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Secrets to selling your home fast

Updated on May 21, 2013

Stage every room

Pretty bedding sets a tone
Pretty bedding sets a tone | Source

Don't ruin your own home sale

Home owners can be their own worse enemy when putting their house on the market. Simple mistakes can cost tens of thousands of dollars. If you want to get your house sold fast, and for the most money, then you have to do the work and get out of thinking that you know how to do it.

Instead, take advice from the experts and give up your perspective. Open and willing minds win this race every time.

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Follow these steps, and your house will sell

  1. Do not try to sell your house For Sale By Owner. If you owned a business, would you rely solely on a yard sign to bring in customers? No, not if you wanted to stay in business. Get over your feeling that you can save money doing it yourself. You won't. I'm an experienced Realtor and I always pay commission to get my own properties sold.
  2. Find a Realtor who has been in the business a while and knows your neighborhood. Don't hire your second cousin's kid because you want to help her out. You are about to get a return on your longterm investment. Hire experience.
  3. Before the house goes on the market, box up the clutter and personal items in your home and move them out of the house. Do not put boxes and boxes of stuff in your garage, or closets. That is not the best way to highlight your home. Box up at least half of your stuff, including clothes, dishes, family photos, as much as you can. Leave the furniture, though you are going to need it.
  4. Paint every room of your home a neutral color, the same color actually, throughout the house. Paint every trim bright, glossy white. Do not leave loud, vibrate colors on the walls, or that kid's mural you had painted years ago. No matter what you may believe, it is not an asset to your home.
  5. Spread new mulch around your garden beds all around your property. This one step is the cheapest and most bang for your buck. And it pays off. Potential buyers love the feeling of a cared for yard and nothing says this more than a few bags of mulch. Don't skimp on this step. Buy as many bags as you need to completely fill in all your gardens.
  6. Plant a few red and yellow flowering plants around your front door. Some study years ago found that people are drawn to these colors. You can even put them in pots on the front porch. Remember, it helps give buyers a warm feeling as soon as they drive up.
  7. Stage the inside of your home, as well. If you don't know what this is, visit today a model home in the nearest subdivision. Furniture is arranged to look cozy. Items are left out, such a beautifully set dinning room table or a throw, book and reading lamp on a comfy chair by the window. Get rid of ALL your personal items. No one wants to move into someone else's home. So take down ALL family photos.
  8. Take lots and lots of photos for the Realtor when you are done with these steps. You don't have to hire a professional photographer but you do have to take professional photos. Do not have dirty dishes in the sink or your cat walking through a shot.
  9. This step is the hardest for most homeowners, but it is very important. Get an appraisal of your home by a certified appraiser. This is not just a comparable analysis done by Realtors. You want the big guns. This can be scary because you may not like what they say. But, there is nothing that says you can't help the appraiser. Make the appointment right after you have staged the home. Send the kids and the pets away for the day. Have your Realtor bring those comps that helped you price your home and give them to the appraiser. If you think the appraiser was dead wrong and so does your experienced Realtor, hire another one. By law, appraisals are only a snapshot of the expected value of your home. It is not set in stone.
  10. But if your appraisal is just what you expected, then price your home just below that price, say by a few thousand. You will be advertising that you have under priced your home for a quick sale. Nothing brings in buyers like the thought of a deal. The appraisal is the proof that you are giving them one.
  11. Now, you are ready to get the house on the market. First, make sure that the language your Realtor uses talks of the lifestyle of the house, not the features. Any Realtor who writes that the house is a three bedroom, two bath is wasting space. Instead, use the comment section of the listing to write about the joy the new owners will have having their morning coffee in the sunlit breakfast nook, or family gatherings by the fireplace. You want this language to set a tone from the minute the owners first hear about the house.
  12. Next, have your Realtor list the house on the market on a Monday, BUT, with the notice that no showings can be held until an open house that Saturday or Sunday. This all happens in the first week your house goes on the market in order to capitalize on the best time to sell your home _ which is the first week it is for sale.
  13. Hold an open house on the first weekend day in your market most used for house openings. In my area, it's typically Sunday afternoon. Schedule the open house for no more than three hours and it must be heavily advertised. Craigslist, your local newspaper, signs around the neighborhood and along the closest busiest street. You want to get as many people there as possible. Also, make sure your Realtor invites all the town's real estate agents to come. In fact, invite your friends and family too. The more people there, the more likely you will get a sale. Because, in that crowd will be at least one serious buyer and they will think that they better put in an offer quickly or someone else will snatch it up.

Follow these steps, and you will be marketing your home in the best way possible. You will create a sense of urgency for the buyer for a home that is warm and inviting. I've used this process many times and most of the time the house is under contract by the second Monday it's on the market.


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    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 4 years ago from Brazil

      We currently have our house on the market. It is different here in this part of Brazil, agents aren't driven like they are in other countries.

      I agree wholeheartedly with your suggestion about getting rid of clutter and sprucing the place up. If you don't, it is like shooting yourself in the foot.

      Great tips