How to Sell Your House: 100 Tips to Sell Faster and For More Money

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Although I strongly believe holding onto properties for the long term is the best way to build wealth in today’s economy – sometimes an investor or a homeowner simply must let go of a property an venture onto bigger deals or priorities. However, letting go of properties and selling them can be a major challenge, especially in a slower market. There’s a lot of things to consider and it may run from checking the house, inspections, finding buyers, and so on.

However – have no fear! This list is going to give you a whopping 100 killer tips for making sure you learn how to sell your house for more money, faster than the competition. This list has been compiled from suggestions from members of who have sold many properties over the years – and this list is definitely not comprehensive, so if you can add additional ideas in the comments below- please do!

Several months ago, I asked the question in the BiggerPockets Forums, ” Help Needed!! Tips for Selling Your House – (What is YOUR tip?)” and most of this list came from those answers – so I want to send out a special thanks to all the BiggerPockets members who contributed to this list – I don’t think I could have gotten to 100 without you all!  Thank you Kyle Besaw,  Alex Baev, Jerry W, Karen Margrave, Jimmy Hong, Dawn Anastasi, Bill B, Pat L, Jack Bobeck, Jenn B, Colleen F, Felicia Woolard, Pat L, J Scott, Ray Orellano, Jon Holdman, Carrie Collyer, and Michael Siekerka!

Alright – let’s get to the list…

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How to Sell Your House: 100 Tips for Selling Your House Faster and For More Money

