Selling a house is a lot of hard work.
Not just for the real estate agent you choose, but you. You play an integral role in the sale of your home. After all, you are the decision-maker.
Think of your real estate agent as a consultant. Someone you go to for help so that you can sell your property.
The term “agent” means someone who acts on your behalf. Your job is to tell them what to do.
So, in the spirit of telling people what to do, I’m going to give you 20 effective tips and tricks you can utilize to sell your home.
1. Remove the Clutter
You would think it goes without saying, but it’s way too common for me to pass over.
If you plan on selling your house, please, for the sake of everything, tidy the place up.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve come to a property, whether for a listing appointment, showing, or open house, and the house has been an absolute mess.
There’s laundry on the floor, loose pet food scattered throughout kitchen, dirty dishes, etc.
I get it. We’re all humans and we tend to lose control of our homes from time to time. I’m not innocent here.
However, if I’m selling my house or inviting people over, you can rest assured my home is immaculate.
Once again, please remove the clutter.
2. Paint the Interior
The common phrase is that a $50 bucket of paint can get you $1,000 or more when selling. At least it sounds something like that.
The point is, painting your interior with a fresh coat of neutral-colored paint can spark a sale.
You’ll want to stick to neutral colors though. You might be into bold colors that really jump out, like purple or yellow, but your potential buyers may not be fans.
The best paint colors you can use these days are dark grays, beige, and white.
3. Put Up a “For Sale” Sign
This may also seem obvious but there’s actually a lot of people who don’t want a sign in their yard.
This means they’re missing out on a potential sale from the prospective buyers riding around neighborhoods to see what’s on the market.
Believe it or not, real estate agents still get a lot of “for sale” sign calls.
4. Broker-Led Video Property Tour
I’ve mentioned in various articles that it’s super important to have a broker-led property tour in order to sell your home, especially in the luxury market.
The fact of the matter is that you must do something special in order to stand out these days. While sure, you can still sell your house by simply pricing it correctly and picking a good real estate agent to market the property.
But if you really want to sell quickly. You’ll want to get an agent that goes beyond the simple video tour with cheesy background music. You want them to get in front of the camera and actually take an audience through the home.
That’s how you get exposure.
Not only is it a glamorous look and super effective, it’s gravitating. It makes your home look extra special. It will convince prospective buyers to come take a look for themselves.
I will always endorse the real estate agent who conducts these types of tours. Plus, I don’t know why an agent wouldn’t want to do one. They’re super fun.
5. Use Social Media
Your agent isn’t the only person who can market your home online.
Pull out your phone and start posting some pictures of your house! Announce that it’s on the market and waiting to be bought by the perfect buyer.
Talk about how much you love the place. Craft your home’s story with your own words.
According to a 2019 report by the National Association of Realtors, 7% of buyers purchased a home from their relatives or friends.
It’s worth making a few social media posts.
6. Have Fantastic Photos
While your real estate agent will be the one who’s normally in charge of hiring the photographer and posting the pictures online. You’ll want to make sure you’re a part of the process.
Advise the photographer of what you believe to be the best angles of your home, what areas you think should be highlighted, and other ideas that might pop into your mind.
Remember, you know your home best and photos are crucial to home sales.
The first thing prospective buyers will notice is the quality of your yard.
Make sure you’re keeping it landscaped and clean. Hire a professional landscaping service if you don’t have the time to do it yourself or can’t quite capture the quality you’re looking for on your own.
You always want to make sure you have a killer first impression.
Understand that your buyers are in a mindset where they’re specifically looking for everything that’s wrong before admiring the good.
Give them nothing to look down upon.
8. Consider Hiring Home Cleaning Service
Just as I recommend using a landscaping service, I recommend a professional cleaning service as well.
Sometimes, you can never go wrong with getting expert cleaners in the house. They’ll leave making your home look brand new.
Tidying up and scrubbing your property down can be extremely time consuming and exhausting. But, it’s a very necessary activity.
If you can’t do it on your own, hire someone to come in.
9. Make Necessary Home Repairs
You don’t have to repair everything. You can leave stuff for the buyers to try negotiating later down the road.
But for the big issues such as the roof, plumbing, or electrical issues. I would recommend taking some action.
Your buyers will surely figure out if there’s an issue during their inspections.
While in the State of North Carolina, you as a seller have no obligation to state whether there is an issue with the home or something that is in need of repair, your real estate agent is required to by law.
Therefore, if there’s an issue with the house that could affect the decision of the buyer and you let your agent know, then the agent by law must disclose it to the buyers, regardless of your approval.
By making those necessary repairs, you save yourself from shock when the buyers void the contract.
10. Remove Odors
While we may not like to admit it, homes can often have an odor in them.
Use a strong air freshener that can kill odors. Open the windows to air out the house and get rid of any musty aromas.
Nothing is worse for a buyer than entering a home that smells odd or bad. You’ll be fighting an uphill battle at that point.
