Step 1 Prepare…

  • first impressionFirst Impressions Matter.   There are things you don’t notice because you live there and change is gradual.  Make sure the first things that greet people make a good impression.  Pressure wash those driveway, siding, and decks.  Time takes it toll on all of them.  The effort to clean them up is minimal.  Now what about that mailbox or your doormat?  Have you taken a good look at them?  Your friends and neighbors have.  Trim those bushes and clean that garden up.  Have you noticed you have to take a detour over the lawn while walking up the front walk?
  • Get Organized. A walk-in closet will get lots of attention but it’s hard for buyers to get a good feel for a space if it’s cluttered. Organize your closets and drawers to focus attention on storage areas. You may even want to clear out a portion of the closets before showing the house to emphasize the space. Some people go as far as renting a temporary storage unit and moving their clutter out of the house while it’s being shown.
  • Clean the Windows. Natural light lifts the mood and makes rooms dazzle. Keep your windows crystal clear and consider investing in new drapes or shades to draw attention to the windows. Also make sure that plants and trees aren’t blocking any light; if they are, trim the branches.
  • Hide all signs of Pets. Dog and cat lovers may be happy to meet your extended family, however not everyone feels this way.  For some, seeing signs of a pet such as a litter box or bowl of food, leads them to think the house is dirty and there may be worries about lingering animal scents.When your property is shown to potential buyers, pack up Fido and Kitty and all their stuff.  Really? a litter box is not appealing to ANYONE.  No buyer wants to be anywhere near that.  No matter how cute you think your cat is, the litter box is full of animal waste.  It never adds to curb appeal.  And while you are at it, clean up all the land mines Fido planted in your yard
  • Upgrade With a Purpose. Upgrading appliances, painting rooms, or redoing a bathroom can pay off with a higher price and faster sale. However, you must balance the cost and benefit, with some upgrades won’t recoup the cost.
  • Emphasize Potential. You may like how your home is decorated, some won’t agree.  It may make sense to consult a professional.  Staging a house can seem a little odd, but a good stager knows what style appeals to home buyers. If you don’t want to pay for staging the entire house, consider doing just the main rooms — kitchen, living room, and master bedroom.

Step 2 Execute

  • Find a Good Realtor.  Real estate agents who know the local area can be good advisers.  It’s especially important to work with an agent who knows how to use online marketing.   A recent report from found that 92 percent of buyers use the Internet during the search process for a new house.  Observe how your agent represents sellers on the internet.  See for yourself and compare.  Don’t just listen to the jargon.  Ask “Show me your listings, marketing materials and the images you use.”
  • Become a marketing partner.  Talk to your agent about what you can do.  Take their advice seriously.  They MARKET don’t expect them to SELL.Home buyers look through images and set up all sorts of filters while searching for houses online.  Make sure your agent hires a professional photographer.  Marketing material should be eye-catching and cover all the benefits of the house without being too long or using sales jargon.  No matter how beautiful your house is, you need to entice people to visit before they will buy.
  • Connect With Neighbors. No one knows the neighborhood better than people who live there.  Let neighbors know that you’re trying to sell. Invite them to open houses, ask them to spread the word.  Happy or sad to see you go, they will like the idea of having impact in who their new neighbors might be.
  • Talk to your agent about Offering Something Special.  Agent bonuses or buyer concessions help motivate the parties to keep things moving.   Some homeowners offer to cover a portion of the buyer’s closing costs. Consider something a little different, such as throwing in the HD TV, kitchen appliances, or other home furnishings.  It might help seal the deal.