Kitchen Cabinet Handles

Photo Credit: beccaxsos

  1. New pulls on kitchen cabinets and drawers– Replacing the pulls and handles on kitchen cabinets and drawers give an overall new appearance to older cabinets. This is one of the easiest and lowest cost replacements you can do to make your kitchen pop.
  2. Buy it Right – You’ve heard it said before: you make your money when you buy – so one of the best ways to ensure you’ll sell your home is to buy it right in the first place. Don’t overpay for a property, or you may find yourself underwater when it comes time to sell. By “buying smart” – you open up many more options for your exit strategy!
  3. Pressure wash driveway and any decks – You probably haven’t noticed just how much dirt has slowly accumulated on your driveway and deck over the years – but trust me: it’s not clean. Having a pressure washed driveway and deck is inviting and can be one of the first things potential buyers see when walking up. First impressions are everything – so make sure your first impression shines and reflects the quality of life they’ll find inside.
    Photo Credit:beautyredefined
  4. New mailbox – The mailbox is often overlooked as a trivial part of the home- but having a brand new mailbox is another simple and inexpensive way to show potential buyers that the house is fresh and updated. A creative mailbox will also help distinguish the home from the hundreds of other homes on the market.
  5. Fresh mulch, grass, or plants outside – Landscaping is a small cost, yet is one of the most important things to do to help sell a house. The good thing is it generally just requires some sweat equity and an afternoon to turn a boring front lawn into a beautiful work of art.
  6. Spray and plug-in air fresheners – I’m sure you’ve heard the claims before – the human sense of smell can trigger powerful emotions in a potential buyer. A fresh scent signifies “new” – which everyone loves! Additionally, a good smell can hide the old smell of the house, if there was any.
    Free of Clutter
    Photo Credit: Advait Supnekar
  7. Keep it free of clutter – If you are trying to sell a property that is not vacant, it’s important to clear away the clutter. By getting rid of junk and putting all your extra stuff in storage, you bring out the beauty of the room and help the room look larger, cleaner, and all around awesome. Additionally, by clearing out the clutter, people can
  8. Drop Your Price – Don’t hold on to a high price if you aren’t getting any offers. Drop your price quickly and accept that your original price may have been wrong.
  9. Stage a Neighborhood Clean Up Day – This probably won’t work… but you never know! Encourage your entire neighborhood to clean up their properties on a given day … maybe even give each person a gift certificate for the local dump.
  10. Replace light bulbs – Make sure that darker rooms have higher wattage bulbs to brighten them up. It’s good for presentation and they’re very affordable to replace. Bright rooms = happy rooms.
    Beautiful HousePhoto Credit: reallyboring
  11. Fresh paint – You can’t go wrong with fresh paint on trims, doors, or windows. You’d be surprised at how new you can make a house look with just fresh paint.
  12. Update the front door knobs and hinges – If they seem outdated, update them! Every prospect will subconsciously notice these small things each time they open the door. If the knobs already look good – just keep them clean.
  13. Have all windows cleaned – Do the cleaning inside and out. It gives better lighting and view to the outside. A $.99 bottle of window cleaner and a roll of paper towels can do wonders!
  14. Post photos on sites – Posting your listing in the BiggerPockets Marketplace or in other online directories can help improve your chances of selling fast. Nearly all buyers check online for houses, so don’t get left behind.
    clean house
    Photo Credit:VancityAllie
  15. Do a quick clean on everything – Sometimes, right before a showing, you just need a “quick clean” if time is limited. Things you may want to consider first are the bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen sink.
  16. Price it right – Nothing beats doing your research and setting the right price. More often than not, you may need an expert to help you calculate what that perfect price is – so don’t be afraid of speaking with some local real estate agents.
  17. Hiring the right Realtor – To sell your house faster, a good Realtor might just be all you need. Make sure you choose one who’s good at marketing and is “hungry” to sell your property. If you are selling an investment property, focus on finding an investor friendly agent.
  18. Spread the word whenever you can – Even if you hire a real estate agent – they won’t do as good of a job marketing as you could. Be the marketer you are looking for! Spread the news on social media, inform everyone you know that you are selling your home, and encourage others to share the news as well.
  19. Leave neutral furniture and accessories – Naturally, you want to get rid of all personal items and all family pictures from around the house (clear the clutter, remember?) However, having neutral furniture and accessories in the home can help a buyer visualize what the home will look like for them. For more on “staging” your properties, check out this article.
  20. Turn on lights – Makes a good presentation by turning on all the lights in the home when having a showing. It’s a simple trick – but it works.
    Open Blinds
    Photo Credit: marklarson
  21. Open blinds – This is great for letting the light in. It also gives buyers an idea on how they can set the mood of the room with your blinds. If your windows don’t blinds or curtains, consider staging the home with some to add softness and dimension to the room – but keep them open!
  22. Create a flyer – Flyers are great for marketing! Don’t forget to include all the positive attributes of the house and get include some high-quality pictures if possible on the flyer. Find creative places to put the flyers, like colleges, supermarkets, and more.
  23. Play some good music while presentation – Turn on a stereo or iPod with speakers playing some soothing or popular music during showings or open houses. This may or may not have any effect with the buyers – but it may give you a boost in confidence when you present your house while having your favorite music in the background!
