Tips for a Speedy House Sale

July 20, 2010
For Sale

Looking to put your house on the market? Here are tips for a speedy house sale.

  • Eliminate clutter on shelves, in closets, and in drawers. Buyers want to see your house, not your stuff.
  • Depersonalize rooms wherever possible. Those photos of Junior from kindergarten may be adorable, but stash them away for now.
  • Repair whatever is broken, little as well as big, especially potential hazards such as decrepit cellar stairs.
  • Finish painting the picket fence, and complete any other works in progress.
  • Remove old holiday decorations. No dried-out wreaths in March will do.
  • Clean your house until it sparkles.
  • Plant flowers. If you don't have time for gardening, use containers of blooming annuals for strategic splashes of color. Or display beautiful arrangements of cut flowers.
  • House hunters look for houses with good light. Make dark rooms bigger by opening up curtains or shades and replacing burned-out bulbs, adding lamps, or increasing the wattage in existing fixtures.
  • Make small rooms look bigger by putting excess furniture into storage, adding mirrors, and using light-colored paint to open up space.
  • Big closets in the master bedroom are a strong selling point. Make a better impression with a neat closet storage system or at least a light in the closet and clothes that are neatly hung and folded.
  • Promote pleasant smells. Bake a pie or bread on the day of the showing, or light a scented candle. Remove any unpleasant odors such as those emanating from the cat's litter box.
  • Cage or confine your animals during a showing. A barking dog is annoying, and a frightened animal can pose a danger to the real estate agent and potential buyers.
  • Make yourself and your family scarce. People prefer looking at property alone. You should trust your broker enough to leave your home in his or her capable hands.
  • Most house hunters notice the living room first, then the kitchen and bath. Improve these areas if they need it; freshen paint and repaper if necessary.

Do you have any other suggestions? Comment and let us know!

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