Home selling tips that have the most impact are usually the ones that don't cost sellers any money. There are plenty of small, free things you can do to make your home more appealing to a larger amount of potential buyers. Remember, while you only need ONE buyer... the best approach is to try to attract and appeal to as many POTENTIAL buyers as possible!

Is your goal to make the most money from your sale, without having to spend much in the process? No matter how small or big, how old or new... EVERY property can be fixed up inexpensively and quickly.

Home Staging | Curb Appeal | Pricing
Paperwork | Inspection Preparation | Showings

Home Staging

Before trying to sell, our biggest home selling tips always involve first looking at every aspect of your property from an outside (non-emotional) perspective. Start with the front exterior, and work your way through each room of the house, one wall and one section at a time. Would the colors have broad appeal to prospective buyers (not just what YOU may like)?

Have you de-cluttered to a point that your prospective buyers will be able to see entire walls and large amounts of flooring? When selling... LESS IS MORE!

Pay special attention to smells, overall perception of the condition of each room, how you feel in the kitchen and master bedroom. Cramped? Offended by a smell? Not comfortable? Too much work? Too old?  

Ever visit model homes or condos in new developments? THEY ALWAYS LOOK SO AMAZING!!! There's a very systematic approach to making these "models" look so appealing... and all owners looking to sell their properties should consider employing at least a couple of these techniques!

EASIEST home selling tips to tackle BEFORE
spending any money:

Remove YOUR personality from every room in your home. What are the elements of YOUR personality? Photos, trinkets, awards, doo-dads. YOU MUST REMOVE ALL:

- Refrigerator Magnets (remove EVERY SINGLE ONE, even if it's for pizza delivery!)
- Clutter on ALL countertops (remove EVERYTHING, leave clean flat surfaces with nothing on them)
- Family/children photos, certificates, awards
- Magazines, newspapers and trinkets and non-essentials

Then take this opportunity to box up all unworn clothing or items in your household and DONATE them to someone who will use them. Do a purge. Haven't worn that super cute jacket in three years?  DONATE IT!  Have those magazines been sitting in that pile for more than 6 months since you've touched them?  GET RID OF THEM!  Clutter weighs you down, and makes your potential buyers see your home in a way you don't want.

IF you can't part with clutter and old clothes, at least BOX THEM UP. A pile of boxes in the corner of several rooms is FINE. It shows buyers that you are serious about selling/moving and have already begun packing.

No refrigerator magnets! Box up all magnets, kid's report cards, family photos. Leave all flat surfaces clear and clean like kitchen and bathroom countertops
Small kitchen will look bigger when there is NO clutter on flat surfaces, NO photos or refrigerator magnets or trinkets.

Capture Curb Appeal

Make sure the front exterior of your property... the part that prospective buyers see first... shows well. This is THE most important of our home selling tips because it generates your prospective buyers interest and first impression. If it looks bad, or gives the perception that the house is generally not well maintained, that will turn off many buyers.

The mailbox and front door should be freshly painted and in great condition, the lawn always mowed. Pressure wash the roof, fascia and trim, driveway, garage door, sidewalks, walkway, entrance area and front door. It should all be very clean looking. Look at the driveway, walkway leading up to the front door. Does it look nice, clean and evenly painted/colored?

If you don't like how the walk up to the front door is looking... consider some concrete paint or stain. There are some amazing paints and stains that can be done easily, within a day, for very little money, and by you! Check out Home Depot or Lowes.

Pricing it Right: determine FAIR MARKET VALUE. Don't guess!!!

Determine your fair market value, don't guess! Why? We've seen owners sell their homes for far less than what they needed to! Don't sell yourself (or your house) short. There are free, easy ways to get to the real fair market value and what you should successfully ask AND GET for your property. For more on this subject, visit our Home Value page. These steps will include finding your zillow.com's estimate of value and requesting a free CMA from a local licensed, experienced real estate agent. Whatever you do, do not use your local government's property tax market value number, it will likely be too low and not reflective of the actual market value.

If your property is custom built, or unique due to improvements or expansions, once you have both an online and professional estimate, you may want to consider paying for an independent appraisal. Depending on your location, for an average size home it could range anywhere from $200 - 500. If your home doesn't have any similarly sized homes in the neighborhood to compare it to, this will give you a solid foundation to start your asking price out with. Also, down the road, if your buyer is financing the purchase, your independent appraisal will help with any negotiations... in the event the buyer's lender's appraisal comes back too low.

