How To Sell Your House Faster and For More Money

One question we are asked every week is “How do I sell my home for more money and in a short amount of time?”  So we have compiled a list of 75 tips for selling your home fast and for the highest possible price.  If you are looking to sell, there is a lot to consider and we are here to help.

How to Sell Your House: 75 Tips for Selling Your House Faster and For More Money

 

  1. New pulls on kitchen cabinets and drawers:  Replacing the pulls and handles on kitchen cabinets and drawers give an overall new appearance to older cabinets. This is one of the easiest and lowest cost replacements you can do to make your kitchen pop.
  2. Buy it Right:  One of the best ways to ensure you’ll sell your home is to buy it right in the first place. Don’t overpay for a property, or you may find yourself underwater when it comes time to sell. By “buying smart”, you open up many more options for your exit strategy.
  3. Pressure wash driveway and any decks:  You probably haven’t noticed just how much dirt has slowly accumulated on your driveway and deck over the years. Having a pressure washed driveway and deck is inviting and can be one of the first things potential buyers see when walking up. First impressions are everything – so make sure your first impression shines and reflects the quality of life they’ll find inside.
  4. New mailbox:  The mailbox is often overlooked as a trivial part of the home, but having a brand new mailbox is another simple and inexpensive way to show potential buyers that the house is fresh and updated. A creative mailbox will also help distinguish the home from the hundreds of other homes on the market.
  5. Fresh mulch, grass, or plants outside: Landscaping is one of the most important things to do to help sell a house. The good thing is it generally just requires some sweat equity and an afternoon to turn a boring front lawn into a manicured work of art.
  6. Give it a fresh scent:  The human sense of smell can trigger powerful emotions in a potential buyer. A fresh scent signifies “new”, which everyone loves!  I personally like the fresh clean scent of Pine-Sol lemon.  
  7. Keep it free of clutter:  If you are trying to sell a property that is not vacant, it’s important to clear away the clutter.  By getting rid of junk and putting all your extra stuff in storage, you bring out the beauty of the room and help the room look larger and cleaner.
  8. Replace light bulbs:  Make sure that darker rooms have higher wattage bulbs to brighten them up. It’s good for presentation and they’re very affordable to replace. Bright rooms = happy rooms.
  9. Fresh paint :  You can’t go wrong with fresh paint on trims, doors, or windows. You’d be surprised at how new you can make a house look with just fresh paint.
  10. Update the front door knobs and hinges:  If they seem outdated, update them! Every prospect will subconsciously notice these small things each time they open the door. If the knobs already look good, just keep them clean.
  11. Have all windows cleaned:  Do the cleaning inside and out. It gives better lighting and view to the outside. A $.99 bottle of window cleaner and a roll of paper towels can do wonders!
  12. Make sure your photos look professional:  Nearly all buyers check online for houses, so don’t get left behind.  Make sure your agent takes professional looking photos and puts the maximum number allowed on each website.  Since the vast majority of potential buyers will use the internet to scope out your home before actually stepping foot inside, the photos you use are one of the most important parts of the listing process, so make them count. Use a high quality DSLR camera with wide angle lens to take photos of your house.
  13. Price it right:  Nothing beats doing your research and setting the right price.  You may have an idea of what your home is worth, but make sure to consult with an expert to help you calculate the perfect price.
  14. Hiring the right Realtor:  To sell your house faster, a good Realtor might just be all you need. Make sure you choose one who’s good at marketing, has experience, and knows your local market.  Don’t be afraid to interview several agents before making a decision.
  15. Spread the word whenever you can:  Even if you hire a real estate agent, you can market your home as well!  Spread the news on social media, inform everyone you know that you are selling your home, and encourage others to share the news as well.
  16. Leave neutral furniture and accessories:  Naturally, you want to get rid of all personal items and all family pictures from around the house.  Also, having neutral furniture and accessories in the home can help a buyer visualize what the home will look like for them.
  17. Turn on lights:  Make a good presentation by turning on all the lights in the home when having a showing. It’s a simple trick, but it works.
  18. Open blinds:  This is great for letting the light in. If your windows don’t have blinds or curtains, consider staging the home with some to add softness and dimension to the room, but keep them open!
  19. Play some good music during a showing:  Turn on a stereo or iPod with speakers playing some soothing or popular music during showings or open houses. Keep the volume somewhat low, so they just hear it in the background.
  20. Clean and paint the closets:  Women buyers always look at closets and visualize their clothes or shoes in them. We find that often, women have the final say when it comes to buying a home, you can understand the importance of not neglecting the closet.
  21. Clean and re-do the laundry room:  Who wants their laundry area to feel like a dungeon.  Everyone wants a lovely laundry room, and it doesn’t take a lot to spruce it up. Some paint, new towels, a couple baskets, and fresh flowers can transform a room. Keep the colors light and airy.
