What to Do (and NOT Do) When Selling Your Home

You have been preparing your home for sale for months. The amount of painstaking hours spent worrying about if it will sell or if people will like it have kept you up at night. But it is go-time. The house is about to go live on the MLS and there is no turning back now.

As a home seller, there may be some gray areas on seller etiquette. Here is a simple list of what you should or should not do when listing your home to maximize a quick sale with a high offer.

Let's start with the do category:

Do clean your house top to bottom. Most home buyers are looking for the place where they will make their memories. They do not want to see yours. Take time to clean the baseboards and backsplashes. Re-caulk the tub if it's needed and be sure to clean the toilet (trust me, this can be a deal breaker!)

Do your best to keep it uncluttered. If the house has too many items throughout, it may distract the potential home buyer from seeing how it would look with their belongings. Try to keep the necessary items in the house, but maybe the knick-knacks and the wall of photos should come down.

Do make it smell good. We are sensual decision-making people. By this, I mean that we use our senses when making decisions. Why wouldn't you want a clean scent to go along with your clean house? Even if you missed a spot while cleaning, it may get overlooked if the house smells good. We are usually oblivious to what our own home smells like since we live in it every day. Have a friend come by to tell you what they notice when they walk in the door.

Do have cute curb appeal! Remember how I just said that we use our senses to make decisions? The first thing that a home buyer will do is SEE your home. If the grass needs cutting or the exterior needs a good power-washing, get it done! Put a new welcoming wreath on the front door or potted plant on the porch. It will make people feel comforted before they even step foot inside. This also goes for the backyard. Clean up Fido's mess, pick up branches that have fallen. The more it looks as though you care, the more likely you will be getting that offer ator near asking price!

Now, there are a lot of things to do. Let's hit the things NOT to do when selling your home.

Don't hang around. It is very uncomfortable to both buyer and the agent when the homeowner is walking through the house with them. The buyer may want to change paint colors or consider remodeling. Some sellers get offended and won't take the offer. I know you love your home, but you have to understand that changes will be made after someone else moves in. They may love your custom woodwork, but hate the paneling on the walls. You just don't need to hear it. This is also the time where an agent and buyer can chat about things that they may want included in the purchase agreement. Typically, buyers won't say much and rush out of the home. It's too risky to stick around!

Don't expect a miracle. Some homes sell instantly, some take a little longer. It just means that the perfect buyer hasn't seen the home yet. Not every home is for every buyer. Some people don't want a lot of land, some don't want a big home at all. You see that amazing acre of land, they see the maintenance involved. The time of year could also affect the traffic through the home. If you have no choice but to sell in an off-season, expect it to take a little longer.

Don't send spies to your open house. The agent has your best interest in mind. If the open house in slow, there could be reasons- could be the weather, could be a holiday weekend, could be a sporting event happening. Trust that your agent is doing everything in their power to sell the home. If you don't trust them, then you need a new agent.

Don't over-do it! Neutral colors are usually a good idea, but don't re-do the backsplash and the ceiling fans and flooring (unless it is really bad). You could spend thousands of dollars refinishing hardwood floors and the new buyers may be carpet people. Your taste may be different than the next person's. Use good judgment or ask your agent for some tips.

These are just a few of things to do and not do when selling your home. When in doubt, ask your agent for advice. That is their job! Use them! 

For more tips, please find me at www.facebook.com/soldbyjillb


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