Updated: Nov 28, 2019
Tried and true tips from real estate experts on maximizing profit when selling your home
You want to sell your home fast and maximize your profit. Selling, keeping your place organized, or even thinking about moving is stressful. Especially when strangers are peeking inside every room and poking around your closets and cabinets, scrutinizing every detail about your space and belongings.
It’s not an accident and definitely not luck that some homes sell faster than others, and some sit on the market for months. Homes that sell fast, leave a lasting impression on the buyers and urge them to make an offer fast.
For your home to do the same, and to minimize the stress that comes along with the selling process, you have to disconnect emotionally and think like a buyer.
Follow these 11 steps to get your home in ready-to-sell shape and make your buyers say “THIS IS THE ONE!”.
1. THINK LIKE A SELLER, NOT LIKE A HOMEOWNER
This step is important and will be critical throughout the entire preparation process. Humans are very subjective in nature and it’s tempting to think that you know what’s best when it comes to your home. But you have to put yourself in your buyer’s shoes and look at your home from their perspective, with their eyes. You are now a seller, and not a homeowner. You mission is to position your home in the best possible light and let perspective buyers visualize themselves living in your home. As Jay Frenkel of OnlyWith, a privately-owned group of seasoned real estate agents under Right at Home Realty, points out "We sell a lifestyle."
2. CLEAN INSIDE AND OUTSIDE
Before talking to a real estate agent and officially listing your home for sale, make sure your home is clean. Nothing should be left untouched, from dust on the shelves, in the corners and on the floor, to stains on faucets and appliances. Outside is just as important as inside. Clean the gutters and pressure wash your home's siding.
3. GO ALL MARIE KONDO ON YOUR CLOSETS AND CABINETS
In case you didn’t get the reference, Marie Kondo is the professional declutter specialist and her approach to tidying up does magic to any home. But back to our list. “Out of sight out of mind: doesn’t apply to your home. At least not while you’re on the market. Many prospective buyers will peek inside your closets and cabinets. They should see clean shelves, neatly organized items with empty space in between, instead of overflowing piles of your stuff. The insides of your cabinets and closets should tell your prospective buyer that this home has ample storage space.
4. FRESH COAT OF PAINT GOES A LONG WAY
Investing in a paint job is a relatively inexpensive renovation expense, but has tremendous benefits. According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada the return on investment for a fresh coat of paint is up to 165%, which is the best ROI of any home improvement. Choose a neutral color for your home to appeal to diverse groups of prospective buyers. Remember to be objective when picking the right shade of color. While lavender, to you is the most soothing and calming color, others might not feel the same way about it.
5. SCENT IS EVERYTHING
Remember that fresh smell of your new car? Well, your home should bring up a similar emotional reaction when a prospective buyer walks through the door. This means eliminating bad odors in the hallway, in the bathroom, near your pet’s litter box, garage, and the smell of cooking in the kitchen, unless those are freshly baked cookies.
6. DEPERSONALIZE YOUR SPACE
Your attachment to your home and everything inside it is completely natural and understandable. However, during the process of preparing your home for sale, your goal is to present your space in such a way that it lets prospective buyers envision their life in your home without being destructed by your personal items. Put away family photos, photo albums, trophies, toys, religious artifacts, and kids’ artwork in the home office or on the fridge. Your home should look and feel as if anyone can walk in and effortlessly picture their own belongings within your space.
7. LET THE LIGHT IN
Open up your windows and keep them open to let natural light in. Replace all light bulbs with high-wattage bulbs to make the space look bigger, brighter and more inviting. Add floor and table lamps in the darker areas of your home.
8. HOTEL-LIKE BEDROOM
According to staging experts, creating a luxurious hotel-like look in your bedroom can be done with a few simple touches, like replacing your color bedding sheets with crisp white sheets, tossing a solid color comforter on top, and arranging a few decorative pillows on the bed. Whatever style or design of the room you’re going for, aim to evoke a feeling of sanctuary in a prospective buyer.
9. SPA-LIKE BATHROOM
Make your bathrooms and a powder room in your home look and smell like a spa in under $40. Replace bath mats, add scented candles, and stack clean towels and washcloths on a shiny counter to create the look of luxury, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Help create an emotional connection between the home and the potential buyer.
10. FIX ALL LOOSE ENDS
Everything in your home needs to be in perfectly-working condition by the time you list your home on the market. Buyers will notice the smallest things, whether it’s loose doorknobs or hinges, leaky faucets, broken appliances, running toilets, or scuffs on the walls. What is a seemingly small detail, could be a real turn-off for prospective buyers and could cost you a sale.
11. FIND A ROCK STAR REAL ESTATE AGENT
Last but not least, you need a great, rock star real estate agent. You have one. I get it. We all have a friend or someone else’s friend who is a real estate agent. We have no real proof that they are good. We’ve never listed a property for sale with them in the past, but they are a family friend, and it’ll be awkward if we look for another agent when we already have someone who fits the description. Well, ready or not, but this way of thinking might be costing you time and money.
Get an experienced real estate agent, who can effortlessly navigate the complex housing market, hold your hand through the process of selling your home, skillfully master the negotiation process, and get you the highest value for your home.