  24. Clean and paint the closets – Women buyers always look at closets and visualize their clothes or shoes in them. Since typically closets are for women, and women often have the final say when it comes to buying a home, you can understand the importance of not neglecting the closet.
    Clean Laundry
    Photo Credit: countrykitty
  25. Clean and re-do the laundry room – A dirty laundry room is like a dungeon – it’s dark and creepy. Everyone wants a lovely laundry room, and it doesn’t take a lot to spruce it up. Some paint, new towels, a couple baskets, and fresh flowers can transform a room. Keep the colors light and airy.
  26. Put in new kitchen cupboard doors – You don’t need to completely replace your cabinets – you actually just replace the doors for significantly cheaper. Or for even more savings, you can simply paint the doors to make them look brand new. Check out this product from Rust-Oleum to easily transform your cabinets (I’ve used it – it’s great!)
  27. Clear fridge of all magnets – Make the kitchen special without those personal items. As odd as it sounds – buyers have a hard time buying a property that has “Little Johnny’s T-Ball Photos” all over the front. This is actually one of the things that most sellers forget to remove- so stand out from the pack and pack those magnets up!
    Clean Cupboards
    Photo Credit: Antonio Atalaya
  28. Clear all kitchen and bathroom counters – There’s certainly no need for your own toothbrush hanging around when presenting the house. Remove them whenever buyers are coming over.
  29. Remove pet bowls, toys, and beds before showing – This is usually missed out if you have pets. Although you might love your little cat or dog- the next buyer might not want to be reminded that you have pets.
  30. People look in medicine cabinets – Don’t leave your medication out for the world to see. Once again, remove personal objects as much as possible.
  31. Beware of nasty pet odors – You may be used to the smell of your pets, but your potential buyers are not. If you have pets, get all rugs steam cleaned and be extra vigilant about vacuuming and washing surfaces. Try to keep pets outside or at your grandparents house.
  32. Organize pots and pans – Pack up and store the bunt, angle food cake pans, waffle iron, fryer and other large items not used often to clear out the kitchen cabinets. Without all those random items – your cabinets will look much larger.
  33. Always follow the “clean clean clean” rule – Cleanliness is next to godliness, they say – and this is especially true for buyers. You can’t go wrong with a solid cleaning of the house, even the tiniest detail. Pay special attention to light switches, door knobs and other areas that hands are always on.
  34. Have a complete information sheet of the house – It should be accurate and mentions anything important. You don’t want to miss any of the crucial details, so have several other people look over the information sheet and make sure it’s up to par. Make enough copies so they can take the information sheet with them when they leave.
    door mat
    Photo Credit: Charlotte Powell
  35. A new mat at the front door – It’s cheap and it shows the home is fresh. Check out discount stores like Marshalls or Ross for nice, inexpensive mats.
  36. Park a luxury vehicle in the driveway or garage – This might not apply for everyone, and it works better for more upscale homes, but taking a picture with an expensive car in the garage or driveway sometimes subtly gives buyers an feeling that the home is also a luxury item.
  37. Take a video of the property – Although you or your agent may walk people through the house – it’s also helpful to provide a walking tour before the buyer steps foot in the home by hosting the video online. You can use YouTube or Vimeo – but if the ads are too much, look at or another source to store and play videos.
  38. A slideshow presentation for prospects – If you’re not into making videos or it’s just not possible with your available resources, then you could go for a simple SlideShare presentation showing the best features of your home in a photo slideshow.
    Photo Credit: nashthebean
  39. Make a take home booklet – This is more extensive than the MLS flyer you usually get and can include multiple pages with graphs, charts, and pictures in it.
  40. Update the outlets and switches to coordinate – Make sure they match in color – and make sure they work.
  41. Ensure that any little “dings” or dents in the wall are taken care of – These are quite noticeable. Depending on the severity of the dents and dings, it may cost you to do a full repair, but if they are minor you can do the repairs on your own with just some wall putty and paint.
  42. List it on selling sites – There are a number of listing sites online, like Craigslist, Zillow,, Trulia, and more. It’s easy to create an account and place your home details there for maximum exposure. Once again, the bulk of buyers are found online.
  43. Do your own assessment – Go stand in front of your house and take a quick look: what stands out? You’ll be surprised to discover a lot of things to improve just by trying to get a new perspective. If this doesn’t work – as your friends to stop by and ask them what they notice. Multiple perspectives are great.
  44. Have an accent on the front door – Paint or repaint your front door. This is your chance to draw people’s eyes, and a freshly painted door can do wonders for the property. A nice contrasting accent color is a good one.
  45. Make sure lawn is mowed – This just requires about 30 minutes of your time but the results are spectacular. Once again, landscaping wins. If you are unsure you can maintain the lawn at the appropriate level, hire a local landscaping crew to maintain it for you while the house is on the market.
  46. Never cram furniture – Staging is good … but cramming a room full of furniture will make it look small and uninviting. Leave the ones that you think are necessary that show off the best features of the room, but get rid of anything that makes it look old or too “busy.”
  47. Clean the carpet – You may try to steam clean them yourself using a Rug Doctor or you can bite the bullet and have a professional take care of it. When living in a property, it’s hard to notice how dirty a carpet can become – but after a good cleaning, you’ll be glad you did.
    Table Flowers
    Photo Credit: r0b1
  48. Fresh flowers on tables – Fresh flowers are great to include on a table. Just having this simple piece of art can brighten an entire room.
  49. Have a little snack at open houses – It encourages people to mingle and get a feel for the place. The longer they spend in the home – the higher chance they’ll make an offer.