  22. Put in new kitchen cupboard doors:   Sometimes you don’t need to completely replace your cabinets, just replace the doors for significantly cheaper. Or for even more savings, you can simply paint the doors to make them look brand new. Check out different products available to easily transform your cabinets.
  23. Clear fridge of all magnets:  Make the kitchen special without those personal items. This is actually one of the things that most sellers forget to remove, so stand out from the pack and pack those magnets up!
  24. Clear all kitchen and bathroom counters:  There is certainly no need for your toaster, or even toothbrush hanging around when the house is being shown. Remove them whenever buyers are coming over.
  25. Remove pet bowls, toys, and beds before showing:  Although you might love your little cat or dog, the next buyer might not want to be reminded that you have pets.
  26. People look in medicine cabinets:  Don’t leave your medication out for the world to see. Once again, remove personal objects as much as possible.
  27. Beware of nasty pet odors:  You may be used to the smell of your pets, but your potential buyers are not. If you have pets, get all rugs steam cleaned and be extra vigilant about vacuuming and washing surfaces. Try to keep pets outside or at someone else’s house.
  28. Organize pots and pans:  Pack up and store the bunt cake pans, waffle iron, fryer and other large items not used often to clear out the kitchen cabinets. Without all those random items your cabinets will look much larger.
  29. Always follow the “clean clean clean” rule:  You can’t go wrong with a solid cleaning of the house, even the tiniest detail. Pay special attention to light switches, door knobs and other areas that hands are always on.
  30. A new mat at the front door:  It’s cheap and it shows the home is fresh.
  31. Have a take home booklet:  This is more extensive than the MLS flyer you usually get and can include multiple pages with update list, school information, and property disclosures.
  32. Update the outlets and switches to coordinate:  Make sure they match in color, and make sure they work.
  33. Ensure that any little dings or dents in the wall are taken care of:  These are quite noticeable. Depending on the severity of the dents and dings, it may cost you to do a full repair, but if they are minor you can do the repairs on your own with just some wall putty and paint.
  34. Do your own assessment:  Go stand in front of your house and take a quick look: what stands out? You’ll be surprised to discover a lot of things to improve just by trying to get a new perspective. If this doesn’t work, ask your friends to stop by and ask them what they notice. Multiple perspectives are great.
  35. Have an accent on the front door:  Paint or repaint your front door. This is your chance to draw people’s eyes, and a freshly painted door can do wonders for the property. A nice contrasting accent color is a good one.
  36. Make sure lawn is mowed and edged:  This just requires about 30 minutes of your time but the results are spectacular. Once again, landscaping wins. If you are unsure you can maintain the lawn at the appropriate level, hire a local landscaping crew to maintain it for you while the house is on the market.
  37. Never cram furniture:  Staging is good, but cramming a room full of furniture will make it look small and uninviting. Leave the ones that show off the best features of the room, but get rid of anything that makes it look too old or dated.
  38. Clean the carpet:  You may try to steam clean them yourself using or you can bite the bullet and have a professional take care of it. When living in a property, it’s hard to notice how dirty a carpet can become, but after you do it, you will be glad you did.
  39. Fresh flowers on tables:  Fresh flowers are great to include on a table. Just having this simple piece of art can brighten an entire room.
  40. Have a little snack at open houses:  It encourages people to mingle and get a feel for the place. The longer they spend in the home, the higher chance they’ll make an offer.
  41. Don’t ignore the back yard:  Back yards are a big deal for buyers with families. The back yard is where the “entertaining” happens and is a huge source of pride for homeowners.  Be sure the lawn is kept short and defined, and include space for kids to play. 
  42. Check fences:  Do they need replaced or painted? Don’t let the fence tell a false story of how you have maintained the property.
  43. Clean the stoves and ovens:  Prospective buyers spend a lot of time in the kitchen at open houses and showings – and you can bet they are going to open up the oven to see how large it is. Make sure it’s fresh and clean for them.
  44. Clean the baseboard trim:  It may seem silly, but you can lose a sale just because a potential buyer sees dirty baseboards! Take some time to dust and, if needed, repaint any baseboards that need it.
  45. Apple cinnamon smell:  Many home buyers prefer the smell of apple cinnamon when looking through a house. Don’t ask me why!
  46. Pressure wash the siding:  If the home is not being fully painted on the exterior, at least take the time to clean the siding with a good pressure washing.
  47. Hang easy-to-read house numbers:  Sometimes, just the number of the house matters. New numbers are just a couple bucks each, but help a buyer feel that the home is “new” just by seeing the new numbers.
  48. Take the right photos:  This requires having a good eye, but sometimes getting the right angle can make the difference between a room looking boring and a room looking amazing.
