Jim Taylor


Home selling 101

1)  Be realistic.  Just because the house down the street sold for a certain price, it doesn't automatically mean that your house is worth the same amount.  It might be, but it might not be.  Let your agent show you the comps (comparable sales) for the neighborhood and explain why your house is worth the same, less, or more.  If you disagree with your agent's opinion, get a professional appraisal done - it only costs around $300 and that way you'll have a really good idea of your home's true value.

2)  Clean, clean, clean.  In order to get your house sold in the fastest amount of time, clean it from top to bottom, inside and out.  From powerwashing the exterior to cleaning behind the sofa you haven't moved in years, make the house look as good as you can.

3)  Change your viewpoint.  Go outside, close your eyes for a few seconds, and imagine yourself as a buyer looking for a home.   When you open your eyes, take a look at your house and put yourself in the buyer's shoes.  Should the landscaping be more appealing (curb appeal gets people in the door), is there any paint peeling, does the driveway need repaving?  Then walk inside.  How do you feel?  Are you excited and want to see more, or do you feel let down? 

4)  Declutter.  When you're moving, a general rule of thumb is that you should take out 25% of the furniture to make the rooms look bigger.  Combined with that, you want to de-personalize the home.  Make the buyers think of it as their new home, not your home that they're intruding upon.  Pre-pack all of the family pictures on the wall and replace them with tasteful artwork.  Remove any "collections."  You want the buyers to focus on the house, not your personal items. 

The kitchen is especially important!  After thorough cleaning, take as much off the counter tops as you possibly can to make them look as large as possible (it's OK to leave the coffee maker and a couple other things for decoration).

All of this is called "staging," a term I'd never heard before until I became a real estate agent.  The basic premise of staging is to make your house look as big, attractive, and appealing as possible so it entices buyers to make offers.  Staging is accomplished by having neutral colors on the walls, furniture that is the appropriate size for the room,  and tasteful decorations.  A great way to learn about staging and also have fun doing it is to watch HGTV's "Designed to Sell" on cable.   Clicking on the link below will take you directly to their website. 

Designed to Sell Top 35 Selling Secrets