  50. Don’t ignore the back yard – Back yards are a big deal for buyers with families. The back yard is where the “entertaining” happens – and is a huge source of pride for homeowners. Be sure the lawn is kept short and defined, and include space for kids to play. trimboards
    Photo Credit: Missy
  51. Check fences and trim boards – Do they need replaced or painted? Don’t let the fence tell a false story of how you have maintained the property.
  52. Clean the stoves and ovens – Prospective buyers spend a lot of time in the kitchen at open houses and showings – and you can bet they are going to open up the oven to see how large it is. Make sure it’s fresh and clean for them.
  53. Clean the baseboard trim – It may seem silly, but you can lose a sale just because a potential buyer sees dirty baseboards! Take some time to dust and, if needed, repaint any baseboards that need it.
  54. Appeal to a woman first! – Again, it’s usually a woman that makes the final decision to buy, or not buy, a home. Even single guys house-shopping tend to look at it from a perspective of “I’ve made enough to afford this place, but would i bring a date here?” If you are a man, you might want to ask help from the women in your life to check out your home and make sure it appeals to women.
  55. Aim for the “wow” – Every room or space in a home should be a “wow” of some sort, providing something that is beyond what’s expected. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a small or large “wow” – just be sure there is always a “wow.” For example, “Wow, look at these old beams and tall ceilings in the living room” or “Wow, cookies in this bright but small bedroom”. Lead the buyer though a property and make them discover those “wows” on their own – from front property line to the back area of the garage. Every room should have a “wow.”
  56. Apple cinnamon smell – Many home sellers recommend the smell of apple cinnamon when trying to sell a house. Don’t ask me why!Walkway
    Photo Credit: kmeneses
  57. Pressure wash the siding – If the home is not being fully painted on the exterior – at least take the time to clean the siding with a good pressure washing.
  58. Hang easy-to-read house numbers – Sometimes, just the number of the house matters. New numbers are just a couple bucks each, but help a buyer feel that the home is “new” just by seeing the new numbers.
  59. Take the right photos – Always find the sweet spot of the house to entice prospects. This requires a bit of artistry on your part, but sometimes getting the right angle can make the difference between a room looking boring and a room looking amazing. For inspiration, check out
  60. Repaint or stain the porch floor as needed – If you have a front porch – chances are, it’s dirty. Buyers tent to congregate here while waiting for their agent to open the front door, so make the porch floor clean and nice to look at. Clean Room
    Photo Credit: Dave & Holly
  61. Forget your style – Focus on the style of the prospect buyers. Try to understand the demographics of the potential buyer – and learn what style they like. For example, if you are selling to first time homeowners, they are probably young and not as interested in dark wood trim – so paint it white!
  62. Open the closet doors – Although it may depend on the size and style of your room, it may be a good idea to actually open up the closets, making the room seem larger. Of course- these closets better be clean, near, organized, and mostly empty.
  63. Pull your furniture off the walls. Although it seems counter-intuitive, pulling your couches away from the wall actually makes a room look larger and more inviting.
  64. Make it easy for buyers to live in – Ask yourself, would you live in this house? Sometimes a house that buyers can picture themselves living in is the key. If there are any drastic reasons why you wouldn’t live in the home – try to fix them before marketing the property. dining room
    Photo Credit: It’s Great To Be Home
  65. Style your dining room table – A dining room table is great for staging – but if it’s empty, it just looks out of place. Besides the flowers we talked about earlier, consider setting the table with nice plates, silverware, wine glasses, or knick-knacks.
  66. Symmetrical arrangements usually work well – Consider this when rearranging your furniture if you have no idea how to do it. If you have two couches in the room, they should either be perfectly perpendicular or perfectly parallel.
  67. Know the “Rule of Three” – Knick knacks- such as candles, books, lamps, etc – tend to look the best when placed in a group of three.
  68. Put up Arrow Signs – Direct traffic from the neighborhood to your home using inexpensive “for sale” arrow signs at the nearest intersections.
  69. Create comfortable conversation areas – When staging, create areas that are conducive to conversation. For example, place a couch, chair, and bean bag around a coffee table – to make a nice conversation area in the living room. The same applies for the dining room, the back yard, the family room, the front porch, and more. Encourage conversation!
  70. Appeal to everyone – Try to appeal to everyone who might come through your property by using minimal design. A six foot painting of the statue of liberty might appeal to you – but it’s probably a little too “taste specific” for selling a home. open closet
    Photo Credit: Sharon Drummond
  71. Underprice to Create a Bidding War – If you are in a hot market, try listing your house below the average … and let the buyers fight in a bidding war to increase the price. This way – you get you pick of the best offer, not just the first that comes in.
  72. Organize Kid’s Rooms – If you have kids – you know how tough it is to keep their stuff organized and clean. Help convince your buyer that this house will do just that – by organizing your own kids’ toys neatly.
  73. Give every room a purpose– No room should be without a reason for existence. This is why staging is so important- because it allows you to show potential buyers what a room could be.
  74. Demonstrate purpose in awkward areas. – If you have an awkward room beneath the stairs, or a nook or alcove anywhere in your home, try to find a unique way to show it off. Again: staging is key. A storage area?lifestyle
    Photo Credit: empracht
  75. Promote a lifestyle – Most buyers are not shopping for a home – they are shopping for a lifestyle. That lifestyle could be “luxury” or “simple” or “lavish’ – so try to create a feeling around your entire house of that lifestyle.