  49. Repaint or stain the porch floor as needed:  If you have a front porch, chances are, it’s dirty. Buyers tent to congregate here while waiting for their agent to open the front door, so make the porch floor clean and nice to look at. 
  50. Forget your style:  Focus on the style of the prospect buyers. Try to understand the demographics of the potential buyer and learn what style they like.
  51. Pull your furniture off the walls:  Although it seems counter-intuitive, pulling your couches away from the wall actually makes a room look larger and more inviting.
  52. Make it easy for buyers to live in:  Ask yourself, would you live in this house? Sometimes a house that buyers can picture themselves living in is the key.  If there are any drastic reason why you wouldn’t live in the home, make sure you address them before marketing the property.
  53. Style your dining room table:  A dining room table is great for staging, but if it’s empty it just looks out of place. Besides the flowers we talked about earlier, consider setting the table with nice plates, silverware, and wine glasses.
  54. Symmetrical arrangements usually work well:  Consider this when rearranging your furniture if you have no idea how to do it. If you have two couches in the room, they should either be perfectly perpendicular or perfectly parallel.
  55. Know the “Rule of Three”:  Knick knacks, such as candles, books, lamps, etc. tend to look the best when placed in a group of three.
  56. Create comfortable conversation areas:  When staging, create areas that are conducive to conversation. Make a nice a conversation area in the living room, dining room, the back yard, the family room, the front porch, and more. Encourage conversation!
  57. Price the house well from day one:  When you list right off the bat with a competitive price, the buyers will feel the sense of urgency with your new listing and you may even have a bidding war.
  58. Organize Kid’s Rooms:  If you have kids, you know how tough it is to keep their stuff organized and clean. Help convince your buyer that this house will do just that by organizing your own kids’ toys neatly.
  59. Give every room a purpose:  No room should be without a reason for existence. This is why staging is so important because it allows you to show potential buyers what a room could be.
  60. Promote a lifestyle:  Most buyers are not shopping for a home, they are shopping for a lifestyle. That lifestyle could be “luxury” or “simple” or “family”, so try to create a feeling around your entire house of that lifestyle.
  61. Plan for the Season:  Your home should be staged to compliment the current season. If it’s winter, go ahead and show off the storage area for snow boots. If it’s fall, bring out the firepit and pumpkins in the back yard.
  62. Double check your agent’s online marketing:  Remember that the vast majority of prospects come from seeing your listings online, so be sure that listing looks great.
  63. Network with the neighbors:  Invite your neighbors and their friends to your open house, or send out mailers that let they can “pick their new neighbors” by sharing the house listing with their family and friends.
  64. Facebook is a good way to gain exposure:  Post your house pictures on Facebook, or share a link to your agent’s website with all of the information.
  65. Leave some good stuff behind:  Consider what you could include with the sale of the home that the homeowner would probably need to buy. Could you offer to include the washer and dryer? How about the kid’s swing set? The gas grill? Get creative!
  66. Check out the competition:  Drive around and look at other homes that are on the market. Get your agent to give you a tour of your most similar comps and find ways to beat them!
  67. Choose sophisticated neutral colors:  It doesn’t mean that you need to go all white. Rich midtone neutrals like taupe or gray create a sophisticated backdrop that can make everything look pulled together and modern.
  68. Keep a good mindset:  Always focus on maintaining a positive mindset. There are buyers out there looking exactly for your property, you just have to find them. Look at the sale of your property with “business eyes” and try not to take it personal.
  69. Consider your agent’s opinion:  Find an agent you trust and follow their advice as often as you can.
  70. Walk in the shoes of a buyer:  Start by shopping online for local houses similar to yours. Learn how they price and present their house. What stands out to you? What makes you turned off? Take note of how you react, and then make adjustments accordingly.
  71. Visit neighborhood open houses:  This will give you an instant education in what not to do when marketing your own home, as well as what you should do.
  72. Always say yes to a showing request:  You never know when your buyer is going to walk through the front door, so be prepared at all times. Keep the home organized, clean, and smelling great 100% of the time.
  73. It’s about first impressions:  Sometimes, the first impression is the only impression. In fact, most buyers decide if they’ll place an offer on a house within just seconds, so make sure it counts.
  74. Make all necessary repairs:  A leaky faucet or dirty furnace suggest to buyers that you might not be maintaining the house well. Do quick fix for these before any open houses or showings.
  75. Just Do It:  All the tips on this list are helpful, but don’t think that you need to do them all in order to sell your home. Focus on the few tips that you think will give you the biggest bang for your buck and do them well.  Too busy?  Just ask us for a list of our reasonably priced handymen who can do odds and ends for you!

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