Selling your home can be a stress-inducing experience. You may be wondering:
- When you should sell your home
- How to give it more curb appeal
- Whether you should undertake major repairs or sell your home as-is
- If the price you want is realistic for your local real estate market
Scroll down to see our top nine real estate tips for sellers who want to get the most out of their home sale.
#1 Don’t go upgrade-crazy
One of the oddest tips for selling your house is to make it over completely.
While your home will be more appealing to buyers if you spruce it up, spending an arm and a leg on expensive home upgrades won’t necessarily translate to a larger profit down the line. Although a potential buyer may appreciate upgraded appliances or cabinets, they will love the home for the same reasons you do. With that being said, do the necessary upgrades but don’t overspend when unneeded.
Too often, sellers who want to maximize their home’s value and take out home improvement loans to make changes that just aren’t necessary.
Costly, time-consuming home renovations can be worthwhile if you’re planning on staying in a home for a long time, but if you’re not, it’s better to let the new owners put in their own chef’s kitchen or home sauna.
More importantly, style-related upgrades, such as marble kitchen countertops, skylights, and built-in aquariums, can turn a prospective buyer off.
Seller tip: Some upgrades can help you to get more offers. To figure out what your home needs, ask your real estate agent to give you their most candid advice for your individual house.
The team with David Roberts Real Estate will be happy to chat with you about upgrades that have a high return on investment (ROI), such refinishing your wood floors or putting in a new garage door.
#2 Ask for expert advice
When it comes to selling your home, the tips for selling your house that you’ll get from an experienced, tech-savvy broker can be invaluable.
Why? Simply put, when you choose to work with a seasoned real estate agent, you avoid the following risks:
- Pricing your home too high or low – Real estate professionals handle house sales every day and can gauge your home’s right price point.
- Losing marketing opportunities – Real estate agents spend years learning how to market homes. They understand market trends and what a home buyer is looking for. Not only do they have a vast network of contacts they can use to spread the word about your property, but they also know all the can’t-miss websites and social media hubs for listing your home.
- Missing out on showings – A real estate agent can show your home while you’re away at work, ensuring that you don’t have to arrange your entire schedule around potential buyer meetings.
- Taking the negotiating process too personally – By employing an agent, you spare yourself the ups and downs of insulting offers, manipulative feedback, and buyer rejection. This will also ensure that you don’t sell your home for less than it’s worth the minute you get a decent offer. Not to mention the negotiation process can be a lot of time-consuming, back and forth discussions. Let your real estate agent deal with the little details, so you don’t have to!
#3 Create a strong first impression
What’s the first thing potential buyers will notice about your home?
Actually, several things will strike them off the bat, namely:
- The state of your yard and landscaping
- Your home’s exterior
- Your home’s entry
- The scent of your home
Because you never get a second chance to make a first impression, one of the most crucial real estate tips for sellers is to put some effort into these aspects of your house.
Before buyers visit, we suggest:
- Making sure your lawn is mown, and your hedges are clipped
- Pulling up any stray weeds
- Painting over any chips on your home’s exterior
- Fully repainting your shutters
- Washing your car, if it will remain present, then parking it in the garage
- Cleaning your gutters
- Clearing your yard of toys and athletic equipment
- Washing off the driveway
- Placing a wreath on the door
- Adding a new welcome mat
- Reorganizing your foyer or front hall
- Brightening your entry with a vase of fresh flowers
- Taking care of any issues that might be causing unpleasant odors, such as pet bedding or food
A few hours before your potential buyers arrive, bake some bread or cookies. This will fill your home with wonderfully cozy aromas.
David Roberts team will give you insight into anything else you need to do to make your home buyer-friendly. As a pair of fresh eyes, they’ll be able to spot the small fixes necessary for optimizing your property.
Seller tip: If you don’t bake, try burning candles with universally well-liked scents, such as lavender, lemon, or beeswax. Essential oil room sprays can also work for this purpose.
#4 Store 70% of your stuff
When buyers view your home, you want them to be able to visualize themselves living in it. That’s why making your house as much of a blank canvas as possible is one of our top tips for selling your house.
The items that give your home its personality, such as family photos, edgy art, distinctive furnishings, and everyday clutter, prevent buyers from imagining what each room would look like if their possessions were in it. An interested buyer will love to see how they can make your home their own and clutter can detract from what they are looking for.
In addition to tips and tricks on the selling side of a home, there are also real estate tips for buyers. Understanding both sides can help you in selling your home. To help your buyers see what’s possible, store as many of your possessions as you can. A storage space is ideal for this purpose, as buyers will be looking at your closets and garage. Let’s face it, stuffed storage areas seldom look their best!
Store as many of your possessions as you can comfortably do without. As a rule, you can usually stow:
- Mementos, keepsakes, and photos
- Most of your clothes
- Office equipment that isn’t in daily use
- Musical instruments
- Extraneous furnishings, such as baskets and end tables
While this may sound labor-intensive and inconvenient, your home will show much better once you’ve decluttered it. Your newly empty rooms will look bigger and more adaptable.