  76. Plan for the Season– Your home should be staged to compliment the current season. If it’s winter – go ahead and show off the storage area for snow boots. If it’s summer, bring out the canopy in the back yard.
  77. Double check your agent’s online marketing – Although we like to believe our real estate agents are super men and women – the fact is, sometimes the homes they list are just one in dozens that they are listing – so it’s easy for them to post your house on the MLS without any style or hint of promotion in it. Remember that the vast majority of prospects come from seeing your listings online, so be sure that listing looks great.
  78. Network with the neighbors – Invite your neighbors and their friends in your open house – or send out mailers that let they can “pick their new neighbors” by sharing the house listing with their family and friends.
  79. Facebook is a good way to sell your house – Post your house pictures on Facebook, and consider using Facebook Ads to sell the home. For an in-depth study on how to do this, check out Using Facebook Advertising to Super-Charge Your Real Estate Investing.
  80. Leave some good stuff behind – Consider what you could include with the sale of the home – that the homeowner would probably need to buy. Could you offer to include the washer and dryer? How about the kid’s swing set? The gas grill? Get creative!
  81. Offer a Multi-tier pricing strategy – This is a tactic I used on a one home -and it worked great! I simply made three price levels on the home- that included different features. For example, there was the “base price” but they could also upgrade to could have a new heat pump for and extra $5,000, or the heat pump and granite counters for $10,000. By doing this – you are able to shift the buyer from comparing your home to others in the neighborhood to comparing yours to the other price points. For more tips on this strategy, check out Three Marketing Ideas Your Real Estate Agent Probably Won’t Do (But You Can…).
  82. Beat the competition by offering quality – There’s a lot of homes on the market – however, you can stand out by offering quality properties. For example, you may be the only one in the area to offer termite checks or a lifetime roof warranty.
  83. Check out the competitions – Drive around and look at other homes that are on the market. Get your agent to give you a tour of your most similar comps – and find ways to beat them!
  84. Choose sophisticated neutral colors. – It doesn’t mean that you need to go all white. Rich midtone neutrals like mocha and “gray” create a sophisticated backdrop that can make everything look pulled together and modern.
  85. Look at the sold comps – By looking at the information on homes that have recently sold, you can get a good idea of what people are looking for in a home. If every home sold has a swing set in the back yard – you may want to consider adding a swing set yourself.
  86. Don’t act desperate – Selling a home is largely about negotiation. If you are desperate to sell, you may end up getting significantly less than what the home is worth. Don’t put yourself in desperate situations through over leveraging or obtaining too much debt. If you are desperate – at least don’t act like it!
  87. Keep a good mindset – Always focus on maintaining a positive mindset. There are buyers out there looking exactly for your property – you just have to find them. Look at the sale of your property with “business eyes” – and try not to take it personal.
  88. Consider your agent’s opinion – Find an agent you trust and follow their advice as often as you can.
  89. Walk in the shoes of a buyer – Start by shopping online for local houses similar to yours. Learn how they price and present their house. What stands out to you? What makes you turned off? Take note of how you react, and then make adjustments accordingly.
  90. Visit neighborhood open houses – This will give you an instant education in what not to do when marketing your own home, as well as what you should do. professional camera
    Photo Credit: nathangibbs
  91. Rent a professional camera – Since the vast majority of potential buyers will use the internet to scope out your home before actually stepping foot inside, the photos you use are the most important part of the listing process -so make them count. Use a high quality DSLR camera with wide angle lens to take photos of your house.
  92. Sweeten the Deal – Throw in extra incentives for those who submit offers. I’ve heard of sellers including fancy cars, vacations, and other perks to incentivize people to buy a property.
  93. Build trust – Be professional, talk with no hesitation, and create a “win win” atmosphere when marketing your property. If the buyer senses that you are trying to pull something over them – they are going to run for the hills.
  94. Never over-upgrade – Only do updates that will pay off and get you top dollar. Overdoing the repairs won’t always raise the total price of the property but it might just make you owe more than it’s worth. Look at the competition and seek to be slightly better than them – but don’t over do it.
  95. Always be up for a showing – You never know when your buyer is going to walk through the front door, so be prepared at all times. Keep the home organized, clean, and smelling great 100% of the time.outside
    Photo Credit: Media Director
  96. It’s about first impressions – Sometimes, the first impression is the only impression. In fact, most buyers decide if they’ll place an offer on a house within just seconds, so make sure it counts.
  97. Make all necessary repairs – A leaky faucet or chipped paint on a baseboard can suggest to buyers that you might not be maintaining the house well. Do quick fix for these before any open houses or showings.
  98. Check the season – Determine when the best season to sell your property is – and aim for that season if possible. In most areas of the country, selling in the late spring is usually the best time. swing
    Photo Credit: Canadian Pacific
  99. Just Do It – All the tips on this list are helpful – but don’t think that you need to do all 100 in order to sell your home. Focus on the few tips that you think will give you the biggest bang for your buck – and do them well.
  100. YOUR BEST TIP: For tip #100 – I want to leave this open for you to add your favorite tip in the comments below! What have you tried in order to sell your properties in the past? What do you plan on trying in the future? Leave your comment below!

