The 7 Most Important Home Selling Tips You Need to Know

The 7 Most Important Home Selling Tips You Need to Know

For most people, selling their house is one of the most stressful experiences they go through.

The reason?

They’re afraid that their house won’t sell quickly and for their desired price.

That’s what I’m going to help you avoid.

These 7 tips for selling your home will boost your chances of:

  • Selling faster
  • Making more money
  • Having an easier home sale

Every single one of these tips will help you throughout the selling process.

But one of them is the key to achieving all three.

Tip #1 – Don’t let your real estate agent represent the buyer

This seems obvious, but it happens all the time.

Why?

Because the listing agent wants to double their commission.

When you sell your home, you’ll pay a commission to your real estate agent and the buyer’s agent.

Your agent will get both if they also represent the buyer.

If this happens to you, there’s a chance that you sold for less than you should have – mainly for two reasons:

  1. Your realtor cannot negotiate for you if they represent the buyer.
  2. Realtors have an open invitation to risk their integrity to make twice as much.

Some real estate agents will keep this a secret from you until they have the buyer’s offer in hand.

By the time this happens, it might be too late.

You’ll hear every reason why you should accept an offer that is most likely less than what it should be.

Here’s how you can avoid this…

Before you commit to working with your real estate agent, tell them that you don’t want them to represent the buyer.

Make sure they agree to it and you’ll eliminate the possibility of losing tens of thousands of dollars when selling your home.

 

*Bonus tipSome real estate agents work on teams and will pass the buyer off to one of their team members. Although this scenario is much better than having your realtor represent the buyer, some realtors have the same intention. If this happens, make sure you’re 100% satisfied with the buyer’s offer.

Tip #2 – Set the best listing price

The price you list your home at will have a direct impact on how fast you sell and for how much.

Overprice it and your house will sit on the market and you’ll end up selling for less than you should have.

Price it too low and you could leave money on the table.

But set the best price and you’ll put yourself in the best position to sell your home quickly and for more money.

How do you do this?

Price it a bit under what your real estate agent thinks it might sell for (something in the 2% range).

You’ll get a lot more interest from potential buyers.

Here’s why…

Most buyers search online.

And they’re very familiar with what homes like yours have been selling for.

Many of them pay attention to the price per sq. ft. and the condition.

If your condition is similar (or a bit better) to a home that is similar to yours that has recently sold, and is priced less than the price per sq. ft. it sold for, you’re going to make them put your house down as a must-see.

This will generate more showings.

And the more buyers that view your home, the higher the chances are that you quickly get one or more buyers interested.

Then it’s your realtor’s job to drive the price up as much as they can.

But it also does something else.

The potential buyers who are searching on one of the big real estate websites are going to favorite your listing.

This is what you want because buyers pay attention to the number of views and favorites.

The higher this number is, the more desirable your home appears.

People want something a lot more when they think they can’t have it.

And this is especially true with homebuyers.

Set your list price a bit below market value and you’ll increase demand.

But this does not mean you are obligated to accept an offer at that price (or any price).

The house you’re selling is worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

But your list price can influence how much money a buyer is willing to offer you.

 

*Bonus tip – If you’re the gambling type, you may want to consider pricing it 5-10% below your real estate agent’s estimated selling price. You’ll drive a flock of buyers and increase your chances of getting multiple offers, no matter the type of market you’re in. But I wouldn’t price it below this range. There’s a psychological factor with some homebuyers who can’t be convinced to pay a certain percentage over the listing price. 

Tip #3 – Get inspections before selling

This is a home selling tip that could be one of your best investments when selling your house.

Here’s why…

Your house can be completely remodeled, but potential buyers still won’t know what’s “under the hood.”

This leaves them with unanswered questions when deciding how much money they want to offer for your home.

This is what you want to avoid.

Can a buyer do their own inspections?

They can.

And in areas where this is common practice, sellers don’t do inspections before selling.

But when you have them done up front, it does two things:

  1. Gives the buyer more confidence in submitting their best offer
  2. Reduces the chances of the sale falling through

When you don’t do them, it’s almost certain that the buyer will make their offer contingent on their own inspections.

This will increase the likelihood of them asking you to make repairs and/or renegotiate the price.

