So you’re thinking about listing your home for sale. It’s a daunting prospect. Do you update the bathrooms, the kitchen? Are you going to have to spend a fortune to be able to get maximum price for your home? Here are 7 tips to maximize your profit when selling your home.
TLDR? Do these things before listing your home:
- Deep Clean
- Pick Appropriate Light bulbs
- Renovate the Right Things
- Get Professional Photographs
- Hire a Handyman
- Understand Your Local Market
Disclaimer: The first thing most people seriously consider when walking into a home is “Are the bones good?”. A house that’s beautiful but clearly has foundation/plumbing issues or a bad roof will likely be stigmatized in a buyer’s eyes. If you suspect any of these things are wrong with your house we highly recommend hiring an expert to give you their take prior to listing your home.
Your goal should be to make your home as “vanilla” as possible when it comes to personal artifacts. After all, you want the buyer’s to imagine themselves living there, so less is definitely more when selling your home. We suggest putting away as many religious artifacts and family portraits as possible. Decluttering your kitchen and bathroom will also go a long way when you photograph your home.
Making sure your closets have extra space in them also makes them seem larger in buyer’s eyes. Unless the prospective buyer is Marie Kondo, chances are they have too much clothing so closet space is really comes in handy. Our team works extensively with historic homes which usually lack decent closet space. It may seem odd, but we’ve found that good closet space (or the appearance of) can make a big impact on a buyer’s decision to pursue a home.
Clean homes always make a good impression, and this step makes a difference when taking photographs as well as during showings.
Online photos will likely be a buyer’s first introduction to your home. As such, any large carpet stains, dishes in the sink, and (especially) dirty windows will show up. It isn’t uncommon for buyers to skip seeing a house that might have been perfect just because the house appeared dirty in the photos.
Once a prospective buyer is at your house, you want their first impression to be good. Clean windows work magic to brighten up a home and make it feel more comfortable. It’s also one of the top things buyers comment on when I show them a property. Buyers are also more likely to assume that there is less deferred maintenance in a home that is impeccable. Even if your home does have some issues, you don’t want a buyer to submit a lowball offer because they overestimated how much they will have to pay in maintenance and repairs once they move in.
Let there be light
Invest in the right color light bulbs when preparing to stage your home. Different types of LEDs and halogen light bulbs will appear different in photographs and uniformity within a room is key. Whereas warmer lighting may be optimal for a bedroom, the study may benefit from a whiter light. 1000bulbs.com did a great write-up on how to pick the right shade and intensity of light-bulb for different rooms.
Renovate the Right Things
The number one question we get at pre-listing appointments is “What should I renovate in my home before listing?” The answer is almost always just fresh paint and updating doorknobs and light switches. Swapping out gold knobs with either brushed nickel or bronze is an afternoon project that will make a huge difference when staging/listing your home.
Thinking about investing in renovating your kitchen? A home with an updated kitchen will almost always sell for quite a bit more than a comparable home with an outdated kitchen. However, this doesn’t always mean you’ll get your money back on these upgrades.
Kitchen and bathroom renovations are notoriously expensive. Unless you can renovate them yourself or hire a contractor to do them at far below the market rate, it’s unlikely you’ll see a worthwhile return on this investment. Flippers make money off of these updates because they usually acquire properties that are extremely functionally deficient at far below market rates. They almost always work hand in hand with a contractor (or are one themselves) and can get the labor costs down to far less than what the usual consumer can.
Hire a Professional Photographer
As mentioned before, photographs really are the #1 way to hook a buyer into wanting to view your home. Cell phones have amazing cameras now, but anyone can tell the difference between professional and consumer photographs. Many photographers we work with only charge $150-$300 to photograph a property and it pays off tenfold.
Professional real estate photographers know what angles will showcase your home properly. They also know how to work with the lighting that is available as well as have their own lighting sets should your home require it. Furthermore, a professional photographer will be able to edit the photos they take to make sure the colors pop while maintaining an unedited appearance. Depending on the type of property you are selling, a photographer might be able to take video or pictures with a drone that will help when marketing your home.
Hire a Handyman
If you don’t have time to do certain repairs, there’s absolutely no shame in hiring a handyman. Houses take on wear and tear over time. Doors that stick, a small crack in a wall, and even loose faucets can cause a potential buyer to worry. Having these items taken care of prior to listing can really pay off.
Understand Your Local Market
Overpricing or underpricing your home can cost you a significant amount of money. While we always recommend having a licensed real estate agent or real estate attorney help you list your home, make sure that you have accurate information if you decide to list as a for-sale-by-owner.
Depending on the market you’re in, overpricing your home can lead to it sitting on the market. This can result in higher holding costs such as your mortgage, taxes/insurance, as well as maintenance costs. The last thing you want is to list your home for too much, have it sit on the market, and then sell for under market value because buyers believe there is something wrong with your home due to it having a high days-on-market.
Ready to List?
If you are ready to list, our family-based team is available seven days a week to answer any questions. Just fill out the form on this page and we’ll typically respond within five minutes.