What can I do to sell my house more quickly?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119

Over all the years I've traveled into the Ukraine to teach, I've had one question asked over and over by my female students.  The college I teach in frowns on the use of too much makeup.  I get it.  They don't want the beautiful Ukrainian girls distracting the easily distractable Ukrainian boys. 

So, being that I'm a foreign teacher the students always want to know about my family first, but then they move right to the most important question on their minds, "Do you think girls should wear makeup?"

I've always had the same response, "If the barn needs painting, paint the barn."  Of course that is always met with laughter and a certain confirmation that they should wear makeup. 

When a homeowner asks, "What can I do to sell my house more quickly?"  Tell them.  For instance:

  • Price it right. 
  • Keep it clean and picked up.
  • Reduce the number of personal items sitting around.
  • Get rid of things you don't need.  That might mean renting a storage container.
  • Keep the yard clean and well landscaped
  • Don't take low offers personally.
  • Be ready to counter-offer.
  • Consider staging.
  • Make it easy to show.
  • Leave during showings (everybody, including pets).
  • Make necessary repairs before listing.
  • Don't perfume the air.  Instead, air out the house and get rid of odor creating sources (such as overdue for a cleaning litter boxes, unwashed sports clothes, etc.).
  • Hire an agent you are willing to trust. 

Selling a house is a lot easier when you remove all of the obstacles.  A homeowner should not blame an agent who has done a good job marketing a property that is not ready to be sold.  When you're ready to list your property, cover all the bases that you can, and then trust your real estate professional to get the job done. 


Re-Blogged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Debbie Holmes 11/18/2011 01:57 AM
  2. Cal Yoder 11/18/2011 03:04 AM
  3. Charles Stallions 06/30/2012 01:31 PM
  4. Shanna Day Team Leader AZ & UT - Call 480-415-7616 08/27/2012 06:02 AM
  5. Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor® 11/14/2012 10:20 AM
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Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Absolutely, Peg.  We need all the tools we can get, and a well staged house is much more attractive.  Thanks for commenting!!

Nov 18, 2011 02:12 AM #8
Kristine Ginsberg
Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC - Short Hills, NJ
NJ Home Stager

Mike - this barn needs painting...daily - lol! All great advice and if done, will help sell homes faster which usually means getting closer to asking price. As a stager if you asked me the single most important thing you can do with your home before putting it on the market I say CLEAN! No one wants a dirty, smelling home, no one!

Nov 18, 2011 02:51 AM #9
Cal Yoder
Keller Williams Elite - Lititz, PA
Homes For Sale in Lancaster PA - 717.413.0744

Great post Mike. You did a great job with the story to tie into the practical advice. I like it so much I am going to reblog it. Have a great day!


Nov 18, 2011 03:00 AM #10
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Absolutely, Kristine.  That's one point that can never be over emphasized.  Have a great Friday!


Nov 18, 2011 03:01 AM #11
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Thanks, Cal.  Feel free to use it. 

Nov 18, 2011 03:04 AM #12
David Shamansky
US Mortgages - David Shamansky - Highlands Ranch, CO
Creative, Aggressive & 560 FICO - OK, Colorado Mtg

if the barn need painting (lmao) thats funny...

OK What if the barn is for a dude you cant pain so you better be hitting the gym eating right and doing what you can to keep the barn in a solid foundation to last for years!!!!


have a great Thanksgiving my friend...


Nov 18, 2011 04:06 AM #13
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Thanks, David.  You and your family have a great Thanksgiving as well.  Off to the mountains.

Nov 18, 2011 05:53 AM #14
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Witty. Not such an easy concept for some homeowners espcially the elderly. I've been struggling with one house in particular. They finally allowed me to bring in a company that can help them with their lifetime's worth of accumulation. More than just a trash-out, a kind of full-service where they help from A-Z. Wish me luck. After this, I'm out of ideas.

Nov 18, 2011 07:28 AM #15
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

That would be tough, Jill.  It would be even more difficult if they had no close family.  Good luck with that one. 

Nov 18, 2011 07:33 AM #16
Mary Clements
CENTURY 21 Sand County Services, Inc. - Siren, WI

Thanks Mike for all the great advice.  Here in Northwestern Wisconsin, our major inventory is recreational properties on lakes used as second homes.  When it comes time to sell, the "cabins" that are clean and clear of clutter pluse priced right, are the ones that sell first.

May 30, 2012 10:44 PM #17
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

That would be interesting market, Mary.  Thanks for dropping by.

May 30, 2012 10:51 PM #18
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Great post Mike and funny story.  I have heard the same response in regard to the Make Up question.

Jun 30, 2012 01:48 PM #19
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Hi Mike,

I love your barn eeds painting! Excellent post..Suggested!

Nov 14, 2012 10:43 AM #20
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Thanks, Gene and Dorie.

Nov 14, 2012 11:13 AM #21
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

Mike: I like the way you led into that, very memorable. And that is an excellent basic list for sellers. I would most certainly list with you; you understand what needs to be done by them for YOU to find a buyer.

Apr 07, 2013 05:05 AM #22
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

Mike, when I was a new agent - many years ago - I was showing a home to my buyers. I opened one door off a beautiful kitchen into a laundry room. Surprise!!! Dirty laundry was piled all over the floor in front of the washer & dryer and the soiled laundry was stacked almost to the ceiling on top of the appliances. Unbelievable. And the Sellers - no words here...just unbelievable, especially because the sellers knew of the appointment. They could have used your suggestions on 'selling their home,'

Apr 13, 2013 01:46 PM #23
Teresa Lansford, MBA, GRI, MRP,SFR,ASN
Bristlecone Realty Group - Colorado Springs, CO
Your Pikes Peak Real Estate Partner

I just listed a 16 yr old home 4 weeks ago. When I arrived for the presentation, the home was cluttered with family photos, furniture collected from over 30 yrs of military travels, the place looked more like a gift shop than a family home. I looked around and then said," You have lovely things, but they are the focus of the home. Since you're are planning on moving, and will need to pack at that point, if you start packing now, not only will it help your move go smoothly, but it will also put more $ in your pocket.They were taken aback at first, but they complied with my request. It took them 10 dqys to deal with the clutter. I took the photos of the newly organized home and listed it on June 28, I was able to price it at the top of the range - because it looked so good! It sold in 3 days after the 2nd showing - for 25k more than the exact same model behind them - which was cluttered, and poorly staged with photos to prove it! The sellers were stunned at the results and are now believers of my advice.


Aug 01, 2013 07:42 PM #24
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

I am delighted for you that you have learned so much from Active Rain - I believe that joining Active Rain really changed my life- it introduced me to a new broker who led me to keller Williams which has done so much to grow my business- Thanks Active Rain! 

Sep 04, 2013 01:42 PM #25
Sybil Campbell
Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia - Williamsburg, VA
REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia

Another great blog Mike.  It still surprises me how some people want to hire us as a professional and then not take our advice!

Jun 09, 2014 11:48 PM #26
Richard and Beth Witt
Long Island Cash Home Buyer - Massapequa, NY
Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940

I like this... "If the barn needs painting paint the barn.''  Good one...

Jul 26, 2014 07:54 PM #27
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Mike Cooper

Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro
Winchester has a place for you! Call me.
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