Secrets of successful sellers

While there is no definite, absolute rule to sell your property, here are some tried-and-true practices that may make the difference between a property languishing on the market and selling efficiently.

Choose the right agent for you. Ask friends and family for referrals. Narrow down your list of potential agents and choose one who has knowledge of your neighborhood and a history of following up with their clients.
Be realistic. When it comes to pricing your home, work with your agent to decide on an accurate and fair price. Comparables in the area, coupled with your agent's experience, are helpful when listing.
Spic and span. Your home should be in pristine condition when potential buyers view your home. Buyers should be focused on your beautiful windows, not the fingerprints on the glass. If necessary, shampoo carpets and refinish the wood floors.
Eliminate the excess. Remove any furniture that is unnecessary. Consider storing furniture that clutters a room. Oversized items may make a space feel smaller than it actually is.
Take yourself out of it. Store or swap out any family pictures. This is a great opportunity to showcase the property in other seasons. If your open house is in the winter, perhaps frame pictures of the backyard or fa├žade of the home in full bloom.
Quick fix. Before showing your home, complete all those home fixes you've been meaning to get to. The squeaky step or floorboard, the grout in the bathroom or leaky faucets should all be repaired before potential buyers notice them.

How to stage your home

In a buyer’s market, sellers need every advantage they can get. Home staging is an excellent way to highlight your property’s strengths. You can hire professional home stagers, or use the following home staging tips yourself.
Here are some tips to ensure prospective buyers feel comfortable and aren’t distracted:
• depersonalize your home by removing family photos, toys, toiletries, etc.;
• when decorating, paint in neutral colors so future buyers can imagine putting their own color palettes on the walls; and
• remove excess furniture and clutter — too much furniture makes the home feel and appear small.

Buyers are looking for the most amount of house for the least amount of money. To give the impression the property is upscale and luxurious:
• clean every inch of the house;
• update all fixtures such as cabinet hardware, ceiling fans or faucets;
• improve the lighting in your house with energy efficient bulbs for a warm and inviting atmosphere, aiming for a total of 100 watts for every 50 square feet;
• mix up your lighting options with ambient (general or overhead), task (pendant, under cabinet or reading) and accent (table and wall) lights;
• complete any unfinished projects — a house with a to-do list is a quick turn off for buyers;
• purchase slip covers, bed covers and color-coordinated towels to dress up your existing furnishings; and

• decorate with fresh flowers and candles — the smell of a home during an open house is almost as important as the way it looks.

Stage The Home

Whether you are looking to conduct an Open House, or simply want to help your sellers present their house in the best light, it is necessary to view it from the eyes of a buyer! Any money spent in this area may result in increased profits and a faster sale.

Maximizing Curb Appeal
Before potential buyers even see what the home has to offer, they view its exterior. As a result, an unkempt or unattractive view of the outside of the home could potentially result in a missed opportunity. To show the house in its best light, consider the following:
Move all materials, including garbage cans and gardening supplies, from the front yard and into a garage or shed
Mow the lawn and weed and maintain all planted areas
Replace any outdoor light bulbs that are not working
Sweep walkways and steps, and remove all small items from the porch or patio
Replace worn or badly stained door mats
Once a potential buyer enters the home, they need to determine if it will meet their needs and expectations. Give them the best view of the home's interior by following these steps:
Remove the home of any clutter by limiting decorative objects and clearing all unnecessary appliances from the kitchen countertops
Rearrange or remove furniture to highlight the space in a room
Review each room and clean or vacuum if necessary