decorating, preparing your home for sale, real estate, selling your home quickly, Uncategorized

Tips for Selling your Home Quickly

My eldest daughter is getting ready to put her townhouse on the market and has enlisted my help in getting it ready for sale.  I’ll admit that I’m pretty excited.  Cleaning, staging and decorating are at the top of my list of fun things to do!   

I’m by no means an expert, but in the past 11 months I’ve sold two homes in less than 24 hours after they were listed.  One of those homes was in an area that was difficult for making sales. I don’t attribute my success to luck, I did my research and followed several steps that made a distinct difference.  The biggest help was the fact that my husband and I had been looking for nearly a year for the perfect home for us. I knew what it felt like to enter a home that looked awesome on the outside only to find a cluttered mess in need of repairs, or a funny smell on the inside.  When I began prepping to sell our home and my in-laws’ Hilton Head retreat, I pretended that I was viewing each house as a potential buyer.  What would prompt me to put in an offer, or mark it off my list.  This is the method that I used to ready my two homes for sale:

  1. Touch ups and repairs– A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and touch up paint are your friends.  They say that painting is the easiest way to refresh a home, but painting takes time and money, especially if you hire someone.  A Magic Eraser will remove most marks from walls.  The marks that won’t budge are easily erased with a few swipes of touch up paint. Most walls and ceilings can look new again with little time and effort.  Take the time to do all of those pesky small repairs that you’ve been putting off like fixing the gate latch or a door that sticks.  These fixes take little time and money ,and make your home move-in-ready for a new owner.
  2. It pays to call in professionals– If you know there’s a major repair that needs done (plumbing, electrical,  HVAC, etc.)  contact a licensed professional and fix the problem before it costs you a sale.  Most buyers request a professional inspection as a contingency and all mechanical or structural problems will be addressed with this inspection.  Hiding a major issue could not only lose you a sale but cost you more in the long run.
  3. Think through upgrades—If you can afford it, it’s tempting to want to  repaint, change out flooring, or renovate bathrooms or the kitchen to make your home more appealing to buyers.  Depending on the location of your home this could cost more money than you get in return.  Your thoughtful upgrades are often redone by new buyers who want their home in their personal style..  It’s best to ask your realtor if an upgrade is worth it.
  4. Get cleaning—  Seriously, clean every nook and cranny like your in-laws are coming to visit for the very first time.  This includes your appliances, bathrooms, walls, ceilings, carpets and anything else that’s staying in your home.  No one wants to see someone else’s filth or clutter.  Rent a storage unit for your extra things or ask a friend or family member to temporarily store them at their home until your sale is made.
  5. Don’t forget outside–Keep your lawn mowed, and trim shrubs and trees. Remove all debris from your outdoor space. Clean your outdoor lighting, power wash your siding, and touch up any chipped paint. A few flowers or potted plants at your outdoor entry, a fresh door mat, and a welcoming door wreath will give your home curb appeal.
  6. Make it smell good—  A thorough cleaning will usually dispel most home odors.  Make sure to wash all curtains that are staying and have the carpets cleaned.  It’s amazing how many cooking odors linger in both.  Don’t over do it with plug-in air fresheners, but put at least one on each floor of the home. Stick with the same scent; apple cinnamon or vanilla are usually good choices to make your house smell homey.
  7. Stage it— Any small furniture that you’re not taking to your new home can be used to define the rooms in the home you’re selling.  A visit to Homegoods, or an online venture to Amazon can provide some inexpensive items that can make a home appealing.  Things like decorative towels in the bathroom or new  throw pillow covers placed over old love seat pillows can brighten up a room.

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    Inexpensive pillow covers from Amazon
  8. Make it positive— In the homes that I’ve sold, I’ve used art work that displays positive messages and pillows or wall decals with positive sayings. This helps a buyer to picture themselves living in a place with good energy.

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    Positive wall decal from Amazon
  9. Throw in a few bonuses—  That older furniture that you’re using for staging might be just what a young person starting out might need to begin life in their new home.  Offer it up as a bonus, separate from the home contract.   Home warranties can also sweeten the pot.  A $500, one year, warranty on appliances or HVAC system can sometimes be the tipping point that makes a sale.
  10. Listen to your realtor—  If you’re hiring a realtor, take their advice.  They know the market and what selling prices are reasonable.  I have a friend who’s been trying to sell her grandmother’s home for over a year because she views it as far more valuable than several realtors and appraisers have. Just because you have a specific number in your head of what you’d like to get for your home, doesn’t mean that the market will bear that.
  11. Be ready to negotiate and don’t be greedy— When the offers begin rolling in be ready to consider them—even the lower ones.  Remember, every month your home stays on the market is another month of expenses that you’ll be paying out.

The items on this list did take a lot of hard work, but it was a labor of love. Our fast sales saved us a lot of money and allowed us to move into our dream home.

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