Real estate continues to be one of the best ways to raise serious money fast. Smart investors will put hard cold cash into everything from senior facilities to simple two-bedroom bungalows, and have made a bundle in less than five years. But if you are not an investor and simply want to sell your home to either move to a bigger home or because you need to relocate, the smart move is to sell when the market is hot.
Since we can’t control the market, the next best thing is to make your own home look hot, so that you have buyers lined up waiting to make you an offer. While we can’t manipulate the market for you, we can tell you what you can do to make that home into one that is ready to sell and get you the best possible price.
Make it Welcoming
This should go without saying but you would be surprised how many homes I have seen that just don’t feel very welcoming when I walk in the front door. Start with curb appeal. This is how your home looks from the street. Is that front yard cared for and tidy? Are the trees and shrubs trimmed? Sometimes a little thing like a new coat of paint on the front door can make a big difference in how welcoming it can be.
Your front walkway should be free of clutter, and it wouldn’t hurt if a flower bed or two lined the walk to the front door. If you can’t do that, maybe you can add a big flower pot on either side of the door and fill it with seasonal flowers. Make sure that doorbell works, the windows are clean and the kid’s toys are not scattered nearby. You are ready for the next hurdle.
Keep Clutter to a Minimum
We know it is hard to always have the house looking great, you are after all living in it right now. But if you are getting ready to show it off, make sure they see the best side of it. Take down extra clutter on walls and shelves and put them in boxes in storage for now. The same goes for counters and bathroom areas.
You may feel like you are living in a motel room, but remember it is just for now. This will help anyone who walks through your home start to imagine where they would put their own pictures and such. The first step to any sale is having the buyer imagine themselves in the home. Once you have that the rest is a piece of cake!
Leave the Selling to the Pros
Unless you are doing a For Sale by Owner, have your realtor show the home and make yourself scarce at open house time. You may be tempted to be there, wanting to tell your stories about the home. But you can actually do something like that in a wonderful little letter that sits on your kitchen counter.
You need to be elsewhere so the realtor can sing your homes praises without needing to keep you buttoned up about the problems. Remember, the whole idea is for the buyer to see this as their next home, not as your current one.