Galaxy is a mother of three with thirty years of experience in making money go further.
How to Get That All-Important Sale
If you want, or need, to sell your house fast, then there are a few useful, proven tips and tricks you can try to help you make a fast sale of your home.
Know the Market
First and foremost, know the current house market, and do not be tempted to overprice your house or home; it just won't shift. Similarly, don’t underprice your home, either. People may love a bargain, but if your house is substantially cheaper than other similar properties on offer in the same area, people will think that there is something wrong with your property.
An estate agent will know this, but if you decide to market the property yourself to save money, then it might not seem quite so obvious. Check if any houses near yours have sold recently and find out what price they went for. A quick look at local estate agents should help to keep you well informed.
Set a Realistic Price
You might know that your kitchen cost twice as much as the one in the house down the street that is also for sale, but the prospective buyer won’t and probably won’t even care. Take a look around at other homes on the market locally and set your own price accordingly. Be realistic if you want a quick sale.
Highlight Special Features
Highlight any unusual or attractive features your home or garden possess—maybe you have a beach hut–themed garden room or summer house, a pond, hot tub or maybe even a pool. Show them off and let potential buyers know everything extra they might be getting if they decide to buy your house.
Make Your House Stand Out From the Crowd
Make your house stand out but not to the extent that it doesn’t fit in with the other houses in the neighborhood. Tidy up the front garden or yard, weed flower beds, cut lawns, clean the driveway or path and make sure that your front door is clean and obvious.
If you don’t have a number on your front door, get one. Don’t miss out on a sale simply because the potential buyer couldn’t find the right house! If the front of your house has a very rough and broken drive or path, then consider covering it up. This doesn’t have to be expensive; woodchips or gravel can do a very good job of hiding imperfections and are relatively cheap.
The Outside Front
It may be a somewhat tired cliché, but giving your house ‘kerb appeal’ really does work. First impressions count. Something as simple as a nice, colourful hanging basket filled with flowering plants next to the front door can turn an ordinary-looking house into something very appealing, and you can take it with you when you move.
If the front of your home is somewhat dark or north facing, then consider planting a couple of bright coloured bushes—something like Euonymus is very good. Its bright golden leaves brighten up any dull spots, and it’s evergreen, too, which is a bonus as it will look good in the dark winter months.
The Front Door
Consider repainting your front door. In Feng-Shui, the colour red means welcome. Blue means abundance and prosperity. Green represents balance, peace and harmony. All of these colours are popular with many people, and any would be a good choice. Also, a black door can look particularly striking, especially on a modern home. These colours blend in well and won't stick out like, say, a bright purple door.
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Whether you choose to repaint or not, always make sure the front door is clean and any glass sparkling. Remember: First impressions do count.
What to Do on Viewing Day
On viewing day:
- Cut the front lawn if you have one; not only will it look good, but it will smell good, too.
- Take a quick look at the front yard/garden and pick up any litter and deadhead any flowers.
- Put up a nice hanging basket of flowers near the front door.
- Make sure the front door and windows are clean.
- Tidy up the blinds or curtains and consider putting a vase of fresh flowers or an attractive plant in the window.
- If the viewing is taking place after dark, then leave the curtains or blinds open and the lights on.
Dealing With Parking
If parking is an issue, why not ask your neighbours if they mind parking away from your house for the duration of the inspection? Nothing is more off-putting right from the start for a potential buyer than not being able to park near the house you are going to see.
Outside Space Is Always a Bonus
Any outside space you have is a real bonus, so make sure that you show this feature off well. Tidy the back garden or yard, and if you have room for a seating area, make sure you have some outdoor furniture to show that. You can buy some very good, cheap plastic garden furniture these days. Even the smallest balcony or roof terrace can be made to look good with the addition of a few pots of flowers or herbs.
Put a barbeque out on display somewhere to show that it is possible to cook and eat outside. Make it obvious; a buyer needs to be able to see themselves living in your home. You are selling a lifestyle, not just a house. If they have children, mention that there is room for a swing or slide, even if you don't have one at the moment. If the outside space is fenced and secure, then point that out, too. A fenced garden is children and pet-friendly.
Add a Temporary Water Feature
Consider putting in a small water feature, nothing too expensive or fancy. You can take it with you when you move. The sound of running water makes any space seem peaceful and attractive. It can also mask the sound of traffic, which is a good thing if you live on a busy road.
7 Top Tips for Selling Your Home
- Clean and declutter.
- Remove personal items.
- Deep clean kitchen and bathrooms.
- Make your home smell inviting.
- Remove all traces of pets and their odour.
- Use lots of mirrors.
- Let buyers enter any room first.
7 Important Things to Remember for the Inside of Your Home
- Clean everything. De-clutter, freshen up the paintwork. Don’t spend too much money on redecorating unless the existing décor is really outdated or untidy looking. You are going to need that money to spend on your new home and the new owners will want to decorate for themselves and stamp their mark on their new home.
- Don’t leave too many personal items around. This includes family photographs; you want the potential buyers to be able to imagine themselves living in the house and to be able to imagine their own personal things around them.
