18 Things Home Sellers should do to get TOP DOLLAR for their House

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Fred Griffin Real Estate Florida Broker BK436788

     Home Sellers!  Do you want to get top dollar when you sell your house?  Do you want a quick sale?  Do you want an easy transaction with no surprises or delays?  Then do the 18 things on this list!




18 Things a Home Seller should do to get Top Dollar


     1.  Size up your Competition

      Visit some Builder's model homes in your area.  Visit some Open Houses this weekend.  Make note of prices, condition, location, and the "new factor" of model homes.  Now take a look at YOUR house.  How does it compare?

     2.  Hire a Licensed Real Estate Broker

        Real estate sales can be extremely complicated.  Showing appointments.  Offers, counter-offers.  Home inspections.  Appraisals.  Deed and document preparation.  Payoff of existing mortgage.  Pro-ration of property taxes, Homeowners' Association dues, and assessments.  You need an experienced Real Estate Broker to guide you through this complex transaction!  

     3.  Consult a Real Estate Attorney before signing any documents.

           A typical real estate listing contract is several pages long.  A real estate contract for sale and purchase may be 10 or 12 pages long, with another 12 to 20 pages of addenda.  These documents are legally binding upon you.  See a lawyer before signing anything!


     4.  Choose your Real Estate Broker carefully

     90% of Buyers start their home search on the Internet.  Does the Listing Broker you are interviewing have a strong Internet presence?  Are their listings on Zillow, Realtor.com, and other prominent real estate websites? 

    What about the MLS?   Does the Broker post high quality listing photos?  Do they utilize video?  What about drone photography?



House For Sale Northeast Tallahassee, Florida


     5.  Price your house correctly

     In most subdivisions or neighborhoods, your Listing Broker can run a "CMA" to determine the price.  If there are no recent sales of similar houses in your area, you may need to hire a real estate appraiser to determine your asking price.   

     You should take Zillow "Zestimates" and other online valuations with a grain of salt.  By their own admission, Zestimates may be off by 20% or more. 

     The worst mistake that you can make is to price your house too high!


     6.  Curb Appeal

          What does your house look like from the street?  Is the lawn mowed?  Are the bushes trimmed?  Is the driveway pressure washed?  Is the front door freshly painted?  

     7 Get a Pre-Sale Home Inspection

        You especially want to know the condition of the roof, the foundation, the HVAC (heating and cooling system), the wiring, and the plumbing.  If you have a septic system, well, swimming pool, or lawn sprinkler system, get those inspected, too.  

     8 Make Repairs before putting your house on the market.

     You do not want the Buyer to back out of the transaction because of problems found by their Home Inspector.  Make necessary repairs before you put up the For Sale sign!

     9.  Cleanliness is Next to Godliness 

     This saying goes double for the kitchen and bathrooms.  Odors must be eliminated, dust and grime must be removed.  A fresh, spotlessly clean house will sell itself.  And, put the toilet seats down!


Kitchen House  For Sale Tallahassee, Florida


     10 Get Rid of Your Stuff

     Empty out closets, cabinets, and bookcases.  Clean out the attic.  Get everything out of the garage (park your cars on the street).  If necessary, rent a self-storage unit to store your belongings.  Buyers need to see your house, not your possessions! 

     11.  Neutralize It

    Trendy paint colors and personal decor can be a turn-off to Buyers.  If necessary, have the inside of the house painted in neutral colors.  Take down any artwork, bric-a-brac, or posters that are political, religious, or sports-oriented.  You don't want to send buyers away because of personal beliefs or differences of opinion.

     12.  Let There Be Light

     Open all drapes, curtains, and window blinds.  Use light bulbs that are rated 1500 to 1600 lumens.  Show your house in its best light!


Eat In Kitchen Tallahassee, Florida Home For Sale


     13.  Offer a Free Home Warranty to Buyers

      Put the Buyer at ease; give them peace of mind.  The cost of a Home Warranty is minimal.  Ask your Listing Broker for recommendations.

     14 Make Your House Easy to Show

     An MLS Lockbox is critical.  Don't put up obstacles like, "48 hours notice required, Listing Agent must accompany, alarm system is active".  You will turn away potential Buyers (and their agents). 

      15.  Restrain your Pets

       Dogs and cats must be caged or restrained during showings.  There should be no evidence of pets in the house.  Remove cat litter boxes, dog food bowls, and pet toys before showings. 

      16.  Enlist the Neighbors

     The Neighbors may know people who are looking to move into your area.  Have a Pre-Sale Open House just for the neighbors!  


Open House Tallahassee Florida


     17.  Get Out and Stay Out During Showings

      Leave the house before the Agent arrives.  Do not return until the Buyers and the Showing Agent are gone.  Buyers are very uncomfortable when a Seller remains in the house or in the yard during a showing.

     18.  Insist on Pre-Approval or Proof of Funds

     Only show your house to Buyers who have a pre-approval letter from a Lender, or a proof of funds letter if they are paying cash.  Especially when offers come in - you must insist that the Buyer provide these letters.  Ask your Listing Broker for advice.




     You are planning to sell your Tallahassee House.  Perhaps you are moving up, or you are downsizing, or maybe you are moving to another city or state.  Selling your house requires planning, preparation, and proper marketing.  

     By following the 18 steps above, you can expect to sell your Tallahassee House for top dollar, with no surprises or delays!    



Posted by

Frederick Griffin, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker    







Tallahassee Florida Metropolitan Area    


Disclaimer:  Nothing in the above blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.


Comments (5)

William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

There are so many little issues that do not for a lot and will oh dividend at the sale

Dec 29, 2018 03:46 PM
Debb Janes
Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
Put My Love of Nature At Work for You

Another good solid blog filled with great advice. Hire the right agent...right? Ha. 

Dec 29, 2018 03:56 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Fred very good suggestions and all of them are easy to do.

Dec 29, 2018 04:46 PM
Abby Stiller
SW Florida (239) 284-8637

Great post Fred Griffin Hope many home sellers follow these helpful advices.

Dec 29, 2018 04:58 PM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Fred Griffin that's a good list you've provided and #4 is one of the most important factors.... it could make or break a smoothly run listing period and journey to the closing table....

Dec 30, 2018 03:05 AM