11. Take Your Pets Out During Showings
Unfortunately, buyers usually don’t want to hang out with your furry (or not furry) companions during their property tours.
Whenever you have a scheduled showing, I would highly recommend you take your pets out for the day or for however long it takes for the showings to complete.
As much as we love animals, they don’t sell homes as well as other products.
12. Leave the Lights on For a Showing
This is a situational tip. If you aren’t going to be home for a long time or you’re working the day of a showing, then don’t leave the lights on.
But if there’s one showing and you just need to leave for an hour, or you’re holding an open house. Then turn on all the lights.
Also, be sure to open all the curtains and blinds to maximize your natural lighting.
The reason why: it helps bring out the colors of a room, lighten the mood, and help buyers make decisions.
You won’t lose a lot of money on your power bill and if your home happens to sell that day then it will all be worth it anyways.
13. Hold an Open House
The timeless method of holding an open house is still and always will be effective.
I don’t care what some agents and pundits might be saying these days. It’s still worth holding an open house.
When you hold an open house, you’re naturally going to get buyers in the door. Isn’t that the point of this whole selling thing?
Sure, some aren’t going to like your home, but you can get the same type of feedback in your normal showings!
The idea is that someone will eventually like your home enough to purchase it. Holding an open house simply accelerates that process by vetting out potential buyers who may have scheduled a showing and wasted your valuable time slots.
Not only that, but an open house is considered an event.
It’s a special event that people spend entire weekends attending. Not only do you get online and physical exposure (the open house sign), but you get physical bodies coming through the door.
I don’t understand how that’s a bad thing.
14. Update the Drapery
New drapes can affect the perception of a room.
Do your own bit of home staging by getting beautiful, elegant drapes that bring out the colors in the house.
You can get darker curtains that contrast the bright walls or vice versa. Get a mellow royal blue that speaks wealth and strength to the buyer, which is very attractive to a buyer by the way.
Like I said about colors earlier though. Don’t use bold colors that are very particular to your tastes. Try to appeal to a full range of potential buyers.
15. Replace Your Family Photos
It’s awkward for me to say this to my clients and I dread it every time. But you should take your family photos off the wall and replace them with art or something else.
This is definitely situational because sometimes family photos are arranged in super creative ways, such as a family tree, which in that case should be left up because it’s basically art in itself.
But random displays of your children’s school pictures or your wedding or the last time you went to Disney World should probably come down.
I’m not saying this to offend you. I’m saying this because it may turn off a lot of potential buyers.
You have to get into the selling mindset.
16. Use the Facebook Marketplace
I don’t see it being utilized enough. Either you or your agent should be posting your home to the Facebook Marketplace.
It’s free to use and can grant you a lot of exposure that you otherwise wouldn’t have. Think of it as the sophisticated Craigslist.
People can send a message to you immediately through Facebook if they’re interested in seeing the home and boom, you have a showing.
One thing I should mention. To avoid being spammed or solicited by real estate agents thinking you’re selling your house “for sale by owner”, make sure you include in your description that the home is being listed by an agent and include the MLS number.
Newer agents are being taught to prospect on the Marketplace. To say it kindly, they aren’t as polished yet.
17. List On Craigslist
A Craigslist listing costs $5 for real estate, so it would be worth your while to list your home on the site.
You might be concerned with safety, and if that’s the case, then I would let your real estate agent handle all of the inquiries that come in, rather than you are forwarding messages to your agent.
Your agent can schedule showings and confirm that the prospective buyers will have a real estate agent accompanying them to your home.
Overall, Craigslist can be a great source of exposure and reach new buyer pools.
18. Use Drones for Aerial Footage
Drones are really awesome, and if you have a big property that would look fantastic with aerial footage, then I recommend having a drone expert come out to film.
Drone footage, when implemented into a solid marketing plan by your agent, can easily sell your home. It gives a new perspective that the vast majority of real estate agents aren’t capturing.
However, drone footage isn’t going to be ideal for every home.
If you live in a wooded area, a subdivision, or don’t have a large property, then there’s probably no use in a drone.
19. Stage Your Home
One of the best things you could do for a luxury home is stage it.
That notion stands true for normal homes as well. Especially if it’s vacant.
The whole purpose of staging is to demonstrate a particular lifestyle to buyers. It’s a focused form of marketing and it’s especially useful when appealing to luxury clientele.
If you’re not in the luxury market, you can still find a lot of use in staging. It can bring a new perspective and allow the home to be seen in a light that displays its value the most.
Talk to your real estate agent about staging and the course of action you should take.
20. Replace the Rugs
Did you chuckle? I sort of did, but it’s true!
Replacing rugs and mats can make a huge difference. Rugs can deliver a new vibe to the space it’s in, complement the room’s colors, or even make it warmer inside.
I feel as if this is something many sellers and agents look past, but it can make a difference.
It’s the little things that make the biggest impacts.
In reality, there are thousands of things that you can do to sell your home, but these were just a few actionable tips I could come up with.
If you have any other ideas or thoughts, feel free to leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your input.