Top 10 Home Seller Tips

We all know what is said about first impressions. Well, many buyers are sold in the first minutes of a home tour. They have done their homework with their agent and know the house specs fit their needs. Now they enter and imagine themselves living in the home. If it grabs them from the beginning they are likely hooked. However, the process to close a home is long and there are opportunities for the deal to fall apart. Having attention grabbing curb appeal is a great start but there are other things to keep in mind.

  1. Use a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home
    According to the NAR, in many markets it is likely that 80% of homes sold "For Sale By Owner" will not make it to the close of escrow. Owners are not trained in real estate negotiations and are unaware of the extensive processes that take place to get a home sold with the proper contracts and protection. It is likely that a homeowner will become discouraged and scrap the sale altogether. A well trained, successful real estate agent is worth their commission. Commissions are based on many factors. Brokers have the options to charge what they want. It will vary by area and by services offered. The best way to find out is to ask around and find out who others are using. Interview the agent and determine what he/she will do for you even before you talk of commission. The advice, services, marketing, and protection you will receive by using the right agent will save you in the long run.

  2. Set the Correct Asking Price
    The price of a home determines many things regarding the sale of a home. A house will sit on the market or sell immediately depending on how it is priced with the rest of the competition in the area and market. Buyers will demand houses priced according to the market with adjustments given for condition and features. Your agent can help you determine the correct price. Take his/her advice seriously and do not let greed crave more than the market will pay. If you need a quick sale, price below the market. If you don't care about time and want the most for your home then test the market by pricing 2-3% above what other homes in the area have sold for. If an offer comes in and is reasonable be sure to consider it and give a counter if needed. Don't pass up a great opportunity thinking that something better will come in. Look at all offers that come in in a realistic manner.

  3. Declutter
    Once the house is listed and priced then prep the house for sale. When a buyer comes to the house to preview it they immediately begin to imagine themselves in it. They mentally place their furniture and paint the walls. They want to do the least amount of work possible to move in. If you have clutter throughout the house it looks smaller and it looks like a lot of work to clean up. Make the home seem as though there is a lot of space and would be easy to move into.

  4. Lighten Up
    houses sell well that seem spacey, airy, and bright. When a house is presented open the windows and the window treatments (i.e. blinds and curtains). Turn on the lights. Light a few candles. The house will seem more cheery and give a more open feeling.

  5. Use Your Green Thumb
    Plants soften the feel of a home. Houses have lines and corners. Plants give an organic shape and feel. On the exterior plant shrubs, bushes, and other greenery that will show the house is well maintained. Plant seasonal flowers that will bloom at alternating times so that there is always something in bloom (obviously depending on where you live). On the inside, pot well trimmed house plants and keep them healthy. Keep the lawn trimmed as well.

  6. Sell a Functional Home
    Repair broken parts of the home that should function. If something drips hire the plumber. If an appliance doesn't work get it fixed, replace, or get rid of it. If you don't have everything in working order you will pay for it at the time of inspection or you will discount it in your home price. It is best to have everything working so that it appears that little work is needed for the buyer to be comfortable.

  7. Repair the Cosmetics
    A fresh coat of paint goes along way in a homes appearance. Paint in neutral or white colors so buyers can imagine their own pallet to work with. Clean everything visible. Make sure an open door will reveal organized, clean feeling. Make the beds. Fold the clothes. Carpet stains affect the feel of a home. Dirty carpet suggests dirty home. Consider placing tile instead of carpet in main walk ways and near doors. Clean the garage. Clutter is a killer. People want to feel the house is ready to move into and the garage is where many people unload their belongings when moving in. Place nice pictures in the home and use them sparingly. Again, people want to imagine themselves in the house. If they see too many pictures, especially ones of someone else's kids and family, then it is hard to picture as their home. Use pictures that don't suggest race, religion, status, etc.

  8. Smells
    Have you ever entered a house and thought, "how could you possibly live here with this smell?" or "what IS that?" Use neutral candles and air fresheners to give a great scent to the home. If it smells fresh it must be clean, right?

  9. Kitchens and Bathrooms
    people tend to gather in kitchens and are particular about bathrooms. Clean, well organized, functional kitchens and bathrooms are very important. Make sure grout is in good repair. Be diligent in cleaning and sanitizing the rooms. Be sure appliances and faucets all work without leaks. Smells are key in selling the room as clean. Make sure toilets, sinks, washers, and stoves all work property. Refrigerators, microwaves and stoves need to be immaculate regardless of their age.

  10. Be Willing to Negotiate
    Once you have determined the value of your home. Calculate what you will need to get to pay your realtor and your other seller's fees. Then, prepare the home for presentation and keep it maintained. Once you receive an offer be willing to work out the terms and price so that you get what you need while giving the buyer what he/she needs. If you can't come to terms then maybe you are not a match. However, you may need to sacrifice something to get something in return. Be sure to be open minded yet shrewd regarding your requirements.

    If you are asked for a home warranty consider it an investment. If something goes wrong with the house the new buyers will call the warranty company instead of you and lawsuits are less likely.

Selling a home can be a crazy adventure and there is most often a deal of work to be done to prep the home. There are many other tips and suggestions you may use. Your agent should be the biggest asset for those resources.


NOTE: Information on this site is not guaranteed to be accurate. Some content is compiled from 3rd party sources. If you are aware of incorrect or outdated information, feel free to contact us.