And it increases the chances of them getting nervous and backing out of the sale of your home.

If you want to sell fast and for top dollar, you need to make sure you minimize the questions potential buyers have before they submit an offer on your home.

Getting inspections before selling does this.

If the property you’re selling is a single-family residence, these are the inspections you’ll want to have done:

  • Property
  • Termite
  • Roof

If you have a condo/townhome where the HOA is responsible for the roof, then you only need the property and termite inspections.

 

*Bonus tip – Don’t spend a lot of time fixing things before the inspections. Go over the reports with your realtor and take their advice about which ones are worth fixing. Then have your realtor list the items you fixed in a Word document and include them with the inspections. This will give buyers more confidence and will help make your home stand out from others they might be considering.

Tip #4 – Boost your curb appeal with colors

First impressions are everything.

And when it comes to selling your house, your curb appeal is where it all starts.

Buyers will have an immediate reaction within seconds of pulling up to your home.

A lackluster appearance can convince potential buyers to drive off.

But one that gets their attention can make it feel like a new home and enhance their emotional state.

This is what you want.

Why?

Because buying a home is an emotional decision.

And the condition of your exterior plays a factor.

Does this mean you need to go all out and spend thousands of dollars?

Nope.

The key to making any type of improvement before selling your home is to think visually.

When it comes to your curb appeal, this means colors.

Think you need new sod to make your landscaping pop?

You don’t.

Spray paint your grass instead.

Plant colorful perennials and annuals.

A few hundred dollars at Home Depot can go a long way and make a huge difference.

But putting a fresh coat of paint on your front door can make your home really stand out.

Stay with neutral colors and go with something that is the perfect match with your exterior paint.

A few popular colors that can work well are gray, black, dark red, navy blue, and brown.

But you don’t need to invest a lot of money to apply a fresh coat of paint and make the exterior of your home stand out.

You just need a little imagination and the right colors.

 

*Bonus tip – Walk across your street and stand there for a good minute looking at your home. Now pretend this isn’t your house. Pretend you’re a buyer. How does your exterior look? What little things are sticking out to you? Where can you add color to make it stand out? Take notes and compile your list.

Tip #5 – Stage it for the right buyer

The ideal buyer for your home fits within a certain target audience.

Your marketing should be targeting this audience.

And staging is a part of that.

But don’t just stage it to stage it.

Confirm the ideal target audience with your real estate agent.

Then put a game plan together on how you’re going to utilize staging to appeal to them.

For example, the average home in a suburban neighborhood is most likely going to appeal to a younger family.

Staging one or two of the bedrooms as kid’s rooms would be most appealing to this audience.

But you wouldn’t do this for a condo in an urban area.

The target audience for selling this type of property would most likely be a single person or a younger couple.

So staging one of the rooms as a home office would most likely work best.

This could also be an option for a home in a retirement community.

But staging one of the rooms as a den could work better.

The key is to stage your home for the right buyer.

It works.

Why?

Because it reduces the number of questions buyers will have.

And it enhances their emotional state.

Combine both of these and you put yourself in the best position to sell your home faster and for more money.

According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, 83% of real estate agents representing buyers said that staging made it easier for their clients to visualize the property as their future home.

As a home seller, the last thing you want is potential buyers having a difficult time envisioning themselves living in your home.

Staging for the right buyer is a tip that will help you avoid this.

 

*Bonus tip – If your property will be occupied when you list it for sale, you can still use your furniture. There are stagers who will work with what you currently have to help transform your home to target your ideal buyer. Ask your real estate agent if they have contacts with any stagers and have them coordinate a consultation. 

Tip #6 Don’t get locked into a contract with your real estate agent

Want to give yourself the absolute best chance to sell your home top dollar and in the shortest amount of time?

Then you need to have the option to cancel the contract with your real estate agent.

Let me explain.

When you decide which real estate agent you want to sell your house with, you’ll sign a contract with them.

This is known as a listing agreement and is exclusive to you and your realtor.

This means that you’re bound to them for the duration (usually 6 months), whether you’re pleased with their services or not.

This also means that they know they will be paid a commission as long as your house sells.

Because of this, many will overpromise to get you to sign this agreement.

