1. Make a checklist
Make a checklist to review any time a real estate agent is bringing someone in to look at your home. Nothing fancy, just something to remind you to do all the little preparatory tricks on this list.
2. Paint the front door and entry way
A fresh coat of paint will always help sell the house faster, but if you can’t afford it, try this instead: paint the front door and, if needed, the entry area around the front door. If you don’t have any matching paint around to use, see if there is a plate fixture or some other item you can remove. Then take a chip of that to the paint store to obtain a paint color that matches.
3. Head to the nursery
When your house is up for sale, it’s time to retire all those half-dead plants (both in your yard and in your house) that you keep thinking will come back to life some day. They make a mess by dropping leaves and, to put it simply, having no plant is better than having a dead one. A quick solution is a trip to the nursery for a few fresh new plants.
4. Let there be light
Most people keep curtains, blinds and drapes closed for privacy, but when your house is for sale, be sure to open them all. Your house will look larger and brighter. Make sure that your windows are crystal clear. If your screens are worn out and full of holes, replace them. If you can’t replace tattered screens, take them out entirely to give that clean appearance. DOn’t forget to wipe down dusty window sills. If you have a window that faces an eyesore, you won’t want to keep the drapes or blinds open. In that case, you would keep them closed, but still maintain a neat appearance.
5. Create more space
Remember, you’re not selling furniture; you’re selling a house. Keeping this in mind, you may want to remove any large or ornate pieces of furniture. Unless your taste in furniture is the same as the potential buyer’s large pieces aren’t going to help your house sell. Their absence, however, will make your house appear spacious and inviting.
6. Don’t leave a mess
Inspect your house on the way out the door every day to see if there are any messes you have not had time to clean up. Kick clothes under the bed or get a couple of large, plastic tubs for emergencies. In short, don’t leave your home a mess if there’s any possibility that a potential buyer may see it. Just be careful not to hide your mess where it may be easily discovered, such as in a closet or cupboard!
7. Sell or donate old household items
Have that garage sale you’ve been meaning to have, but never got around to. This is one of the quickest, easiest and most cost-effective ways to clear out those items that make your living space look cluttered. Consider selling your items on digital classifieds like craigslist.com, or making tax-free donations to charities like Goodwill and the Salvation Army.
8. Create an experience
Try writing a letter explaining some of the features of your home. Talk about the schools, good neighbors, malls and shopping centers in the area, perhaps even a little history about the home. Write it in a very personal fashion, as if you were writing to a close friend. Try to create images in the potential buyer’s mind of how great it is to live there. Finally, type this letter and make copies, but sign each one by hand. Put the letter in a nice stationery envelope and leave it in a place where anyone viewing the house couldn’t miss it.
9. Price correctly
Price may be a sensitive issue, but it is the one thing that will sell your house faster than anything else.
Every shopper is bound and determined to get the best deal in town. Do you honestly feel your price makes your house one of the best deals in town? Now is a good time to compare your house with others on the market in the same area.
Your real estate agent will be able to suggest a good listing price that will help your house sell quickly. Some sellers ignore this advice and ask a real estate agent to price high to see what kind of offers they get. Be aware that this can cause your house to stay on the market longer with multiple price reductions, which actually detracts buyers.
10. Offer seller concessions
Seller concessions are little incentives that sweeten the pot for a prospective homebuyer. These may include paying for the first year’s Homeowners or Neighborhood Association dues, or offering a gift card at a home improvement store. Note that any concessions and amounts must be disclosed on the purchase contract, and must be approved by a mortgage lender.