How to get your house ready to sell

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Canon Land & Investment

Intro: Follow these steps and improve the odds of selling your house and get the buyers eyes off your neighbors house

Tools Needed: An Open Mind and Enthusiasm

Step 1: Think like a buyer.

  • What made you buy or build your house?
  • Emphasis the positive, eliminate the negative. For every 10 positives you see the buyer sees only one. For every negative you see the buyer will see 10 negatives.
  • If location was important to you when you purchased tell potential buyers by leaving out information on the area.
  • If the house has good natural light open up the window treatments.
  • If you purchased your house because of the price tell buyers what permanent improvements you have made.

Step 2: Think curb appeal.

  • Stand across the street and look at your house.
  • Do the trees need to be trimmed?
  • Is there pealing paint?
  • Are the window screens in good repair?
  • Is the welcome mat welcoming?
  • Is your house the nicest on the block?

Step 3: Think about your buyers senses

  • Does your house look good? Smell good? Sound good? Feel good?
  • Set out some finger foods and make a pot of coffee, let buyers feel like guests in your house. Keep the music at a low level. A guest in your house should feel welcome and comfortable, make them feel like they don't want to ever leave. If you have to pretend a cranky relative is coming and you want to keep the whining and complaints to a minimum.

Step 4: Hire a home inspector

  • Most buyers should and most likely will hire an inspector themselves. Even if your house is perfect, as the seller you are more in control if you solve any problem issues prior to getting an offer. Get issues resolved on your time and your budget. This will save you from being under a dead line and possibly paying more for home repairs. Leave the inspection report and any repair receipts out, let the buyers see these. Keep everything above board and honest. This should make the selling process easier. If the inspector "certified" the house make sure the buyers see the certification.

Step 5: Answer question before they come up

  • Make up a book that includes utility bills, let the buyers know what to expect in utility cost. This will save them the trouble of calling themselves.
  • Leave out pictures of the yard. If buyers are looking in winter they should know how nice everything is when plants and trees are in bloom and leafing out.
  • Keep all warranties together for appliances that are being sold with the house.
  • If you are part of a Home Owners Association or a Common Interest Community leave copies of the bylaws and contact phone numbers.
  • Make up a list of local vendors such as restaurants, veterinarians, repair contractors, delivery services, TV services or anything else that the buyers might need when they first move in.

Step 6: Offer and pay for a home warranty.

  • A home warranty isn't usually expensive, can be paid for at closing and gives the buyers a warm fuzzy feeling about their new home.

Think like a buyer and sell your house. Consult a real estate professional for a one on one consultation on how to sell your house.

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All content, including text, original art, photographs and images, is the exclusive property of Dena Stevens, and may not be used without the expressed consent. All information is believed to be accurate but is not warranted, Copyright 2004-2014. Dena Stevens Realtor 719 369-9087.  


Please note that opinions, real estate practices, prices and data always changes over time, so please keep in mind the date when this video was published as the information could have become irrelevant over the past days, months and years. Copyright Dena Stevens © All Rights Reserved 2014.

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Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Good Advice Dena! I always enjoy your posts!

Dec 29, 2008 11:19 PM #1
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages Connecticut - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Dena, this is a very comprehensive list.  Hopefully sellers will stop by, read it, and follow your advice.

Dec 30, 2008 09:42 AM #2
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Dena Stevens

Putting The Real Into Realtor Since 2004
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