interest, and they are happy to do so! 

 

Bonus Tips

Get the Proper Insurance and Possibly a Home Warranty

If you don’t already have home insurance you should get some before selling your house. What happens if you’re uninsured and a potential buyer comes to your house and then hurts themselves. They might sue you for their injuries and without homeowners insurance you’re going to have to foot the bill yourself. You can also get insurance that covers your home if anything breaks during these showings. I have personally been in a situation where a potential buyer did a walkthrough of the home, broke the oven and then left without saying anything. You’d be surprised how often things like this happen.  Get a little piece of mind with some extra coverage, or be sure to check with your real estate agent on what they would suggest, and what your options are. There are home warranties that can be purchased for the time of listing through transferring to the new buyer. Look into what would be the smartest decision for your situation.

 

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Gretchen Wicker

Hello! I'm Gretchen! My love for Colorado began more than 30 years ago as my family moved from Washington State to Colorado Springs where I began attending Air Academy High School. My love continued t....

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