10 Ways to Sell Your House Quicker

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stagingAre you thinking about selling your house? Before you put it on the market, you should try home staging.

Just watch almost any show on HGTV and you’ll see potential buyers walking through listings and cringing at the décor, paint color, clutter, etc. And most of the time, they can’t look past it.

Staging means to put your home in the best possible light and decorate it to make it more attractive to a prospective buyer. On average, staging can add 10 to 15 percent value to a home and help it sell quicker.

It’s business, nothing personal

Selling a home can be very emotional. You may be tied to your home, the memories and the way it looks because it represents you and your life experiences. However, once you put your home on the market, it’s no longer your home. It’s a product that you’re trying to promote and sell.

That means some people may not have the same tastes as you. You have to be open to making changes so that a potential buyer can see themselves and their families living in the home and creating their own experiences. It’s time to start thinking of the process as a business transaction. You can do this by making your home more neutral, which makes it more attractive to a broader market of buyers.

10 ways to attract buyers with staging

1. Use neutral colors/patterns. This will appeal to the broader market. If you have 100 visitors look at a room with bright wall colors or wallpaper, you may get 5 percent who have the same taste as you. What about the other 95%? This group thinks of it as more work (and money) they need to change the colors or remove the wallpaper.

2. Clear the junk. Nobody wants to see rooms full of junk. It’s distracting and really basic, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t do this before a showing. This means not leaving shoes by the front door, putting away laundry, and much more.

3. Fix all outstanding repairs. Fixing repairs adds value to your home. Even if it’s little things like fixing the leaking tap, patching holes in the wall, replacing cracked tiles, or oiling a squeaky door, this is the most effective way to add value to your home. All the little things add up to headaches that a buyer does not want to deal with after moving.

4. Depersonalize your home. If you have a lot of personal photographs on the refrigerator, the wall, tables or anywhere throughout your house, place them in a box and store them for your new home. You need buyers to imagine themselves living in the house. Psychologically, they find it harder to do this with your family photos reminding them of your life in the home.

5. Remove excess furniture. Most homes have too much furniture, which makes a room look smaller. With less to look at, a buyer can visualize the placement of their belongings.

6. Rearrange rooms. This will again give the illusion of more space. The more floor space a visitor can see, the bigger they think the room looks to them.

7. Clean thoroughly. Don’t overlook anything. Clean all the windows, sinks, toilets, showers and re-grout the tile if it looks grungy. Empty the garbage, put away dishes and hang fresh towels.

8. Let the light in. Open blinds and curtains and turn on all lights before a showing. Buyers like lots of light because it makes a room feel more airy and spacious.

9. Clean the yard. Outdoor spaces are a big selling factor. Be sure the outdoor furniture is clean, remove weeds, and mow the grass. Be sure to trim bushes and the lower branches on trees (typically the bottom ¼ to 1/3 of limbs).

10. Curb appeal. Remember, it’s the first impression for a buyer. If it’s not very appealing, they may not get out of the car. Be sure the lawn is in top shape, clean the gutters, remove driveway stains and plant colorful flowers. Doing this helps photos look better too when promoting the house.

If you’re unsure of where your home stands, have a friend or Realtor walk through your home and make notes of what they feel may turn off buyers.

Do you have more tips? Leave a comment below on what distracts you (or your client, if you’re an agent) when looking at a home and what sellers should try.

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8 Responses to “10 Ways to Sell Your House Quicker”

  1. Tyler Brenner Says:

    I completely agree! First appearances are everything when it comes to selling a home. What a seller may find endearing (magnets all over the fridge, that large moose head in the living room, unicorns in every corner) can be a potential deal-breaker when showing the home to a client. It’s best to go simple, and let the potential homebuyer visualize what THEY will be able to do with the home.

  2. Craig McClelland Says:

    Its amazing how many times we over look the simplest of things. Our clients are relying on us to see their home through the eyes of the buyer. Only two things can happen to a listing.. it can sell or expire, the pricing and the presentation of the home makes all the difference.

  3. ann bone Says:

    My only regret about agents and sellers staging properties is how much more difficult it will be to REMEMBER those properties. I mean, who could forget the “duck house” with duck wallpaper borders everywhere and stuffed ducks on the walls? Or the house with the (much too) revealing “artistic protrait” of the owner hung not so discreetly in the master bedroom? Or the teenager’s room with his drug stash hanging out of the air vent? These things make a home so DISTINCTIVE and easy to remember. Buyers forget them immediately, but we agents get some great stories to tell.

    • Tyler Brenner Says:

      LOL, that definitely is a drawback to staging! Now, you miss all the “juicy” stuff. I really liked your example of the “artistic portrait”. Hahahaha

  4. Charity Cason Says:

    The key when working with sellers is having them step back and take a look at the house objectively, which is hard. They have experienced so many life events in their home and they just cannot understand why the next buyer would not want to have the beautiful Crayola mural that their daughter drew on the dining room wall when she was three!

    I remember one listing I had where the wife had created a “room” in the basement for her husband. In it, she had a huge stage-like wooden “thing” built recreating the castle where they had taken their honeymoon. She could not remove it because it was permanently attached, so it would have to be torn down or left for the new owner.

    She wanted the contract to say that the new owner could NEVER remove it! I had a hard time explaining why we would not be doing that…. 🙂

  5. Hannelore Ahearn Says:

    I am accredited certified home stagers through the 3 day course offered through Metro to Home Stagers, with Ceo Barb Schwarz. This was an eye opener for me. I always grew up with an array of collections for each family member. Whatever we were interested in, we collected. I never ever looked at it as clutter, rather personality and character. Strangers (potential buyers) see it as distractions and confusion.
    I have been meaning to rid my home of my blue and white collections, but there they sit, waiting to be sold or packed away. I didn’t even realize that the blue and white theme had dominated my homes theme. I as a home stager (not for money, just as an additonal service for my clients at no charge) should have known better.

    One of our assignments – 1. look at your home from the curb with ‘new’ eyes — landscape – what does it say? needs work? – if so, the buyer can only see $ needed to be spent or a reluctant negotiation for the trouble/weekends (time = $) or hiring someone to do this tedious chore. 2. the glass windows and screens and corners at the eaves – need cleaning? same mindset 3. foyer – baseboards, mouldings, glass, mirrors (finger prints? dogs nose prints, dog scratches at the front door (I need to go potty or there is a cat outside beware! ) again they see $… is there any pet odor? fur on floor, dust? The color of the walls? (can their furniture blend?), Is there enough floor space for their furniture? {remove un-necessary pieces – show floor space, remove un-necessary wall decor – just the excess your house still needs to look like a home not a sterile Emergency Room } $ spent in the right places will reap a quicker and return on $ spent better = a more satisfied client. 1st. kitchen – completely updated (OMGoodness mine is outdated at 13years! 2. master bedroom and bath and paint. keep up with home trends, stick with traditional as a higher % of appeal. that can be tweaked easily for the buyers individual taste.

    Boy oh boy, I got to go! I need to start my plan today!

  6. Arthur Harris Says:

    Information in this article is very relevant today as there is a hughe inventory of homes for sale. Staging a home is critical so that your home will stand out from the rest especially when buyers are trying to narrow down the choices they may have to put in an offer .

  7. Mark Broyles Says:

    My Weekly ToDo scheduler always starts with a list of my active listings, followed by a column that says “How did I increase my sellers odds of selling”. Sometimes I have to slash the price, but just as often I stage a property or I have that wall paper removed on a listing. Or maybe I just need a whole new set of photos now that spring has sprung. Take an inventory of your current listings and do something! Anything!

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