11 Steps For Getting Your Home Sold - Even In This Market!

Home Stager with Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA

11 Steps For Getting Your Home Sold - Even in this market.

I first wrote this post a little more than a year and a half ago. I've updated it and added another important step. The real estate market has gotten even more challenging since then. But despite the challenges, many of our Los Angeles staged homes are selling very quickly, sometimes with multiple offers and sometimes over asking price. A few other experienced Los Angeles home stagers are having the same experience.

Want to know what those home sellers are doing to help their homes get sold? Here are 11 steps you can take to help get your home sold, too:

  1. Hire the best "full service" REALTOR or real estate agent you can find. Many of them can be found right here on Active Rain. This is no time to be fooling around with less than full service. Do your research on the Internet and by asking friends who they've worked with and if they had a good experience with a REALTOR or real estate agent. Interview at least 3 REALTORS or real estate agents. Don't hire your best friend, their cousin, your hairstylist who moonlights as a real estate agent, unless you are certain that they know what they are doing and can back up their claims. You are selling what is probably your most valuable asset. Don't be embarrassed into letting your home sit unsold because you didn't want to hurt someone's feelings. Make sure you understand your listing agents marketing plan for your property. How many photos will they post? Which sites will they use to promote your home's listing? Will they be holding open houses? How many?
  2. Don't beat your listing agent up over the sales commission. A really good, experienced REALTOR or real estate agent will tell probably tell you "no" anyway. Marketing and selling real estate properly is an expensive proposition. All the brochures, flyers, virtual tours, professional photographers, etc. cost money. If you negotiate a lower commission, you are preventing your listing agent from pulling out the "big guns" to get your home sold as quickly as possible. Don't hamstring the sale of your home by limiting the amount of money your listing agent has available for marketing. Also, with the abundant inventory on the market right now, buyer's agents are going to show the homes that pay full commissions first.
  3. Listen to your Listing Agent regarding pricing.They know what they are doing (assuming your followed step 1). They are on the MLS every day and know what homes are selling for and how quickly they sold. They talk to other REALTORS and real estate agents daily. It doesn't matter how much your dry cleaner thinks you should list your home for. It doesn't matter how much profit (or how little loss) you would like to walk away with. All that matters is how much someone will be willing to pay for your house. A good REALTOR or real estate agent will be able to tell you how much you should list your home for to get it sold quickly.
  4. Hire a professional home inspector for a pre-sale inspection. You can address any issues that might sink a sale during escrow, or prevent someone from making an offer in the first place. Use the information to get your home into tip-top shape. This also sends a signal to buyers that your home is well cared for and maintained.
  5. Make any needed repairs. Home buyers want a home that is truly move-in ready. They don't want an allowance for new carpet or a new roof. They want a house that already has new carpet and a new roof so they can move in right away.
  6. Clean your house from top to bottom. Clean it until it is cleaner than it has ever been before. If you don't have the time or energy, hire a cleaning service. Make sure your house sparkles and smells clean every day it is on the market. If there is an issue you can't address by cleaning, then replace it. For instance, if the linoleum in your kitchen has a big burn mark from the hot skillet you dropped, replace the linoleum.
  7. Hire a professional home stager. Again, do your research on the Internet and with your listing agent. Make sure you hire an experienced professional and not a hobbyist or (again) your sister-in-law, unless she is a pro with experience and knowledge of your market. Ask to see the stager's portfolio (or view it on-line) and make sure all the photos are of their work. If you are a do-it-yourself type, at the very least, hire a professional home stager to do a comprehensive consultation so you know exactly what needs to be done. Most home stagers will also help you choose paint colors and carpet as well.
  8. Listen to the home stager regarding the condition of your home and what needs to be done to make it appealing to the greatest number of buyers. If they tell you your favorite floral pattern wallpaper has to go, do it. A home stager's expertise is preparing homes to look their best so it is appealing to the greatest number of buyers and they have done it successfully for numerous home sellers (assuming you followed Step 7). Remember, they are looking at your home through "buyer's eyes".
  9. Have your home photographed by a professional photographer. Many REALTORs and real estate agents include this as part of their marketing package. Photos taken with a point and shoot camera are not going to show your home at its best. 90% of home buyers are looking at homes on the Internet before going out to see homes they are interested in. If your home doesn't look great in the photos, then most buyers will pass you by.
  10. Don't rush the process. Follow all of the above steps before you put your home on the market.Clean it up, fix it up, have it professionally staged and then photographed. Once you have great photos that really showcase you home, give your REALTOR the go-ahead to post them on the MLS. Make sure they post the maximum number of photos allowed. The more photos you have showcasing your home on the MLS, the greater your chances of selling it. If you rush the process, then you will not be putting your home's best face forward from day one. Staging or adding better pictures after you home has been on the market, even for a few days, won't get back potetial buyers who dismissed your home when they saw few pictures, bad pictures, vacant rooms or an unstaged mess.
  11. Make your home easy to show. Don't make it difficult to show your home by limiting access to certain times and days. Allow your listing agent to install a Supra Lockbox so your home can be shown on a moment's notice. Keep your house clean and orderly everyday all day during the listing period so that it looks its best for every showing. This may create some inconvenience for you, but it will result in a faster sale.

