Home Selling Tips

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
Member
8990 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
wildflowerz :  I haven’t sold a house myself yet, but I’ve helped my mom sell a couple and I know what I look for when I buy. PLEASE skip the air fresheners. As someone who is very sensitive I can say I don’t stay very long in a house that gives me a headache which might make me pass on an otherwise awesome house. It also makes me wonder what smell you’re trying to cover up (pets? smoke?). The best way to keep the house smelling fresh is keep it clean and open the windows to regularly air it out. If you must bake some cookies before the open house or boil some orange and clove, but skip the chemical fresheners. 

Once you have everything in storage/put away you’ll find it’s easy to keep it presentable all the time – focus on the things people will notice first and realize it doesn’t have to be white glove perfect for every showing. Clean mirrors, wipe down surfaces, quick vacuum and you should be good to go. If you have young kids or pets get a couple cute baskets to be able to quickly toss their toys in before a buyer shows up. The last time my mom sold the realtor asked us to put away framed family photos just because people tend to be distracted by them and don’t picture themselves in the house – she put away all but one which was a large canvas on the wall of me and my sister only because she didn’t have another piece of art and didn’t want an empty naked wall. It was totally fine and the house still sold in 3 days. If you have a desirable neighborhood don’t stress too much. And don’t bother with the light fixtures – many buyers will want to pick out their own anyways. 

Post # 3
Member
2064 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: City, State

My house is currently listed in a very slow market. I’ve only had two showings in two weeks, but feedback I’ve received from those realtors/the realtor caravan that came through a week ago has indicated that the price is spot on, so I’m not going to change anything for now. Just hope that things pick up as we near spring/summer. 

So, your list:

Definitely put away as many personal items as you can. Buyers want to picture themselves in the home, and that’s hard to do when there are family portraits on every surface, or a bunch of kids toys in the master bedroom. I have fresh foliage from my yard in vases in various points throughout the house. I also pulled a couple of my flowering orchids in from outside to put on coffee tables. 

Any small updates you can make that will keep things looking fresh will be helpful. If the light fixtures in the bathroom are outdated and won’t be expensive to replace, do it. I replaced all of my old ivory toggle light switches, outlets, and plates with updated white paddle switches. It gave the entire house a facelift and wasn’t all that costly. 

The best tip I have as to a checklist for showings is that the house should be ready to show at all times. I make the beds, pull back the blinds, and turn on certain lights each day when I leave. The countertops are always clear. The doors to each room are left open. If you’ve done a good job organizing and decluttering, you shouldn’t have an issue keeping the house showing-ready. I have a lady I hired to walk my dogs during the day. I’m paying her extra to get the dogs out and do some light staging (pulling covers off couches and arranging pillows) for house showings. She also does light cleaning while she’s there with the dogs each afternoon. 

As for air fresheners, I have three scentsy wax diffusers plugged in. One in the main living area, one in the master, and one in the dogs’ room. I turn them all on when I leave each morning and keep replacing the wax every other day. You don’t have to buy the scentsy brand wax. They have a ton of options at Walmart, and some of them are quite mellow. My house never smells bad (thank god for non shedding, non smelling dogs), and generally, it smells pretty neutral or like cleaners. The diffusers help in that they make the house smell permanently fresh. And not like “me”. (You know how every person has a smell, or their house does? Or am I crazy?)

If you can take a 30 minute break from work, I would accept showings whenever they’re scheduled. Grab the dogs and make a Starbucks run. Get them a puppacino and you can have a midday coffee refresh. That’s almost enough time for the people to be there and gone. I had to have my realtor put a note on my appointment scheduling so that realtors know to let me know in advance as to reschedules or cancellations, as there are pets being removed from the home for showings. Both of my showings so far have been in the middle of the day. 

So much of this depends on your market. Where I’m shopping, houses are fine within the week and selling for more than list price. In the market where I’m selling, things have been sitting. And I’m in a desirable neighborhood (gated community) 10 minutes from downtown. 

 

Best of luck selling your home!! 

 

Post # 4
Member
1157 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

 

First thing interview several Realtors and pick the one you are comfortable with. 

I will agree with your husband, do not spend money on fixtures; your taste may not appeal to the new buyer and it will be a waste of your money. It is cosmetic and the buyer can switch them to what they want. Have your Realtor come in and do a walk through, take their advise over what to change/fix-they do this for a living and have seen the inside/outside of many many homes. Pay for a home inspection, that way you are not surprised by anything from the buyer and this also gives you the chance to fix the small things before showing the home to anyone (we had a few small unexpected surprises). 

Take a look at your current layout of each room, is this the best layout for walking/lounging/dining? If not then change it, we had to do this with our master bedroom, office, and rooftop patio. You want the space to appear to the mass public, this is no longer YOUR HOME. This is a property you are selling so it needs to be marketable to everyone. 