Realtor's provide "CMA" (Comparable Market Value) reports as (normally) a free service. If you want them to take a look at your property before they run the report, so they can factor in any improvements or condition, etc. just ask them!  Most Realtors we know are very friendly, and love the real estate industry. They will be happy to provide this free service to you, even if you don't want to hire them to help sell your house.

An EXPERIENCED Agent will show you the research and properties comparable to yours. They'll go through your competition, learn about your goals (sell faster or sell for highest price?) and help you narrow down the best pricing for your property. REMEMBER: REALTORS DO NOT SET YOUR ASKING PRICE... YOU DO! NEVER FEEL PRESSURED BY A REALTOR - EVER.

Pricing a property above what the market will bear, will result in months and months of no activity. Price it right from the beginning if you want to sell faster. Not in a hurry and want the most money possible? There are strategies for that... an experienced agent will work with you to come up with the best plan. You've hired the right agent when you feel secure that they understand your goals and will do everything possible to help you achieve them, that you're working together towards those same goals, that YOU are in charge, and that they will do what they say and follow through.

Get your paperwork together

When the time is right, and you're ready to sell your property... GET YOUR PAPERWORK READY!

Your property could sell within 30 days to 6 months. There's no way to predict the timing until your property is on the market and actively being marketed and promoted.

You'll want to have your paperwork ready! The GOOD NEWS? Selling is WAY easier than buying. You'll need very little paperwork, your closing costs are much less than a buyer's, and your set of closing documents is a small stack compared to the buyer's!

What you'll want to have handy:

-Warranty Deed
-Copy of Title Insurance Policy (if you have it)
-Copies of any existing Home Warranties (if transferable)
-Bank account information... for your big wire transfer!
-Association / Condo docs

Whether you live in Miami, or out of town, closings are now incredibly easy and can all be done via email and FedEx within 2 business days! 

Prepare for a Home Inspection

A lesser shared but VERY important topic in our favorite home selling tips involves preparing ahead of time for your home inspection. Almost all buyers will have an inspection done on the home once there's a signed purchase contract. They want to know how the AC is working, the condition of the appliances, if there's any issue with hot water or plumbing, the condition of the roof, electrical etc.

Prepare your property for that home inspection ahead of time, but making the easy repairs yourself. Not sure what a home inspector looks for? Generally, they'll look at all the major systems of the property: AC, electrical, plumbing, roof. Click here for more information on home inspections.

Inspections are most often paid for by the buyer. Therefore, the report is owned by them. Chances are, unless there are issues that the inspector revealed, you won't even see the inspection report. BUT... if there are issues, you'll most likely be notified right away. Depending on your purchase contract, and the inspection results, this may be a time for the buyers to back out of the contract. It may also be the start of some serious negotiations. Why? If the inspection report came back with a bad roof result, and estimates the repair to be $15k... and the buyers had no idea the roof was an issue... your contract could be in jeopardy.

How do you head off potential problems from a buyer's INSPECTION?

1- Provide a Seller Disclosure Statement to all potential buyers. This form has a series of questions for sellers to answer, on everything from roof age and condition to land usage issues. Sellers answer anything they know, and put "don't know" for everything else. There is no legal liability if sellers answer to the best of their knowledge, without lying or intentionally misleading. It is still the buyer's responsibility to get an inspection done if they want these things to be a condition of their purchase.

2. Review a sample inspection report and proactively PREPARE for the property inspection. Become familiar with what they will be looking for. Go through your property as if you were an inspector, using the sample inspection report as your guide. Check electrical outlets, temperature of the hot water in each of the faucets, do all appliances work properly? Look up the age of your roof and any other new elements in your property like the AC system, any plumbing or electrical work. Gather any warranties and write down the age of any recently purchased appliances or fixtures in the home. Check out some easy quick home repair tips here.

Want more Home Selling Tips customized to your property?
Property located in Miami? Fill out the form below and Christa will be happy to run a CMA report for you. She'll show up and walk through your property giving you any inexpensive easy tips that you might benefit from when selling. Your best home selling tips may come from the personal expertise of an experienced agent!

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