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Home Not Sell? 10 Low-Cost Tips to Improve Your odds

Real Estate Agent with Steinborn & Associates Real Estate

Unfortunately selling your home doesn’t always happen right away. Though the goal is to sell it quickly for the highest price with as little renovations as possible, sometimes that just doesn’t do it. Here are 10 low-cost tips, courtesy of BuyOwner.com, on how to improve you’re the odds of selling your home without having to dig too deep into your pockets.

1. Refresh the exterior

Let’s face it buyers will judge a home at first glance, so if the exterior isn’t appealing, you can almost guarantee that they aren’t going to even get out of their car. You can do something as small as pressure washing vinyl sliding, roofs, walkways and driveways.

2. Spruce up the lawn and landscapecurb appeal

The condition of your lawn and landscaping is associated with the condition of your home’s interior, so something as simple as mowing and edging the lawn, or planting a few colorful seasonal flowers in existing plant beds will make buyers more compelled to see the inside.

3. Create an inviting entrance

The front door should be cheery and inviting to potential buyers.

You might think about painting the front door in a glossy, cheerful color that complements the exterior. People tend to be drawn to bright, crisp colors.

4. Reduce clutter and furniture

It’s hard for buyers to envision themselves living in your home without seeing it as you live in it. It might be time to have that garage sale that you and the neighbors have been talking about for the past 6 months.

5. Clean, clean, clean

The cleanliness of your home influences a buyer’s perception of its condition. Cleaning windows, fixtures, hardware, ceiling fans, vent covers and appliances will weigh heavily in the buyer’s decision.

6. Make minor repairs

Not only are minor repairs easier on your pocket book, but they significantly increase the visual appeal of your home. A little bit of caulking and new grout can make a big difference to buyers.

7. Showcase the kitchen

If you decided to set aside a little bit of money for renovations, the kitchen is the area of the house where you will see the greatest return on your investment. Replace a few light fixtures and having some fresh baked cookies for a showing will create that homey feel that people want.

8. Stage furniture

Look around at how your house is setup and try to come up with different ways to better utilize the space. Creating a comfy looking sitting room near the fireplace will help buyers generate their own ideas of how they too might use the space.

9. Light up the house

Nobody wants to live in a dungeon, so create a sense of openness and cheerfulness by improving the lighting. Turn on all the lights for a showing, pay special attention to ambient light in smaller rooms like bathrooms and offices.

10. Add fresh touches

Color, color, color! You can change the mood of your house by placing fresh floral arrangements in the entry and master bedroom or displaying bright, fresh towels near sinks.

photo courtesy of htpp://curbappeal.com

Carolyn Kolba
Serving Mentor, and all of Lake County, Ohio - Mentor, OH
Keller Williams Realty- Mentor, Ohio

Evelyn, what a great list of things to do.  I will comment on number 6, about making minor repairs.  Many sellers don't want to do even the little things... saying they won't make much difference. 

But, what I tell MY sellers... is that if a buyer sees that the "little things" are not being taken care of... their minds run crazy wondering about what might be wrong with the major things that are not obvious to the buyer.  Bottom line... not a good thing for a seller to breed paranoia in a buyer's mind.


Aug 23, 2010 11:06 AM
Bonner Thomason
Keller Williams Realty - Kernersville, NC
CRS, ABR, GRI, e-Pro

Good points. Will seller listen to you. Often sellers are stuck in virtual rutt they have a hard time getting over.


Aug 23, 2010 05:38 PM
Evelyn Bruder
Steinborn & Associates Real Estate - Las Cruces, NM

Yes, it seems as though curb appeal may perhaps be the most important one, because YES, buyers will decide within 30 seconds of pulling up/driving by whether they want to see more...and once they get in the house, #6—the small things—really do settle deep within the buyers' minds. A broken light switch cover or cracked faucet head might lead them to believe that the BIG things are as bad or worse. Please feel free to share these points with others :)



Aug 24, 2010 03:13 AM
LaNita Cates
REMAX of Joliet - Joliet, IL

Great list Evelyn! I think a lot of sellers know they should do this but some don't which doesn't help selling their home! Thanks.

Aug 24, 2010 01:50 PM