About Author

Brandon Turner

Brandon Turner is an active real estate investor, entrepreneur, writer, and co-host of the BiggerPockets Podcast. He began buying rental properties and flipping houses at age 21, discovering he didn’t need to work 40 years at a corporate job to have “the good life.” Today, with nearly 100 rental units and dozens of rehabs under his belt, he continues to invest in real estate while also showing others the power, and impact, of financial freedom. His writings have been featured on,,, Money Magazine, and numerous other publications across the web and in print media. He is the author of The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down, The Book on Rental Property Investing, and co-author of The Book on Managing Rental Properties, which he wrote alongside his wife, Heather. A life-long adventurer, Brandon (along with his wife Heather and daughter Rosie) splits his time between his home in Washington State and various destinations around the globe.


  1. Yep-all good suggestions. Not sure if I saw offering an agent bonus or buyer concessions, but that has worked for us in the past. We’ve also carried financing for the buyer for anywhere from a few months to two years. Of course, that can end up being a totally different scenario.

  2. That’s a great list Brandon.

    You would think “cleaning” would be on the top of everyone’s list, but I am always amazed that people clean and they don’t even pick up the dirty laundry left on the floor. It’s even more amazing that the real estate agents that took the MLS pictures didn’t tell them to do all of these things before taking the pictures. I am floored by some of the interior pictures that they post.


    • Agreed Sharon! This can work to the investor buyer’s advantage in some cases. I’m particularly thinking of HUD and Fannie houses that have pictures that look like they were shot while being chased by a dog (maybe they were!). While this turns off the average homebuyer, it just means we need to get someone else to take better pictures before we make an offer or send in our deposit.

  3. Brandon, I don’t really have much time to post intelligent comments these days (and I hate piping in just to say “good post”, so I only browse and keep silent mostly) – but I had to make an exception in this case, just to say the amount of hard work and brilliant advice you’ve put into this article is spectacular.

    Well done, my friend. You deserve every extra cent you make when selling your houses – and anyone who works with you to sell his is obviously making an excellent choice.


    • Brandon Turner

      Hey Ziv, thank you very much! Though – a lot of the suggestions came from the community, so I just expanded on them a little bit.

      But that sure was a great compliment to come home to tonight! Now if only I did all of these things – I’d have my newest property sold by now! (I just listed it today!)

      Thanks Ziv!