The most common tactic is telling you that your house is worth more than it is.

This is especially common among “top” realtors (the ones who sell a lot of homes).

They know that you know they have a track record of selling a lot of homes.

They also know that you might be speaking to other agents.

So, to get you to sign this agreement, they’ll tell you that they can sell your house for an inflated price.

You believe them because they’re a “top” real estate agent and their presentation was impressive.

But here’s the problem…

They know that the chances of selling your home at their inflated price are ridiculously low.

Here’s how this usually plays out:

  1. The realtor tells you your house is worth more than it is
  2. You sign the listing agreement
  3. Your house sits on the market
  4. Buyers start to wonder what’s wrong with your home
  5. The realtor tells you to drop the price
  6. Buyers start lowballing you
  7. You eventually sell, but for less than what you should have
  8. The realtor gets paid and adds another sold home to their resume

Want to avoid this?

Then remember this home selling tip.

Before signing the agreement, ask your realtor if they’ll allow you to cancel at any time.

Anything other than a “yes” is an immediate red flag.

There are several important questions you need to ask a realtor when selling.

But asking if they’ll allow you to cancel the agreement is the most important.

Why?

Because when you have the option to cancel, your real estate agent knows they can be fired at any given moment.

And they are no longer guaranteed a commission.

This means they’re much more likely to be trusted.

That’s why not being locked into a contract is one of the best tips for selling your home.

 

*Bonus tip – You might get several different reasons why the realtor can’t give you the option to cancel. This is a red flag. It doesn’t matter if the realtor is a “neighborhood specialist,” a friend, or your brother. Even though you may never terminate the agreement, make sure you have the option to do so. It’s the single most important thing you can do when selling your property.

Tip #7 – Don’t over-improve

This happens all the time.

Sellers think that a buyer won’t be interested in their home unless it’s full of improvements.

Does it hurt to make a bunch of improvements?

Of course not.

But not all improvements pay off.

In many cases, it’s the smaller things that have a visual impact that will bring the biggest bang for your buck and help you sell quickly.

The kitchen is almost always the main attraction for homebuyers, but it’s also the most expensive.

You don’t need to fully remodel an outdated kitchen.

Instead, make smaller improvements.

Repainting cabinets and adding hardware can save you a boatload of money compared to getting new ones.

Upgrading to stainless steel appliances will almost always make you money.

But don’t buy anything expensive.

The entire point of making this improvement is for the visual appeal of the stainless steel.

It gives the impression that your home is “updated” – the opposite of black and white appliances.

Bathroom outdated?

Don’t gut the entire thing.

You’ll throw money out the window.

Instead, do things such as replacing the vanity, shower frame, and/or shower fixtures.

Not enough light?

Don’t add recessed lighting in every room.

Only do it in the main living areas (kitchen, living room, and maybe the master bedroom).

If you have carpet and a little extra money to invest, upgrade your flooring.

Most buyers don’t like carpet.

But you don’t need to go expensive.

You can get away with laminate.

It’s cheaper than hardwood or luxury vinyl plank and has just about the same visual impact.

Getting a deep cleaning is a no-brainer.

This alone can transform your home’s appearance and make it shine during showings.

There is zero doubt that improvements will help you sell faster and for more money.

But the key is to make sure you only take advantage of the ones that pay off.

 

*Bonus tip – Do the same thing as you did with your front yard. Walk outside and pretend you’re a buyer. Now walk back in and go room by room. Look for the little things that you might not normally pay attention to. Because this is what buyers will notice. They’re going to be looking at your house with a fresh set of eyes. So take notes on anything that sticks out to you. This will help minimize any concern they might have about how well you’ve taken care of the property. 

Conclusion

The home selling process can be stressful.

Many people think of it as an emotional roller coaster and have an experience they’d like to forget.

You can avoid this by making sure you apply every single one of these tips.

Your chances of selling faster and for more money will skyrocket.

Joseph Alongi

CEO/Co-founder at SoldNest

Joseph drives the strategic vision and works closely in all facets of our business as we continue to grow and build the SoldNest platform. He holds a real estate broker's license in California and has over seventeen years of industry experience. He's dedicated to making the entire real estate experience easier, faster, and more profitable for everyone.
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