Remember: When you put your home on the market, you are entering it in a beauty contest. The best looking homes in the best condition sell first. It's a no brainer!

©2010 Moving Mountains Design 11 Steps For Getting Your Home Sold - Even In This Market! All rights reserved.

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Los Angeles Real Estate Staging

2015 RESA Professional Stager of the Year

2014 RESA Top 10 Professional Home Stager2010 RESA Professional Stager of the Year

Michelle has staged hundreds of Los Angeles homes, many of which have sold with multiple offers, above listing price.

She works with home sellers, listing agent, builders, flippers and asset managers to prepare homes for sale throughout Los Angeles and North Orange County.

Moving Mountains Design provides vacant home staging, color consultations, corporate and executive relocations,  and interior design. We also stage model homes, REOs, foreclosures and auction properties for real estate investors and asset managers. Builders hire us to stage their models or to help move inventory when sales slow down.

For more information about our Los Angeles home staging services, contact Michelle at (626)385-8852 or by email.

Click here to see our Los Angeles home staging portfolio

Click here to go to our Los Angeles home staging blog

Click here for more information about home staging in Los Angeles and how we can help sell your home faster and for the best price

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Re-Blogged 6 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Karen Otto 05/10/2010 03:43 AM
  2. John Cannata 05/10/2010 04:23 AM
  3. Lori Cain 05/10/2010 12:07 PM
  4. Cindy Bryant 05/10/2010 03:19 PM
  5. Linda Thompson 05/10/2010 05:39 PM
  6. Kevin Heinrich 05/12/2010 11:15 AM
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Scott Baker
www.eHomeReports.com Coldwell Banker West Shell - Liberty Township, OH
Realtor Homes for Sale in Cincinnati, West Chester, Mason, OH Area

These are great tips Michelle. I wish all would be sellers would read this before deciding how they are going to handle the sale of their home.

Thank you

May 08, 2010 01:47 AM #1
Jay Schmitt
Keller Williams Keystone Realty - Gettysburg, PA
Gettysburg Real Estate Agent

Those are some very good tips that could help most buyers.

May 08, 2010 01:50 AM #2
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Hi Michelle,

I love your statement "Remember when your putting your home on the market you are entering a beauty contest!" I totally agree and most of my homes I provide staging services. What a difference it makes and my listings sell!!

May 08, 2010 02:37 AM #4
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Michelle- Great tips that are important for the Seller to follow and for the Realtor to reinforce.

May 08, 2010 06:16 AM #5
Rob Lang
At Home Kansas / www.AskRobLang.com - Lawrence, KS
Local Expert in Lawrence Kansas Real Estate Homes

Great tips,  I love the one about making all the repairs first so it is truly move in ready.

May 09, 2010 10:17 AM #6
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes

A copy of this list should be included in every home owner's mailbox Michelle. These are points that anyone who owns a home and may one day sell (likely for most people unless it's a second or third home) needs to read and understand.  It can be an overwhelming process for many and for me an educated consumer is our best customer.

May 10, 2010 03:40 AM #7
Cari Anderson
Danville, CA

Michelle: I can certainly relate to the last tip! It can be very difficult if the occupant won't allow the lock box. This is a great compilation of tips that I will bookmark. Thank you!

May 10, 2010 09:05 AM #8
Teral McDowell
Referral Patners LLC - Murphy, TX

You made some valid points, Michelle. It's getting the seller's to understaand; thanks for reaching out to them.

May 10, 2010 10:50 AM #9
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

I'm glad all found these tips useful. Thanks for you comments.

May 10, 2010 11:12 AM #10
Charlottesville Choice Homes
Keller Williams Realty - Charlottesville, VA

Great information. One of the best list that I have seen in years.  It is very concise and professional.

May 10, 2010 12:31 PM #11
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

Sarasota Choice Homes (sorry, I couldn't find your name anywhere) Thanks! That's a great endorsement!

May 10, 2010 12:35 PM #12
Cindy Bryant
Redesign Etc. Home Staging - Houston, TX
"Houston Home Staging Pros"

Fantastic list, I'm glad there are some re-blogs left, I'm using one now!

May 10, 2010 03:17 PM #13
Gary Swanson
Century 21 Harris & Taylor - Grants Pass, OR

Great tips Michelle.  Even in a down market a well-prepared seller with a well-priced home will be successful.

May 10, 2010 05:17 PM #14
Linda Thompson
Selling By Design-Staging - Fresno, CA

Very valuable post Michelle. Especially liked the part about making the suggested improvements ( flowered wallpaper). I am going to reblog as well as copy to share with sellers and realtors.

May 10, 2010 05:44 PM #15
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

Thanks Cindy!

Gary: The market isn't so bad for people who are smart:o))

Linda: Thank you and I'm glad you found it helpful.

May 11, 2010 06:50 AM #16
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Michelle Minch

Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA
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