Top Three Tips for Selling Your House Fast

August 4, 2010 § 1 Comment

This house sold with multiple offers at the Open House. (Incredible in this picky buyer’s market.) What made this house stand out and what can we all take home from this experience? Here are three top tips:

1. When in doubt, move it out. Although this property had some big things going for it (location, location, location), the family had lived in the house for twenty-plus years and had accumulated not only their own trappings but also lots of odd furniture and artifacts from deceased relatives. This happens to many of us. What do we do with all that stuff? The answer is clear when you’re trying to sell your house: move it all out.

At the first visit, we tagged items that needed to go — things like extra side chairs and small tables, worn furniture, family photos, large area rugs, antiques and breakables — and we left each room with furniture that would identify the room’s function to buyers. The reasonable and highly motivated homeowners then made many trips to a storage facility to clear the decks and let the house “breathe.”

2. Open the door, fix your floor. Remember that old adage, something like, if you want to know if a fellow is well-dressed, look down? Well just like polished shoes, the first thing buyers notice when they open the front door is the floor, and if yours is covered by old, worn or stained carpeting, uh-oh. In general, carpeting is out. Buyers are looking for hardwood floors and tile, both of which provide easy maintenance and no safe haven for dust allergens. If you have hardwoods covered by large area rugs (like these homeowners did), congratulations! Simply roll up the rugs, buff up the floors and go “Cha-ching!” If you have wall-to-wall carpeting, don’t panic. Have it professionally cleaned, and that will help.

3. Make it sunny, welcome the money. You’ve undoubtedly heard this before, but it’s worth mentioning again. The message here is lighten and brighten. This house had dark rooms with rich wall color and heavy window treatments. We lightened the wall color and opened up the windows by removing the heavy drapes and replacing them with airy sheer panels that framed the windows but did not block the light. The result in this family room? An ahhhh feeling.

If you are overwhelmed by the prospects of preparing your house for the market, talk to your realtor. He or she will find you the help you need to get the job done quickly so you can have that “Ahhhh feeling” too!

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