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10 Best Kept Secrets for Selling Your Home

10 Best Kept Secrets for Selling Your Home

Tricks of the trade to help you get top dollar when selling your home.

Selling Secret #10: Pricing it right

Find out what your home is worth, then shave 10 to 15 percent off the price. You’ll be stampeded by buyers with multiple bids — even in the worst markets — and they’ll bid up the price over what it’s worth. It takes real courage and most sellers just don’t want to risk it, but it’s the single best strategy to sell a home in today’s market. We have seen it happen hundreds of times on both sides of the spectrum. Over price your home and it will take longer to sell and for less money. Price just below market and the over priced homes for sale (competition) are used as leverage in buyers minds. Your home gets snatched up because buyers LOVE the feeling of getting a deal.

Selling Secret #9: Half empty closets

Storage is something every buyer is looking for and can never have enough of. Take half the stuff out of your closets, if winter then remove summer clothes, and vice-versa. Then, neatly organize what’s left. We recommend short sleeve to long and color coordination. Buyers will snoop, so be sure to keep all your closets and cabinets clean and tidy. Being perceived from a buyer as "anal-retentive" is actually a great thing. It subconsciously makes them think that if you take care of your closet this way, imagine how good you have cared for the entire house.

Selling Secret #8: Light it up

Maximize the light in your home. After location, good light is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows (both sides), 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 to make your house more light, bright and cheery, and it's desirablity factor doubles.

Selling Secret #7: Play the agent field

A secret sale killer is hiring the wrong broker. Make sure you have a broker who has a custom marketing plan put in writing. They must constantly monitor the multiple listing service (MLS), know what properties are going on the market, and know the comps in your neighborhood. They must utilize a pre-marketing (before listing on MLS) strategy along with targeted marketing. Find a broker who embraces technology – a tech savvy one has many tools to get your house SOLD. Social media has grown in intense popularity and your Realtor must have a presence on multiple sites. Facebook as one example having over 1/7th of the worlds population as membership. Utilize this guide to help you: "The 5 questions you MUST ask when interviewing a real estate agent to sell your home."

Selling Secret #6: 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, in fact some are very allergic. 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, send the critters to a pet hotel 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. If worn, replace the carpets with neutral colors or if condition is fair, utilize a professional carpet cleaning service. 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 #4: Take the home out of your house

One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to depersonalize it. The more personal stuff in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there (it also helps you emotionally treat the "home" as a house and gets your focus on your next "home"). Get rid of a third of your stuff – put it in storage. This includes family photos, memorabilia collections and personal keepsakes. Consider hiring a home stager 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 #3: 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 #2: 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 tiptop shape. A major mistake of sellers is showing the home, "By Appointment Only" or not utilizing a lock box. Don’t leave dishes in the sink, keep the dishwasher cleaned out, the bathrooms sparkling (with toilet lid down), and make sure there are no dust bunnies in the corners. Yes, it’s inconvenient, but it will get your house SOLD. Think of it this way, "If it was easy, everyone would be doing it." The mere fact that a majority of people are somewhat lazy, you are already ahead of your competition by being disciplined in this area.

Selling Secret #1: 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 2nd chance to make a 1st 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. Make sure all outside lights work, along with the door bell. Spruce up your house numbers and trim hedges or shrubbery to make the walk up as open and free as possible. You can typically get a 100% return on the money you put into your home’s curb appeal. Entryways are also important. You use it as a utility space for your coat and keys, but when you’re selling, make it welcoming by putting in a small bench, a vase of fresh cut flowers or even some cookies.

Adapted and expanded by Matthew Stewart Real Estate team

from Source: HGTV

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