The One Thing You Should Do To Your House If You're Selling It

We hear from the experts about the one thing you should do to your home before listing and selling it. Jan 15, 2019 • 5 min read

There may not be one thing that will help sell your house but getting that "one thing" from experienced agents is gold. Here is a list of the "one thing" real estate experts say you should do before listing your house.

"Make sure you have the right agent. Just because your sister's husband's third cousin is now a real estate agent, doesn't mean they are experts in selling. Hunt around, ask questions, ask friends, and INTERVIEW! If you don't like what they have to say or how they say it, move on. It's imperative to find the right agent that not only knows how to sell and DOES, but knows your neighborhood and the current market so they can help price and market your home for the right buyer." - Ellen Bruya, Snohomish Land Agent

“Clean and Clear Out. There’s nothing more annoying than showing dirty houses. Buyers will either walk out or see an opportunity to low-ball the seller. If you want top price for your home you MUST clean it. And this is not like any clean you may have done before. Unless you’re OCD about it, you should hire someone to professionally clean the house and keep it cleaned throughout the listing process. Don’t get lax on keeping it clean because that’s when you’ll have a spontaneous showing.” – Stephen Proski, McCormick Ranch Realtor®

“Don’t neglect the curb appeal. It doesn’t matter if you have grass, pavement or rocks, if the first impression of the house is not amazing, buyers won’t look any further. Make sure your curb appeal is on point. Trim the grass, add nitrogen to ‘green-it-up’, trim shrubs and add the right amount of color. Don’t lose people at the curb.” – Jean Wawrzyniak-Fry, Mesa AZ Realtor®

“Clear the way. I can’t tell you how many homes I’ve toured where you either can’t get down the hall, can’t get through the door or can’t see the counters because there is just too much stuff. Buyers want to see the house, not your stuff. I recommend taking out at least half of everything from closets, drawers, cupboards, and shelves and pack them up. For counters, take everything off – EVERYTHING, then put one or two things back, that’s it!” – Tait Zimmerman, Wasilla real estate agent.

“Think like a resort. Think about it… when you visit a high-end resort or hotel you won’t see pictures of the manager’s kids or personal belongings. The space will look neutral and ready for just about anyone. Make all décor very neutral and inviting; not overly feminine or masculine. Keep knick-knacks to collections of 3 and clear all counters and surfaces. In the bathroom, make a basket of toiletries and make every room inviting.” – Barry Vincent, South Nashville Realtor®

“Fix the little things. Sometimes sellers won’t fix anything until they get the request from buyers in a home inspection but that is only if they even get an offer! If buyers see too much work, they won’t even bother with an offer. Most buyers think if the seller can’t fix the little things, they probably didn’t maintain the big things of the property either. This can translate into a money pit for buyers.” – Tina Saporito, Palm Desert Realtor®

“Take amazing photos. Your home’s photos can make or break a showing. Most MLS photos require the main featured photo of a property to be of the house itself or of the view from the house or condo. Make that first impression amazing! I’m not saying alter or photoshop images, but have them professionally taken. It will be well worth it. Your listing, flyer, online advert and every marketing piece should show amazing photos of the house and/or view.” – Kenny Raymond, Brickell Realtor®

“Mind the odor. Many homeowners have no idea what their home smells like to outsiders. We become blind to our own scent but ‘nosy’ buyers will have no doubt picking out cigarette odors, pet smells, and mildew or moldy scents. If you don’t know what your house smells like, ask a trusted friend or your agent. And then, don’t go overboard trying to cover it up. Clean it, sterilize it, fix it, or just stay on top of things like litter boxes and kitchen odors. You don’t want to run buyers out the front door before they’ve even made it past the foyer.” – Karen Baker, Sunset Beach NC Realtor®

“Think low maintenance. Not every buyer wants to maintain 5 acres of landscaped gardens. Take a look at your property as a whole; does it require a lot of maintenance? Do you have landscaping, materials, counters, or flooring that require a lot of maintenance? Butcher block counters look great but take a lot of upkeep. Hardwood floors may need refinishing and details yards with lots of plants may look like a lot of work that buyers just don’t want to deal with. Keeping it tasteful and minimalistic is the way to go.” – Jasper, Woodinville Tree Services

“Create settings in your house. Sure, buyers can walk through and try and imagine themselves in the house but it’s easier when you give them an experience. Consider setting the dining room table for an evening of entertaining, creating the perfect spa retreat in the bathroom with soaps, rolled towels, fresh plants and glass of wine, create the perfect study spot with a cozy chair, good book and reading glasses next to a lamp, or set out a board game on the coffee table in the family room. Create an experience and buyers can see themselves in the space much easier.” – Kelli Howison, Mercer Island real estate agent.

“Tell buyers what you love about the house. There is probably one thing that made you fall in love with this house and that might be the one thing for the next owner too. Tell them. Maybe it’s the stunning view of the sunset every night, maybe it’s the spacious and private backyard, maybe it’s the convenient layout and open kitchen perfect for entertaining. Whatever it is, tell buyers in the flyer or in a personal letter left on the counter during a showing.” – Marcus Brown, Portland real estate agent

These tips from the experts can certainly make your home more appealing to potential buyers. Do all of them and you should have your home sold in no time.




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