Selling Your House For The First Time

Top tips for first time home sellers.

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Matt Anderson's Take
What’s involved in selling your home? It takes a lot of energy to get a house ready to sell.

Repairs

If something is broken then get a professional to fix it right away. Does the ceiling look like it had a leak? You need to fix the problem and the discolored ceiling.

Not all that handy yourself? Consider getting it professionally inspected to find potential problems. The public is very savvy; they know what to look for and seeing potential problems may turn off a prospective buyer.

Keep all receipts for any repairs you make or have done. Many times the potential home buyers will want a home inspection before they purchase it and that will have to be done even though you had it inspected prior. Those receipts are the only way to prove to the inspector (and the buyer) that work had been done on the house.

Curb Appeal

First impressions mean everything and that goes for curb appeal. Curb appeal is how pleasing the house looks from the side walk. Pretty, nice, or whatever way you want to phase it. How your house looks from the "curb" will set the tone and expectations of potential buyers. Cut the grass, pull the weeds, and generally clean things up on the outside. Trash cans laying around? Store them in the backyard or garage. Front door light burned out? Then replace it.

Keep It Clean

The inside of the house is your second chance to give the buyer a good impression. Are there any lingering kitchen odors? Any odors of any kind need to removed. Make sure you've emptied the trash, dusted, and vacumed the house. You'll want to clean it daily until it's sold. Keep things put away in their proper spot and make sure kids pick up their toys.

Staging

Staging gives a professional and more polished look to the interior of the house. Either stage it professionally or stage it yourself. A big part of staging is simply removing the clutter. Try removing large furniture items that make a room feel small. Taking a coffee table out of a room can open it up. Get that giant dresser out of your small bedroom. Opening curtains lets more light in to make things brighter. Less truly is more here.

Neutralize

People who look at your house need to visualize themselves living in it. To make that easier for them, paint the walls a neutral color like a simple white or beige. Try finding a new home development and visit one of their model homes for ideas on paint colors. This is also a great way to get ideas on how they stage the home.

You'll also want to de-personalize the house as much as possible. Potential buyers don't want to see your family life so pack up those family pictures. Reduce the art you have to only a few pieces that are neutral and classy. Lose those awesome drawings you keep on the refrigerator.

Listing & Selling

A real estate agent or a Realtor is more likely to be able to find a person who wants to by your house. In most cases, they have extensive resources to find prospective buyers. Trying to sell a house on your own is a big deal and not a task for most people. When potential buyers come to look at the house always be sure to leave. Nobody wants to look through a house while the owners are hanging around.

These are the best practices for someone who has never sold their home before and for those who have done it more than once.
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Matt Anderson
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