Selling a house can be challenging. There are so many things that are out of your control. And ultimately, it’s out of your hands whether someone loves your home enough to buy it. Besides that, selling a house can feel like it takes FOREVER.
Fortunately, there are a handful of things you can control. By understanding the real estate industry and learning how to make your home stand out, you can help speed the process along.
Let’s explore what you can control. We’ve put our tips for selling your home into two categories: the industry category and the home category.
4 Real Estate Industry Tips
1. Accommodate for the real estate market you’re selling in
In a buyer’s market, there are more homes for sale than prospective buyers. In a seller’s market, there are more prospective buyers than homes for sale.
Selling in a seller’s market can be highly advantageous. Your home will likely garner more interest, get higher offers, and hopefully, sell fast.
Now, selling in a buyer’s market can be challenging because there are lots of houses competing for buyers’ attention. In a buyer’s market, you’ll have to temper your expectations, price competitively and prioritize staging your home.
Whether you’re selling in a favorable or unfavorable market, you should stage your home for sale and put its best facade (and interior) forward.
2. Get professional real estate photos and floor plans
“A picture is worth a thousand words.”
We’ve all heard this adage repeated time and time again – and that’s because there’s a lot of truth to it.
You can talk all you want about your property, but you’ll really capture a buyer’s heart and attention with pictures. Do your home justice and make sure the pictures are well lit and nicely staged.
Of course, there’s more to photography than static photos. Level up and get a photographer who can build virtual tours that include floor plans.
While virtual tours take a little longer to set up, they’re worth the wait. Your home may be seen by buyers who can’t make an open house because they’re not in the same town or state. A virtual tour can give these buyers a more in-depth look at the house without having to walk through your front door.
Paying a professional real estate photographer can be a smart investment. They’re well versed in everything from angles and lighting to capturing the unique beauty of a home.
3. Write a listing description that POPS
Professional pictures are a must, but the listing description is just as important. The listing needs to be compelling and really give the buyer’s imagination something to work with.
Make potential buyers want to learn more about your home with these tried-and-true listing tips:
- Highlight your home’s special features in the first few lines. You’ll want to capture the buyer’s attention ASAP.
- Paint a positive mental picture with descriptive adjectives. Turn your house from “big, old and roomy” to “grand, vintage and spacious.”
- Add functionality and use for different spaces in the home. It’ll help buyers see themselves living there. Your “large dining room with high ceilings” can be “a large dining room with high ceilings to host fancy dinner parties.”
- Keep it short. Ideally, you’ll want to keep your listing description to no more than 250 words.
- Proofread. Proofread. Proofread.
4. Find the right real estate agent
The right real estate agent can be the difference between selling and not selling your home.
Look for a listing agent with a great track record who knows the local area well. You should also ask people you know who have recently sold their homes for referrals.
Your agent will be your partner over your seller’s journey, so don’t make this decision lightly. You’ll be trusting your real estate agent with the keys to your home, negotiations and selling. Look for someone you think you’ll work well with who’s got the experience you need and the creativity to deal with your circumstances.
4 Home Preparation Tips
1. Prioritize minor repairs and updates
If you’re looking to sell your home quickly, major repairs, like a roofing job or an updated HVAC system, may not be cost effective. Major repairs can take a lot of time to complete and a lot of money. In the end, those repairs may only add a few thousand dollars to the home sale price.
Prioritize repairs or updates that are fast and affordable, including:
- Deep cleaning the carpets
- Replacing or polishing wood floors
- Painting your home (inside or out)
- Replacing hardware and finishes
- Repainting the trim around the house
2. Scrub, spray and sweep
Cleaning your home is crucial to selling fast. Hire a professional cleaning service or do a thorough deep clean that tackles everything from the baseboards to the carpets.
If you’ve got pets, particularly the shaggy kind, vacuum the pet hair and deodorize the house. We know you love your pet, but your potential buyers may not. You’ll have to hide any trace of them. Ideally, you’d take them somewhere else before each showing.
Make a checklist of things to clean before each showing. This could be anything from wiping the counters down, sweeping and vacuuming to wiping down the bathroom. The house should be spotless every time a potential buyer walks through the door.
3. Prioritize your curb appeal
There are a handful of ways to boost your home’s curb appeal. Whether you’re thinking of putting in flower beds, repainting the front door or resealing the driveway, you’ll attract more buyers with a beautiful front yard.
If you have a pool, shed or any other unique outdoor spaces, make sure they’re tidy. Rake your leaves, mow your lawn, trim the hedges and keep your garden weeded so your yard looks well kept and manicured.
4. Stage for all five senses
Did you know that you can use the five senses to elevate your home staging game?
When you think of staging a home, what’s the first thing you think of? If you’re like a lot of us, you probably think about decluttering, and you worry over the state and condition of your furniture and decor. But the most effective home staging goes beyond what the eye can see and appeals to the remaining four senses.
Let’s dive into how you can appeal to the five senses of potential home buyers.
- Sight: The right lighting and open windows can help make a room feel more open and inviting.
- Smell: Mix up some potpourri on the stove, light a few candles or bake something yummy that morning (think: cookies). Any of these options can fill your home with a comforting smell that appeals to buyers’ noses, helping them feel right at home.
- Sound: You’ll want to fix the creak in the floor, the squeak in the faucet and the clatter of the gutters. If you’ve got noisy neighbors, try asking them (nicely) for a noise moratorium when you’re showing the house.
- Touch: Make sure any displayed blankets are soft and nicely folded. Make sure your cloth furniture is spotless and inviting to use. Wipe any dirt or dust from all surfaces. When a buyer runs their finger along the top of your TV, you don’t want them staring back at a dust-coated index finger.
- Taste: Be the open house that came with tasty snacks! Whether it’s drinks or bags of peanuts, the way to your buyer’s heart might be through their stomach.
Happy Home Sale
With these insider industry tips and home staging hacks, you’re more than ready to create an atmosphere that captures buyers and attracts purchase offers.
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The Short Version
- Investing in professional photos, flowers in the front yard and necessary repairs can help make your home more appealing
- Your real estate agent will be your partner when you’re selling your home – choose one carefully
- Stage your home for all five senses to help make potential buyers feel at home