#1 - Choosing the right Realtor: Your home is most likely your biggest investment so do your homework before hiring an agent. Listing with a Realtor who lacks experience or does not do what's in your best interest will cause you to lose thousands of dollars. You need someone who is very responsive to property inquiries and will do a spectacular job during offer negotiations.
#2 - Pricing Your Home Correctly: Overpriced homes can quickly become stale and more time on the market causes buyers to be suspicious that something is wrong with the home. Start off on the right foot by pricing your home correctly. If you don't like the price initially recommended by your Realtor, then pay a few hundred dollars and get an appraisal before agreeing on an asking price.
#3 - Marketing: The more buyers that see your home, the better your chance of getting an offer (or multiple offers). To maximize exposure, make sure your Realtor has a spectacular digital marketing strategy since 92% of home buyers are looking online. Facebook had 1 billion users in a single day, for the first time, on August 27, 2015 (that's 1 in 7 people on Earth) so good social media exposure is essential! Photos and videos must be top quality to entice the buyers to view the home in person.
#4 - Condition of the Home: Carpet and paint are the least costly home improvement materials that provide the biggest return on investment. Are there things around the house that need fixing? If so, fix them before selling because the more things wrong that the buyer discovers, the harder they will look for other issues! Also, make sure the landscaping looks great!
#5 - Staging: This is how you make a memorable first impression! Keep in mind that too much furniture or the wrong sized furniture will result in a poor first impression. Staging allows a buyer to more easily imagine their furniture in the home and helps create excitement and emotional attachment. Secret - even if you plan to use your own furniture, you can still have a staging company out for a paid consultation to help your home create a lasting impression (highly recommend this)!
#6 - Lighting: Light and bright is always in style! Install some additional lighting or add more lamps, if necessary. And if there is an overgrown tree causing part of the home to be dark, get it trimmed.
#7 - Don't be Present for Showings: Buyers will not be comfortable if they get the feeling that they are intruding into your home and personal space. So step out for a bit and grab lunch, run an errand or grab a coffee.
#8 - Presentation: Clean out all clutter. Overly full closets look smaller so now is the perfect time to donate your extra clothing to Goodwill. Make your bed and tidy up before all showings. If you have a housekeeper that usually comes once per week, it would be best to have them come more often if you are getting a lot of showings and don't have time to clean up.
#9 - Pets: Many buyers have allergies and/or are sensitive to pet odors. It's best to have your pets stay with a friend or family member while your home is on the market. And do a deep clean before listing your home for sale.
#10 - Family Photos: It's great to see your family photos on the wall, but buyers will have a more difficult time developing an emotional attachment to a home when they feel like they are intruding on someone else's home turf. So put the photos away.
BONUS TIP: If there is a way to increase privacy on your property, it can often be done at a minimal cost and may result in a significant increase in property value.
*** NOTE - my best record-breaking sales were of homes that were nicely remodeled/updated and also beautifully staged (either by a staging company or the homeowner). Because a beautiful home combined with spectacular marketing = SOLD for an amazing price!
Whether you are thinking of fixing up your home before selling it or just plan to do some ...