I cleaned the house everyday (not a deep clean but cleaned and swept up), made the beds with pillows, tidied up the bathrooms and kept fresh towels at all times. No personal effects left out anywhere.

We went to a decor store and purchased a few items for when we had photos taken, after which we returned a few of them. We also took a weekend and spruced up our side yard, while we lived there we didn’t use it but it was a green space that many people want so we made it the best it could be. We removed the terrible builder gravel, sodded 3/4 and mulched 1/3 with a fun stepping stone design separating the spaces, on the mulched area we placed 2 loungers.

OH and our home had a very light smooth stucco exterior, I cleaned it as best I could taking off water stains and other blemishes. The inside got a fresh coat of neutral paint as well which made a big difference to the feel of the house, it also give a newer smell to the place lol 

Post # 8
Member
1157 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

View original reply
wildflowerz :  curb appeal means alot to people, it is like meeting a potiental love interest and instead of expecting this visiually appealing person…they fall way short of expectations. You need to help your home have a pretty face lol. I would take a weekend or two and fix the areas you know need fixing, yes this does include staining the deck and fence. I know I know its alot of work, but when someone comes to look at the home all they see are projects (while some people don’t mind them alot just want move in ready project free) I would remulch or clean up the flower beads, trim down or remove overgrowth and plant a few colorful cheap flowers (if you can), restain the fence and deck. Even thought the fence and deck are in good sound shape, they if they look unkept people will assume they need to be replaced. 

Post # 9
Member
8990 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
wildflowerz :  how hot is your neighborhood for your price point? I would let that be your guide as to how much you want to put into the house. Some places you really need to sell your house, but other buys are desperate for anything they can get. I have friends who paid over half a million dollars for a house without electricity on one level because they lost 25 (not an exaggeration) bidding wars already and were fed up and needed a house.

Post # 10
Member
940 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
wildflowerz :  hmmm, baking cookies or something similar will leave a pleasant aroma in the house (Be careful with peanuts). 

I’d open up binds and curtains to give natrual lighting, everywhere. 

Leave all doors in house open so its welcoming to prospective buyers.

air freshners are welcomed as well.

a fresh vase of flowers in house.

Planted flowers outside home really adds comfrort and makes the house feel like a cozy home. Cosmetics like this add to the curb appeal big time.

keep floors clean!

Try to stay away from home when prospective buyers come in, as they may leave earlier from owner pressure.

keep refreshments in fridge for guests to use. (water, Hot cocoa or coffee if cold, lemonade/water when it’s warm out).

 

Keep it tidy.

Imprtant: Store all valuables away in a safe or a safe location. If you have an agent, they may not be following prospect around house as that can be intimidating, so keep valuables safe. 🙂

 

Post # 11
Member
1259 posts
Bumble bee

I have sold lots of houses. My best advice is mostly move out, especially if you have kids or pets. But leave the house staged.

clean everything throughly. Then clean again. Like q-tips in corners clean. 

I would replace the old fixtures with new ones.

Depending on local codes, I would install an expansion tank on the water heater, and GFI’s where required because a home inspector will pick it out. Fix all known issues, toilets rocking, faucets leaking, non functioning outlets, replace any rotted trim, make sure handrails are secure, etc.  is the house on a well? Because I have a few suggestions if so. 

View original reply
wildflowerz :  

Post # 12
Member
1259 posts
Bumble bee

I would freshen up the deck. Decks that look old can cost you $1000’s on the sale price. Paint is cheap. 

View original reply
wildflowerz :  

Post # 13
Member
3239 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

 

View original reply
wildflowerz :  

For staging, make sure that the place is tidy and free of clutter, but without appearing totally sterile. You want the people coming through to percieve the space as a home so it should look like a space that people can comfortably live in.

Stay away from artificial smells, like air fresheners. Everoyne is different when it comes to what aritficial scents they enjoy, or if they enjoy them at all. These kinds of smells can also really take away from the “homey” feel of the place. Not to mention, a lot of people are sensitive to artificial scents and the last thing you want to do is send them away with a headache. 

If you want to make the house smell good, bake cookies, bread or banana bread about an hour before they are expected to arrive. When we were selling my fiance’s old house, we just kept tubes of pillsbury cookie dough in the fridge and would pop a few into the oven whenever someone was coming by for a viewing. You can also just put a tiny amount of vanilla extract in an oven-safe dish and heat that up. Just don’t overdo it!!

Post # 14
Member
852 posts
Busy bee

If you’re in a seller’s market, I’d go with Redfin for their low broker fees. 

Pros: Listing fee is 1% vs the traditional 3%, so this is a huge benefit to a seller (who typically picks up the tab).

Cons:They’re a bit impersonal, and not as responsive or hands on as a traditional agent. But if you’re in a hot market, this isn’t going to impact sale price. 

Leave a comment


Find Amazing Vendors