  4. Excellent info! I’ve gotten the feedback of a newly rehabbed house having the fresh paint smell, which can be undesirable to some potential buyers, i’ll try the apple cinnamon air fresheners on my next rehab, especially in basements! Staging a home post rehab has also worked well for me to help the buyer visualize the living space, especially if it is small space, it’ll help provide creative solutions on where they can potentially put their belongings.

  5. Great post. By far, the most important things are cleanliness (including decluttering) and great photo’s. There are photographers who specialize in home photos for listings. They take great photo’s and post them on a web site with a slideshow video. You can pick music to be played in the background for the video and they offer a generic version that can be linked directly from the MLS.

    To aid in decluttering, rent a POD or something like that. Order it, they drop it on the driveway, fill it up with everything you don’t need in the next 3 months, they take it away and store it till you have it delivered to your new house.

    Postcards and Open Houses: I held an open the 1st two weekends. Listed both on the MLS and had a post card sent out to a couple hundred of my closest neighbors before the 2nd. Having the home in great shape, clean (visual), with music (audio), cookies, and apple cider (taste and smell) and having lots of traffic lingering (competition) during the open house resulted in a full price offer by the end of the 2nd weekend.

  6. Great list! Cleanliness, decluttering, and poor photos are some of the most common issues I’ve seen while browsing MLS listings and showing homes. I always ask seller clients if there are funds available for small updates like knobs, mulch…many of the things that make a significant difference. And I recall one of your items being lightbulbs. I keep a little bin with extra light bulbs in my trunk just in case! Is that too OCD? Ha!

  7. Great list! I suggest that in addition to each room having a purpose and a wow, it should have a focal point that makes sense for the purpose and size of the room. Highlight architectural details, such as a great fireplace, by creating a conversation area in front of it. Pay attention to size and scale of furniture in each room – nothing to big or too small for the space. Remove heavy window dressings and let the sun shine in through those sparkling windows. And since I’m a stager, I believe every seller benefits from hiring a professional stager to do a consultation prior to working on their to-do list…it’s very hard for most people to be objective about their own home (especially if they’ve lived in it for years.) Having someone that can give them an outside perspective is not only helpful, but motivating as well.
    Thanks for a great post!

  8. I sell my home myself. One benefit is you get to qualify buyers before you let them view your home this limits how many tire-kickers you have to entertain. An agent wants to meet buyers, who are also their potential clients so they seem to show houses to anyone who asks; that makes a lot of unnecessary work for you.

    I have a whole bucket of tricks to sell your own home its beyond me why anyone would pay 3-8% to an agent. That commission, say $10,000–$50,000, would mean you would have to earn personal income of up to $100,000 (or more) to pay the agent in after tax dollars. Ridiculous!

  9. Close toilet lids for real estate photos and showings. Store out dated furniture. Replace with an inexpensive current trend if you don’t want to pay for expensive staging. Repurpose rooms, for example if you use a den as a bedroom, or a bedroom as a den, find out from your realtor what the clients needs are.

  10. Brandon- Is there a checklist you have on all this?

    Between this and Flipping Houses: 101 Awesome Quick Tips for Success I don’t know how I can keep up with all of this without a written checklist? Thanks great stuff.

  11. Wow! This is fantastic feedback. Preparing the house to sell in a “distressed” area, with frequent foreclosures and short-sells can be discouraging. I am certainly taking in to account every recommendation! For me, the strategy is trusting the Lord. Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” All the best to you!

  12. I used most of your tips, but sadly, they didn\’t work to the effect I\’d hoped for. I used a property purchasing business to sell my house once I realized that maybe the ideas you\’d suggested just weren\’t going to work for me

  13. Katie Rogers

    Good tips, but I want to add something about light. The agent at every open house I have ever been to turns on every light in the house—in a community famous for 350 days of sunshine per year. If the house has abundant natural light, play up that feature by leaving the artificial lights off. I get so tired of turning off all the lights so that I can see what kind of natural light the house has.

  14. Hi, The resource that you mentioned here is something that I have been looking from quite a time. And finally it ended with such a nice blog post. I have completely read your web blog and articles.

    Thank You

  15. I’ve always heard, and seen, if possible have cookies coming out of the oven during an open house! The smell makes people think of “home” if not possible, maybe Senseys that smell like fresh baked cookies or bread.

