Selling your home quickly is important if you’re to get on with your life. And the faster you sell, the fewer days you have to worry about your house being absolutely perfect or rushing out at the last minute so someone can take a tour. At the same time, you want the best price possible. If you follow the crucial steps to selling a house, you’ll sell your house the right way: for a good price and with a minimum of disruption to your life.
1. Take Great Photos
If you take some time now to get great pictures, you’ll save a lot of time later. When your photos are done well, buyers are further along in the buying journey when they arrive at your home to look in person. Without photos, it’s hard for a buyer to envision the place. They may get a very wrong idea in their head of what to expect and leave as fast as they came if it wasn’t what they envisioned.
Plan to take about 30 photos, inside and out, and go to the trouble of making sure the landscaping and the rooms are in great condition. In NAR’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers in 2018, 87% of those who looked online for a home found photos very useful in their search.
It’s very hard to take away the things that make your house yours, but it’s one of the most crucial steps to selling a house. You want prospective buyers to be able to see themselves in your home as if it were their home, and too many personal items get in the way of that. You want to make your home a neutral territory.
To do this, start by removing all photos and family memorabilia, like awards or trophies. If you have any political or religious artwork, get rid of that, too. Your collection of sports memorabilia should also go. Just remember not to leave empty nails or nail holes on the walls: either hang up some neutral artwork or fill in the holes.
3. Plan to Make Your Home Available
After a long day at work, there’s nothing like relaxing at home. On the weekend, sometimes you just want to chill out without seeing people. But if you want to sell your home and do it quickly and for a good price, you need to accommodate buyers’ schedules. And for most buyers, the best time to look at a home is going to be in the evenings or on the weekends.
Since the market is fairly hot in LA, you can also count on buyers wanting to see a place quickly if they’re interested in it. This means you might not have much advance notice before they show up. It’s an inconvenience, but a necessary one, so make the necessary arrangements to ensure you and your family can show the home at a moment’s notice.
4. Clean Carefully
A dirty home is a huge turnoff. If you don’t have time to do a thorough deep clean on your own, hire some professionals to do it. Make sure you get the places that buyers love to look, like:
- Inside and outside windows
- Scuffs on the walls and baseboards
- Kitchen counters
- Inside cabinets
- Under furniture
- Inside closet corners
- All bathroom fixtures (and under them)
5. Keep Things Well Lit
Natural light is inviting, but even artificial light is better than dark corners. When you’re showing the home during the day, be sure to open up all curtains and even find ways to fling them back to allow more light in. For evening, pay attention to where your lights and lamps are shining and make adjustments as necessary. If you have to leave the house while it’s on the market, make sure the curtains are open (for the day), or the lights are on (in the evening), so your realtor can bring someone by, and everything will show to best possible effect.
6. Be Realistic About Price
Sellers almost always overestimate their home’s value, at least a little, because of its personal value to them. There are a lot of memories associated with those rooms, and it can be hard to let those go. Unfortunately, setting the price too high makes it much harder to sell. And it’s not very realistic to assume you can set the price high and then negotiate down. These days, buyers can find out the general value of a home before they ever see it, and if a property is priced too high, they won’t even look.
Another danger of having the price too high is that the property will stay on the market for too long. If a property has been hanging around the market for a while, buyers begin to suspect there might be something wrong with it and may avoid it entirely. If you then cut the price, this doubles their suspicions. Pricing very close to the correct value, and slightly on the lower side, will typically get you the fastest and best responses.
7. Consider Repainting
If your home is already painted in colors you love, consider repainting in neutral ones. Nearly everyone can see themselves in a neutrally colored home and envision painting it the way they like. It’s much harder to see yourself in a home if there’s a wall in a color you just hate. You might get lucky and find a buyer with a daughter who loves the purple wall in your daughter’s room as much as she does, but you’re just as likely to meet a buyer who will say “no” to the whole house as soon as they see the room.
Another advantage of neutral walls is they allow buyers to see the space for what it is without the distraction of a bright or deep color. Neutral colors also tend to make rooms look bigger, and while the size numbers won’t change on paper, perception is far more important.
This step has some things in common with other steps to selling a house, like removing personal items or painting rooms in neutral colors. By removing any excess furniture and clutter, you instantly make the space seem much larger, fresher, and calmer.
Take knickknacks and collectibles off every surface, get rid of some of those books and throw rugs, and even consider taking things out of the closets or putting away smaller kitchen appliances you don’t use every day. Put large pieces of furniture in storage. You want people to see the true size of the home and appreciate how much storage space there really is.
9. Work on the Landscaping
Half the battle of selling your home is already lost or won when the buyer gets their first glimpse of the outside. Curb appeal really matters, and it doesn’t cost much to put fresh paint on the front door, get a new mailbox, and put a few pots of flowers by the front steps. Trim up the trees and make sure the lawn is mowed. Remember to leave the outside lights on at night in case prospective buyers drive by after dark.
Get Help With the Crucial Steps to Selling a House
Perhaps the most crucial step of all in selling a house is having a great realtor. Teresa Mack is Los Angeles’ urban luxury specialist, so contact Teresa Mack today and let her help you capitalize on the value of your home.