Seller tip: Scan your paperwork to make it easier to dispose of. You’ll be amazed at how free you feel once you’ve gotten rid of all that unnecessary paper clutter.
Seller tip: We recommend hiding pet bowls and chew toys in the garage or closet. While this may temporarily disappoint your pooch or kitty, these changes will help your home show better.
#5 Make necessary repairs
If you’re planning on selling a house as is, keep in mind that many first-time and older home buyers aren’t interested in fixer-uppers. That’s why repairing any issues that your home inspection will turn up before listing your property is one of our most urgent real estate tips for sellers.
Another reason to patch that hole in the roof and make sure your HVAC is up to code? The buyer’s agent may use flaws like these to bring down your home’s asking price.
If you’re not sure which problems you should address, please ask. David Roberts team can tell you which as-is home issues will be seen as red flags and which ones are merely cosmetic imperfections.
#6 Opt for easy upgrades
If you want to help your real estate agent sell your house, go for the “low-hanging fruit” of home upgrades. We’re talking about relatively cheap fixes that have the power to dramatically enhance your home’s look.
- Painting interiors – A nice, fresh coat of pure white paint can make your home look bright and airy. If pure white clashes with your wood floors or millwork, use a warm cream shade.
- Giving your home a color scheme – Have you heard of the 60-30-10 color scheme rule? It’s the trick that professional decorators use to make rooms feel more cohesive.
In a nutshell, professional decorators rarely use more than three colors in a single room (although they might employ multiple variations on the same shade.)
The 60% color should be neutral, the 30% hue should be an interesting but not overwhelming hue, and the 10% color can be as exciting as you’d like. In practice, this might look like a living room with white walls and chairs, a green couch, and red sofa cushions.
- Rehanging pictures at the correct height – Most people hang their art too high. To show your home to your best advantage, hang your pictures at eye level.
You can do this by dividing the height of a picture’s frame in half, subtracting the distance from the frame’s top to its hanger, and adding 60 inches. Voila! That’s the perfect height for your picture’s nail.
Seller tip: Up for some slightly more drastic changes? If your bathroom and kitchen cabinets have gotten dingy, wake them up with a coat of neutral paint. In the eventuality that the cabinet doors are damaged, consider refacing them, as this can be done for a relatively low cost.
#7 Let professionals add polish
As you look through lists of real estate tips for sellers, you’ve probably seen the advice that it’s very necessary to deep-clean your home before showing it.
It’s true that your home needs to be cleaned before it’s toured, but is it really necessary for you to deep-clean it yourself? Why not ask the pros to do it?
A professional cleaning service can quickly (and unemotionally) take care of any neglected areas you’d like to address before your home showings commence.
Similarly, scheduling a professional window cleaning team can also be a good investment, especially if you live in a multi-story home. Window cleaners have the tools to reach exterior window surfaces that you can’t safely access—and leave them sparkling.
Hiring a home stager with professional lighting skills may not be the worst idea, either. Most homeowners under light their rooms, which can make them feel drab to potential buyers.
A professional home stager knows how to use lighting to set off architectural features, minimize imperfections, and make your house seem inviting.
These details, although small, can truly make a difference in the way your home sells. Home buyers are not going to pay top dollar for a dirty, cluttered home. Do the necessary measures to put your home at the top of a prospective buyer’s list.
Seller tip: Berkshire Hathaway Homes PINNACLE home services program can help you make all of these upgrades and improvements with no cost out of pocket, meaning you don’t pay until your home closes escrow.*
#8 Get digital
Before buyers tour your home, it needs to catch their fancy online. That’s why great, high-resolution photos of your home are a must.
For best results, hire a professional photographer. Many real estate photographers also specialize in 360 virtual tours and aerial photography, essential options to consider in the era of COVID-19.
Seller’s tip: Once you’ve got some enticing digital assets, share them far and wide. Instagram is a good venue for such photos, especially when you geo-tag them, to call them to the attention of buyers shopping for homes in your area.
#9 Sell in spring
The last of our real estate tips for sellers has to do with timing, a topic of vital importance.
According to the U.S. News & World Report, the best time to sell your home is spring.
What makes spring such a propitious season for selling in the housing market? Spring-listed homes attract more interest from buyers, due to factors like:
- Warm weather that encourages new endeavors
- Yards that look their very best
- Most people’s preference for moving in the summer (which spurs buyers to make timely decisions)
In addition, listing your home in April gives you a head start on selling it that those who list in June just won’t have.
Seller tip: There is less inventory in the winter months and typically buyers tend to be more serious.
Sell faster, with our team.
If you’re like most homeowners who are preparing their properties for sale, certain questions keep you up at night, such as:
- What if your house sits on the market for a long time?
- Which upgrades will actually make your home desirable?
- What if you price your home too low and cheat yourself out of thousands?
Here’s the truth: your worries are valid. Remember that every question is valid.
David Roberts team can help you:
- Accurately analyze your local real estate market
- Research the competition in your neighborhood and give you tips on how to stand out
- Negotiate a desirable price, including telling you about any opportunities you have for raising what you’re asking