Ensuring Your Home Is Sold for the Highest Price Possible: A Checklist for Sellers

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If you’re getting ready to put your home on the market, you’re already in a good position to succeed. Real estate prices have been steadily on the incline for the past couple of years, and we remain firmly in a seller’s market. In fact, recent reports show that houses are selling for nearly 21 percent higher than they were last year, sending many buyers into high-stakes bidding wars. That is, of course, great news for individuals who have properties to list.

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With that said, getting top-dollar is never a guarantee, especially now that experts are predicting the market may soon cool. Despite what you may have heard, a crash is not impending. But things will likely level out a bit, as more listings help to simmer a super-hot market. That’s because the main generators for high prices — low inventory, etc. — will soon even out, generating more competition and lower prices once again.

 

What does this tell us? Simply put, those who are planning to list their homes must be prepared to go the extra mile to get the highest possible price. One great way to do that is to check off as many of the following boxes on this list as you possibly can, from making key home upgrades to marketing the right way. The following items will help you get your home ready to stage and promote so it sells for more.

Interior Upgrades

 If getting the highest possible price is what you desire, you will have to invest some time and money into the interior of your home before putting it on the market. From installing a skylight to brighten up dingy rooms to slapping on a fresh coat of paint, these are some of the best home upgrades to make before selling.

 

  • Paint the interior walls a neutral shade, such as white or gray.
  • Make minor kitchen upgrades, such as switching out the hardware and faucets.
  • Make minor bathroom upgrades, such as adding new faucets.
  • Reglaze old or out-of-style tiles in the kitchen or bathroom.
  • Paint the front door (this can earn you a surprisingly high return on investment).
  • Remove all pictures and personal décor.
  • Eliminate as much clutter, including extra furniture, as possible.
  • Upgrade or refinish floors.
  • Replace old, outdated light fixtures.
  • Install residential skylights to bring in natural light. (We recommend VELUX skylights because they come with a no-leak warranty.)
  • Have windows professionally cleaned.
  • Have your carpets and upholstery professionally cleaned.
  • Touch up scuff marks and nicks in the flooring.
  • Clean out closets, cabinets and storage areas.
  • Have the whole home professionally cleaned.

 

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Exterior Upgrades

 As you already know, curb appeal can translate to dollar signs because it helps capture the attention of passersby and buyers scrolling through real estate websites. We’re not suggesting that you do a total backyard overhaul, but you should consider putting a bit of time and energy into a good spruce-up.

 

  • Fully paint or touch up the exterior of your home.
  • Mulch flower beds and garden areas.
  • Pull weeds and spray weed killer.
  • Treat and aerate the grass.
  • Create an outdoor living space on the patio or deck.
  • Address any outdoor bugs or pests.
  • Have your outdoor trash cans professionally cleaned.
  • Replace old or worn out mailboxes, hoses, etc.

 Listing and Marketing

 No matter how much you put into enhancing the interior and exterior of your home, it won’t get any attention if you don’t put the same amount of effort into the listing. A good real estate listing starts with the right agent, so make sure to do your due diligence and pick a trusted professional with a proven track record.

 

  • Invest in professional photography, making sure to select your photographer based on the quality of the images and their power to sell.
  • Consider having your photographer take drone shots to give a bigger picture of the yard, driveway, neighborhood and natural features.
  • Invest in staging to create the perfect aesthetic for your photos.
  • List at the right time of year. If you want to get top dollar, consider listing your home in the spring. Studies show that homes listed in May sell for $1,600 more.
  • List on the right day. Interestingly, your home may yield more money if you list it on a specific day. The best day to list is Thursday, while the worst is Monday.
  • Share your listing (even before it’s live) on your social media channels. Make sure the post is public so that friends and family can share it.
  • Put “coming soon” signs outside your home before the listing is live.
  • Do a 3D or video tour so people can get an idea of the space from afar.
  • Make sure the house is in show-ready condition at all times.
  • Host a couple of open houses with incentives to draw in buyers, such as free food.
  • Emphasize all your home’s top selling points and extras in both the description and the photos.

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If you follow the above tips, you’ll be combining a number of proven tactics to get the most amount of money in your pocket. While some may be worth more than others, combining a few of the top strategies will undoubtedly earn you more in the long run. Spending a little bit of time and money to get your house ready will be well worth it when all is said and done.