Help Needed!! Tips for Selling Your House - (What is YOUR tip?)

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Hey everyone,

I'm working on a blog post, called (tentatively)

"100 Tips for Selling Your House Faster, Easier, and For More Money."

I think I have like 6 ideas... so I have a ways to go. Can anyone offer their tips, suggestions, ideas, etc? I'd love to get a ton of ideas and suggestions!


These are all relatively inexpensive or in some cases free:

-New pulls on kitchen cabinets/drawers
-Pressure wash driveway and any decks (or really anything that could use it)
-New mailbox
-Fresh mulch/plants
-Spray and/or plug-in air fresheners throughout the house for a fresh smell
-If property is not vacant, keep free of clutter - put EVERYTHING away and make the rooms feel big
-Replace light bulbs in darker rooms with higher wattage bulbs to brighten them
-Fresh paint on trim and window/door casings
-Update door knobs and hinges if outdated
-Clean all windows inside and out

I'm assuming the home you are selling could be vacant or you could currently live there. If you live there, I would take approximately half of your belongings (off season, little used, ie junk lol) and put in storage, or box up and stack in the garage for your upcoming move.
Also, have your house available on short notice. Don't require 24 hours before a realtor can show it. Before you leave for work in the morning, follow a 15 minute routine to make bed, quick clean the bathroom, kitchen sink and clutter you missed the night before.

Maybe this is obvious, but it seems like the one most commonly screwed up: Price it right, right from the start. The stinkiest, messiest, most cluttered ugly house will sell at the right price. The cleanest, most beautiful house won't sell for the wrong price. If your goal is really to sell, get it priced right.

@Brandon...You can always look into staging the house. Like Jon mentioned, pricing the house right from the start and also hiring the right Realtor to market the property!

- Get rid of all personal items and all family pictures (just neutral furniture and accessories)
- Turn on lights before every showing
- Open blinds before every showing
- Create a flyer with all positive attributes of the house/neighborhood/area/etc
- Make sure it smells nice
- Paint your front door (it's the first thing the buyer will notice of the "interior"
- Leave on a stereo or iPod with speakers playing some soothing/popular music

women always look at them & ponder the space for the 300 pairs of shoes they need.
so we strip them to barely full to make it look 'LARGER' & no clutter on the floor or shelving above.
In the last SFH we added a large sealed cedar closet for the off season clothing in the basement. Could also be used as a wine cellar.

laundry rooms....
Most depict the dungeon life of old.
So we put in all new cupboards, marble tile & threw in a (cheap remnant) granite top with an under-mount 10" deep sink.
We also had the height to put the cupboards up to the ceiling leaving a lot of space for laundry baskets etc on the counter top.
They loved it.

- Clear fridge of all magnets
- Clear all kitchen and bathroom counters (you really don't want your toothbrush out for pictures)
- Remove pet bowls, toys, and beds before showing
- Store kid's toys - keep a laundry basket of toys that can quickly be put in car when you leave house (works great for toddlers)
- take out the trash
- Do not leave 14 bottles of soaps and stuff in bathtub
-Store gun cabinet so people do not remember your house as the house with guns
- People look in medicine cabinets - don't leave meds that may leave an impression in view
- Organize pots and pans - store the bunt, angle food cake pans, waffle iron, fryer and other large items not used often to clear out room
- Clean Clean Clean (especially light switches, door knobs and other areas that hands are always on

Make sure the information sheet on the house is complete, accurate and mentions anything important.

I would just say make sure it doesn't smell. I have to say skip the Plug in air fresheners or overspray.

-add new house numbers that fit the style of the home
-add a potted plant--colorful, elegant, stylish--at the front door
-add a new mat at the front door
-park a luxury vehicle in the driveway or garage/carport for photos if the property is more upscale
-clean (and organize?) inside of refrigerator and pantry
-grind lemon or grapefruit peel in the disposal for a fresh scent in the kitchen

I have not seen anyone mention taking a video of the property, walk people through the house, you can use YouTube, but if the ads are too much, look at or another source to store and play videos. Make sure that the videos can be seen and viewed correctly on the smart phone.

- Add rosemary/basil/herbs to the counter in the kitchen.
- Replace old lights with new ones.
- Grass - add it in sprigs, seed or sod and plants outside, landscaping is a small cost but is the first thing people see.

Originally posted by Jack Bobeck:
I have not seen anyone mention taking a video of the property, walk people through the house, you can use YouTube,

This is a great idea in fact it's used a lot here by RE agents & builders.
I sent a slideshow of a SFH we had just rented. After we culled the responses we sent it to the prospective tenants & we had 6-7 couples show up for the open house.

Thanks everyone! Josh Dorkin and I have some work ahead of us on this post - but I love all the suggestions so far!

If anyone has any more tips - please continue to add them below!

One investor in SoCal would do minor but very tasteful landscaping in the front yard to really WOW the curb appeal. He got about ten thousand more than other comps in the area at the time. The cost was well under two - three thousand and included one fifteen gallon tree, (judging by size), some outdoor tile that both edged the grass, and created planting beds outside the grass area, bedding plants, and sod.

It REALLY set the property apart from the competition.

- Many people view several homes in one day. Make a "take home booklet" that people can take with them with pictures -- more extensive than the MLS flyer you usually get.

- Replace and/or update the outlets and switches to coordinate them all and make sure they are clean.

- Ensure that any little "dings" or dents in the wall are taken care of.

- I second the plug-in air fresheners. I do that for showing rental properties and people have commented several times how nice it smells. You sell on emotion!

"You never get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression". Curb appeal!

1. Go stand in front of your house and take a quick look, what stands out? If it's your white garage door, paint it the same color as the body of your house. Most people keep them white. However; unless your garage door is special and you want to accent it and draw attention to it, PAINT IT!! It's probably the largest surface on the front of your house.

2. Paint or repaint your front door, where you do want to draw people's eyes. A nice contrasting accent color.

3.Make sure lawn is mowed, landscaping weeded.

4. A nice planter by the front door with flowers (go bigger)

5. Clean all the windows.

6. Bathrooms, Kitchens, and Closets sell houses, make sure yours are CLEAN, get rid of clutter, and know people snoop around!

7. If furniture is cramped, move it out of the house or into another room.

8.Clean the carpet

9. Clean and organize your laundry room. If laundry is in garage, tidy it up.

10. Fresh flowers are always nice on a table.

11. Have a little snack at Open Houses, it encourages people to mingle and get a feel for the place.

12. Don't ignore the back yard, organize any toys, yard tools, etc.

13. Look at fences and trim boards, do they need replaced or painted?

14. Make up a nice flyer to give out. If you don't know how, try Postlets or some other site with easy to use templates

15. Advertise on the Marketplace on BP!

Clean is importand but especially stoves and ovens, and dont forget the baseboard trim. Nice appliances, especially stove, dishwasher and fridge, and my favorite oddly enough is install nice hardwood doors and make sure they shut and open like silk, you would be amazed at how many folks comment on that. Hollow core doors can only be spiced up so much even in cheaper homes.

- Remember that it's a woman that always buys a home in a family. Even single guys house-shopping always look at it from a perspective "I've made enough to afford this place, but would i bring a date here?" Appeal to a woman first!

- I'd love to see a study on smell in a house and the whole air-freshner thing vs. quantifiable appeal, but being very smell-sensitive, I strongly prefer no smell at all. "Fresh" could be very subjective

- Every room or space on a property should be a "wow" of some sort, beyond what's expected - doesn't matter whether small or large wow. Like, "Wow, old beams and tall ceilings in a 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