  16. Host a Realtors’ Open House to attract as many realtors to your house as possible. I purchased a foreclosure once that needed MANY MANY updates. It was approximately 7,000 square feet and was in a very desirable neighborhood. Just a few examples: When I bought it, the kitchen and living area were painted a medium/dark blue, white gross appliances, linoleum countertops, The formal living room had 20 foot walls that were painted a dark brown African looking design. The master bedroom and bathroom were painted Pepto pink. Another room was navy. The very light off white carpet was excellent quality but was dirty.
    Needless to say, before I moved in, I began painting every room…. HUGE difference! I updated the kitchen with stainless appliances and beautiful granite. Every room was painted, cleaned and updated. When I put the house on the market, I needed the realtors to come back and see it what I had accomplished in two years. It was not the same house.
    My realtor sent the invitations out to every real estate office in town. It was held around 6:00 so that most people could attend. She provided food and drinks (wine). There was a huge turn-out. She received a lot of compliments on the house and many had clients who they thought would be interested in the house. I had several showings after the Realtor Open House and it sold within a couple of months.
    Another house that I owned did something similar but went in with other realtors with houses in the area and had a progressive dinner. Drinks at one house, appetizers at the next, the entire at another and dessert at another. Realtors had to leave their card in a box that was then taken to the next house. At the final house, cards were drawn for prizes. If they went to each house, they were more likely to be drawn for a prize. This was very effective and allowed all the realtors to share the cost.

  17. I agree with your point about forgetting your own style and focusing on the buyer. I find white to be a very neutral color, and it brightens up the home. I’m trying to sell my home now, I’m going to paint it white and change the furniture up a bit.

  18. Not ignoring the backyard does seem like a very important thing to do when you are selling a home. After all, entertaining in the summertime is a huge factor for a lot of young people now. Also, kids who play sports will want a nice yard to play in. It seems like having a nice yard will help your yard sell faster.

  19. When it came to selling my house I remember making it a priority to have presentable landscaping. This was because I think that the landscaping is what makes the house really pop. I love what was said about having fresh grass because making it a priority to mow the lawn is super important as well.

  20. I agree that it is important to not appear as desperate when you are trying to find a buyer for your home. It could be a good idea to seek a bit of negotiation training so that you are never in a position of being completely ripped off. Maintaining your composure could be a key factor in completing the process of selling your home.

  21. Thanks for the tips for selling a home! My wife and I really want to sell our home before the school year ends, so we are looking for anything that can help us. I never thought about putting new light bulbs in. I guess more light will make any room look better, so we will work on that.

  22. My husband just got promoted which means we will have to move within the next two months. It is good to know that pressure washing the driveway and decks can help your home sell faster. I like what was said about how this is inviting and can be one of the first things potential buyers see when walking up. We will keep this in mind as we start to pack, thanks.

  23. I like how you mentioned making sure that your home is priced right when putting it on the market. It was nice that you suggested hiring an expert to help you calculate the ideal price for your home. My brother recently was offered a new job that will require him to move out of state. Considering hiring someone to help him put his house up for sale could benefit him throughout this process.

  24. Jackchen Martinez on

    Thanks for sharing this post. It’s really important for home sellers. Recently I sold my home with which is a trusted real estate agency in Wheeling. They also suggested me the same when I clicked the pics of my home.
    Thank you

  25. To cut to the chase, selling a rehab home can be very challenging as you are trying to sell a drab of a house, a house that was once tattered and yet you transformed it into something that is undeniably gorgeous and make sure it is marketable and profitable. This is the goal when you want to venture into selling rehab homes as a real estate investor.

  26. Thanks for these tips for selling a home. I appreciate that you mentioned to try to have the blinds open so that more light can come in. This seems like a good way to not only lighten up the room but also maybe make it seem more natural.

  27. I do like your suggestion of consulting a real estate agent to get an accurate estimate as to how much the house is worth. Of course, I would not want to sell it for a price that’s lower than it’s worth. Since I do not know the first thing about assessing the true value of a property, I will seek the help of someone who does. Thank you for sharing this!

  28. Garcia Santos

    These are some great tips on how to sell your house, very informative, you can also list your house on investor sites like! in that way you can sell your house much faster. Hope this helps, But overall this article is great!

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