Without a doubt, it is a seller’s market right now. “The average price of American homes, in real terms, is now the highest it’s ever been,” according to an article this week on National Public Radio’s website.
If you are one of the many homeowners wanting to stick that easily recognizable FOR SALE sign in your front yard, follow these tips to help sell your home and make top dollar.
1) Declutter and downsize on the personal flair.
The first thing you need to do is declutter, depersonalize a bit (we know that’s hard), and organize your home.
Day-to-day living means to-do lists, mail, magazines, books, tablets, and phones. Dedicate some drawer space for these items, so that when you are going to show your home, you have a place to store (we really mean hide these items from view) your stuff that is cluttering up countertops and end tables. It’s good to have a dedicated space or drawer so that you don’t search high and low for that physical bill you need to pay or for a print novel you’re reading (provided you’re not reading everything on an e-reader!).
Remove extra or bulky furniture that makes your space look smaller than it actually is. Though storage units can open Pandora’s Box in terms of accumulating stuff, consider one on a short-term basis where you can store furniture and other odds and ends until your home is sold.
It’s also wise to think about removing and storing highly personalized items and decor. You may
love your life-size replica of C-3PO (we know, Oh, dear!), but many prospective buyers can find it hard to imagine the space as their own with a Star Wars-themed nook or various personal items that call attention to themselves.
2) Take care of home repairs.
Make a list of all the “these-will-be-annoying-to-a-buyer” home repairs that need to get done.
We are crossing our fingers that you don’t have to replace a deck, but you may need to plan to invest some money in major repairs before you can put your house on the market. A not-so-perfect shed or a not-so-perfect lawn can likely be more negotiable with a buyer but do take care of the big things if at all possible.
For minor issues, look around the house and list things that are broken or not working properly that can be fixed with a lot less trouble than you think.
If you can fix them yourself, like your toilet’s ballcock fill valve, a fairly easy repair, then go for it. If you are more like Tim the Toolman from the 90s Home Improvement sitcom, then it would be wise to hire out for small jobs, both indoor and outdoor.
Also, make sure all light bulbs are in working order. Replace the burned-out bulbs in ceiling fixtures, lamps, and outdoor setups because you will want the ability to have all lights turned on and functioning during your open house.
Regarding your home’s exterior, haul off debris and limbs. Clean and organize your garage and any outbuildings. We also recommend that you power wash your siding, deck, and patio.
3) Touch up the paint and deep clean.
With this tip, it’s time to really think about staging your home. When staging, you might remember a nice Airbnb or hotel you’ve stayed at and channel those interiors. Think fresh, spacious and clean, with nice accents. It does not take a huge amount of time to do some touch-up paint on your walls, cabinets, or baseboards to cover any scuffs or damage, and it certainly makes a powerful impression.
Next up, everyone’s favorite. The deep clean. And yes, we mean that you should give your home a major scrub-down. This constitutes wiping down all surfaces (especially hard-to-reach places like the top of the fridge and those pesky ceiling fan blades), removing all pet hair, cleaning rugs and upholstery, deep cleaning bathrooms and toilets, washing all windows inside and out, and mopping all floors.
You can make your hard-surface floors shine by using Real Clean Floors, a specially formulated
cleaner we’ve developed and shamelessly promote because its high-quality formula provides a shine that will impress any buyer who enters your home.
4) Hire an experienced realtor and a photographer.
When you’ve got your home clean, staged, and everything is in working order, it’s time to take pictures for the listing website. As tempting as it is, put down that iPhone. Please hire a professional photographer to showcase your home. She or he will have the special skills and equipment to photograph interiors in a way that will make them look spacious, crisp, and even tantalizing. In fact, the pictures may look so good, you will want to stay!
When it’s time to list your home, do your research, and hire a professional respected real estate agent. Plan an open house to show off all your hard work and get ready for all the offers that will pour in!
SOURCE:  www.npr.org