Tips for Selling Your Home

mortgage lending and real estate

Beginning the process of selling your house can be extremely stressful. But with rising rent costs and cheaper mortgage rates, many people are looking to become homeowners, so if you want to sell your home, now is a good time to do it. In order to help your house sell as quickly as possible, here are 3 helpful tips to consider:

Clean, Declutter and Depersonalize, and Stage Your Home

Possibly one of the most important things you can do to your home before you sell it, is to give it a really great deep clean. When buyers are looking for homes for sale, they don’t want to walk into a house of filth (and if you follow a tip to come about photos, no buyer will because they will see how dirty it is in pictures). Start with the floors—deep clean the carpets, steam clean the tile and wood floors. Move your way up with cleaning the baseboards, doors, and windows. Clean all the light fixtures, door knobs, and light switches. Clean out your vents.

Give quite a bit of focus to the areas of the house buyers will look at most closely—the kitchen and the bathrooms. Buyers don’t want to see mold or grime, they don’t want scummy showers or nasty dishes in the sink.

If you have children or dogs, this might be particularly important. Make sure to deep clean everything, and before every showing be aware of smells. Light a candle (not one too strong) or bake some cookies if you need to!

selling your homeAnother important factor in selling your house is decluttering and depersonalizing. If you need to, rent a storage unit or borrow a kind family members’ garage for a while. You want to accentuate the space in your house. Clean out closets so they are not overflowing, take a bunch of stuff out of your pantry and your kitchen cabinets. If there isn’t quite as much inside, it will give the appearance of being bigger. Also take most or all of the things off of tables and counters.

You also want to hide personal objects, like family pictures, large art, or religious items. The idea of staging your home is to allow the potential buyer to visualize themselves living there—and that can be hard when you have a photo collage of every picture you’ve taken of your 6 year old on the wall. You want to make the home feel lived and to focus on the home’s features.

Staging Your Home

Consider staging your home as well. You probably don’t need a professional, as you can easily change some things around yourself. Have a friend come in and give you their honest opinion about what they like and don’t like. Rearrange your furniture to be more conversational and symmetrical, move some art pieces around, and have a fresh vase of flowers or a bowl of nice fruit on the table. Make sure to freshen things up, too, by replacing or deep cleaning drapes, towels, and rugs.

When staging, don’t forget the outside! Curb appeal is the first thing buyers notice about a house. Add new mulch, mow the grass, and get some fresh flowers planted. Pressure wash the house and driveway, or add a fresh coat of paint to the shutters. And don’t forget the backyard if you have one. Make the potential buyers visualize all of the things they could do in the yard.

Tip: Before you leave the house for a showing, turn on all the lights and open all the curtains, and make sure to open all the doors in closets.

Find the Right Agent

It seems fairly obvious, but one important factor in how quickly your house sells is whether or not you have the right real estate agent. Don’t be afraid to shop around and do your research. Check out online reviews, take a look at their track record, and make sure they advertise your home effectively on multiple listing sites.

It is usually best to find an agent who has worked a lot in your area or neighborhood. For instance, if you are looking for homes in Lakeview, Kathy Marshall has years of experience. They should be familiar with the comps, and should know who is looking in your area (demographics matter—it tells you what they may love or hate about your home). A good agent should also be able to objectively tell you what you need to fix, change, or upgrade in your home to help it sell.

 Good Photos

 Most people start looking for homes online, and two big factors in online house hunting are pictures and wording. If you don’t have multiple good pictures of your home, people are unlikely to schedule a viewing. Many real estate agents will hire professional photographers to take pictures of a home before it is listed.

Don’t forget that you can help market your home, too! Post it on Facebook or ask your friends and neighbors if they know anyone looking to buy. Word of mouth can spread quickly.

Mostly, once you settle on an experienced and good agent to help sell your home, listen to them! They usually know what the best price is to list your home, and they can recommend good times for you to have the house available for showings. And even after you have hired an agent, if they aren’t listening to your needs and aren’t marketing your house well, don’t be afraid to find a new one!

Make Some Small Upgrades

 Don’t go crazy and remodel the whole house. But also don’t be opposed to making some minor upgrades that might leave your house on the market for less time. Quick fixes can lead to quick sales. As usual, the kitchen and the bathrooms are where you should focus the upgrades, though you shouldn’t forget the rest of the house either.

New cabinet hardware and a fresh coat of paint can breathe new life into some old kitchen cabinets. Replace doors handles in the house, fix your faulty lights, and clean out the grout in your kitchen and bathrooms. If you have a little bit more to spend, get new stainless steel appliances for the kitchen—it might set you back a few thousand dollars, but it will sell your home quickly. And it’s definitely cheaper than remodeling the entire kitchen. There’s a big impact from a pretty small upgrade.

Don’t ignore the things that really need to be fixed and addressed. Buyers will probably notice them, and inspectors definitely will.

Putting a little time, effort, and money into your house before listing it can determine just how quickly your home sells. Take a quick look around your house and think like a buyer—would you want to buy your home in the current condition it is in?

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