Here are 5 tips for getting the best offer sooner.
1. Curb Appeal. The first thing that buyers will see is the outside of your house. Does the outside make them want to see the inside? A well kept yard, an inviting porch, a clean driveway – all increase the likelihood that buyers will want to see more, so start here. Clean up the lawn and the driveway. Touch up or repaint the exterior. Clean gutters and keep the porches swept and inviting. Showing that the exterior of your home is well-kept will lead buyers to the assumption that the home is well-kept in general.
2. Clean, de-clutter and simplify. Do a deep clean or hire a professional cleaning crew to make sure everything looks its best. Keep carpets vacuumed and beds made. Make the rooms look larger by removing clutter and large furniture.
Packed closets and cabinets also lead others to believe there is inadequate storage, so clean those out, too. Make sure to keep all the dishes away, hang clothes neatly in closets, make sure all light bulbs work, and towels in the bathroom and kitchen need to be clean and folded neatly.
Help buyers imagine their own things in your home by storing personal items such as photos and knick-knacks.
3. Update. This includes fresh paint, replacing outdated appliances and fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom. If it’s not in your budget to replace, you can add new hardware on cabinets and sinks. If you can, replace outdated flooring or stained carpeting – or at least have them professionally cleaned.
Interior paint is one of the easiest ways to freshen up your home and increase its value. And, while that dramatic purple wall in the dining room may have matched your chairs, it may be hard for buyers to imagine with their furnishings. Use light, neutral colors that make the rooms look bright and large and that match any decor.
4. Consider hiring a home inspector. It’s very likely that a buyer will hire one anyway – after they’ve made an offer, so being honest about your home’s condition will help you avoid any surprises or complications with the contract and closing later. And, although you don’t have to make any non-essential repairs, you may discover essential ones of which you may be unaware.
5. Interview real estate agents and ask them about their marketing plan for your home. After you’ve done all the work to get it ready to list, an aggressive marketing plan will ensure that as many buyers as possible see it.
Most agents will list the home in the Multiple Listing Service database, on their website and on their company website. Ask them about also putting it on other top ranked real estate sites. Also, according to the National Association of REALTORS, most buyers move within 11 miles of their previous residence – so ask about local advertising as well.
The sign in your yard should include the agent’s information. Many add a brochure box, but it’s difficult to keep it full. Ask about adding a text code that leads buyers to a mobile site for your home that shows more information and photos, so the information is always readily available to interested buyers.