- Make sure that the bathroom and kitchen are particularly clean and bright. Don’t forget to tidy cupboards and clean the oven. Most potential buyers will look inside, even if they do this when they think you aren’t watching them.
- Smell is very important. Smell is very important when it comes to making your home seem fresh and welcoming. If you have pets, particularly dogs, consider giving them a bath before viewing day. It really does make a difference. If at all possible, try to keep pets out of the way when viewers come round. Leave them with a friend or family member, or at the very least put dogs outside for the duration of the viewing.
- Remember, not everyone is an animal lover. Give carpets or rugs a deep clean and use a fabric freshener on them and on any soft furnishings such as sofa covers and curtains. Be careful not to overdo air fresheners as they can be overwhelming and may even cause an allergic reaction in some people, especially asthmatics. It’s much better to use fragrant flowers such as freesias; they look good and smell wonderful too.
- Use mirrors to reflect light and increase space. Put up a nice big mirror to reflect light in a dull room or to appear to increase the size of a small one. Make sure that none of your rooms is overfilled with furniture, move some pieces out to the garage, shed or a friends house. If you find that you have several pieces you feel you need to remove, then it might be worth considering hiring a self-storage unit for a month or two. Don’t overstuff cupboards, it gives the impression that your property is short of storage space, even if it is then it’s not the best feature to draw attention to.
- Always let the potential buyers enter a room first. It will make the room seem larger if no one is in it. Be sure to point out things like a sunny south-facing window, power points, tv points and storage areas. Mention any good local schools, restaurants, shops and transport links. If your house is on a busy main road keep the windows closed to minimise traffic noise, you might be used to it but the potential buyer might not be - yet.
I think the best advice is don’t appear too desperate to sell your home. it might make the potential buyer wonder why you are so keen to get away. It will also make them consider putting in a very low offer on your house. Be sure to point out local places of interest to them, not just a good school or nursery. A church, a local library, a community centre, a scout or brownie meeting hall, anything that might just help tip the balance in your favour and secure a sale.
Think about the things and places you like about living in your present home, and be sure to mention them as you show the prospective buyers around. Does a particular room have a nice view? If so, then be sure to point this out. Are there good places to walk in your area? Is there a river nearby? Is there a very nice local pub? Mention anything of interest, even if it doesn't interest you. Think back to when you bought your home, why did you buy it? What made you choose that particular house? Maybe the same things will interest your prospective buyers.
Good luck with your house selling and in your new home; follow these tips and advice, and you should get that all-important fast house sale.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2010 Galaxy Harvey
Galaxy Harvey (author) from United Kingdom on December 15, 2013:
Glad to have been of help Blond Logic, hope your house sells quickly for you.
Mary Wickison from USA on December 14, 2013:
Excellent advice. Like many, we too are trying to sell. Some but not all of these are doable for us.
Decluttering is something we need to do. (big time)
Galaxy Harvey (author) from United Kingdom on June 26, 2011:
Thanks, Jan. I am so glad that this hub came in handy and that you got your sale. Good luck in your new home.
Jan Rossi on June 26, 2011:
Great tips! My ex and I are finally selling our home on tuesday - we went with a flat rate broker and he crammed the schedule with so many showings because he plastered us all over the internet. Much better than the typical realtors. Great ideas here...we kept the lawn neat and totally de-cluttered....until my ex bought used furniture and packed it with.....uh....used furniture...thank god it was already under contract! phew! nice post.
Galaxy Harvey (author) from United Kingdom on October 24, 2010:
Thanks, case1worker, I know that the smell of coffee can also work well but I don't like that smell just like you don't like the smell of bread. If you can't paint your door you could always try hanging baskets on either side containging red flowers, that might work well.
CASE1WORKER from UNITED KINGDOM on October 24, 2010:
good hub, though painting my upvc door red would be hard. I think that decluttering and tidying are good ideas. someone told me the smell of baking bread is good- but as it makes me sick it wouldn't do me much good!
Galaxy Harvey (author) from United Kingdom on October 19, 2010:
Thank you, AuntumnLockwood.It's good to get confirmation from someone else that this does work. Little things can make a big difference and get you that all important sold sign.Good to know your relative sold their house at last.
AutumnLockwood from Northern California on October 18, 2010:
Boy did you nail it with this article. We had a family member's house that had been trying to sell her house for over 6 months. We ended up doing several of the things you listed in your article like painting the front door a shade of red....and within a month it sold. This stuff does work:)
Galaxy Harvey (author) from United Kingdom on October 18, 2010:
Thank you robbieb, I agree the market is crazy at the moment and I thought any little bit of help and advice I could offer might come in handy. I don't think it pays to spend too much money on your existing home when you will need all your spare cash for a new one.
robbieb from United States on October 18, 2010:
These are some great tips! While this market is pretty crazy right now and is certainly stacked in the buyers favor, people are still buying homes. However, there are so many options that it can be hard to stick out in the crowd.
The nice thing about most of these tips is that they are not super expensive or difficult, but will go a long way to making your home stand out a little bit in peoples minds!