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Tips for Successful Selling

This list was copied from the HGTV website. I have edited it for my customers. Please be sure to visit the HGTV website for more tips.

People won't buy a house if they can't see the square footage, so clear it out and clean it up. Clutter gives the perception that there's not enough storage in the house. A basic rule of thumb to decide whether or not something is clutter is "if you can't sit on it, it's not decoration, and if you can't eat it, it's clutter.

Clean Up to Clean Up.
No one wants to buy a dirty house, so take care of things like grimy shower doors, mold and dead bugs in light fixtures. The cheapest thing you can do when getting your house ready for the market is to clean. It costs nothing, it's easy to do, and it will make the difference as to whether or not you'll sell. A common place for dirt buildup is in kitchen tile. All you have to do is get yourself a little scraper, scrape out the old grout, and then you just kind of glaze it over with some new grout and wipe it down with a sponge.

Fix it or Forget It.
Complete unfinished projects so as not to scare off potential buyers. Deferred maintenance - for example, large cracks in your sidewalks on the way up to the door - send red flags to buyers. It costs you less to fix it than buyers might deduct from their asking price. So do the math, and fix it yourself. I think what intimidates most homeowners is the scope of what they make it. Let's say for instance a floor. You can replace damaged pieces of plank by buying the same stock and cutting out little sections of it, securing it with a few brad nails and refinishing it to match your existing finish. It's easily done and it takes only a couple of hours.

Go Neutral.
Bold wall colors reduce offers, so go with neutral paint colors instead. Painting your home has got to be up there on the chart rundown of tips because it is something we can all do. Paint is essentially money in a can.

Design to Smell.
Nothing is worse than a smelly home, so make it fresh! Before an open house, open up all of the windows and air the house out. Boil cinnamon, bake cookies, bake bread - do anything you can to have the air smelling fresh and clean. Here is another idea for bringing in some pleasant scents. You can actually buy, from the paint store, scent packets, which you add to the paint before you paint the walls. As time goes by, they will gradually release a scent.

Spring Into Action.
Across the nation, springtime is the best time to sell your house. Cold temperatures have us hibernating all winter, and the second there's buds on the trees and spring weather comes out, people want to get out and they want to buy homes.

Clear It Out and Clean It Up.
Once you've cleared your yard, it's just really important to get those planter beds full and to have bursting color everywhere you can, as much as you can afford.

Embrace Your Architecture.
If your home has historical or architectural significance, work with it. Make your home's curb appeal match the community guidelines.

Opportunity Knocks.
Make a good first impression with your front door. Since the front door is the first thing that buyers touch, it's important to have yours in tiptop shape.

Deck It Out.
Improving your backyard and deck will lead to big bucks. Make it feel like a room that just happens to be outside. People are buying square footage, so tend to your backyard and make it a usable space.

Have Them at Hello.
You have 10 seconds to make a first impression, so make it count. Selling a home is a lot like getting a date. That first impression is so important. All it takes is for one thing to turn a buyer of and just like that, it could be over, just like dating. Make sure nothing hits them in the face but good things. What a seller needs to do is stand at their threshold of their front door, and it's really difficult, but sellers really need to be objective and really judge themselves as a buyer would.

Fire Up the Fireplace.
Making this important feature standout will put money in your pocket. One simple way to do this is to paint just the fireplace wall an accent color. The color should complement the material of the fireplace itself.

Furnish for Selling.
Good furniture placement can help show off a room and makes a huge impact as a buyer walks through. If you want to make a room look bigger, pull the furniture off the wall because people are allowed to see the perimeter of the room, and it creates the illusion of a larger space.

The Money's In the Details.
Crown molding and other details add character and value to your home. "Crown molding is a great thing to do to a room. It's relatively inexpensive and you can spend as little as 50 cents a lineal foot. It really adds a lot of value, so it's worth it. People are not going to make an offer and say 'I like that house and I'm going to buy it because it has crown molding,' but it's just one of those little unspoken things that make your house just above the pack.

Design to Dine.
Create a well-defined space for eating. The best way to define the space is to bring in your table and chairs, naturally, and then bring in a light fixture. Bring in a chandelier, something different, something special.

Know Your Competition.
Scope out other houses for sale in your neighborhood. If you want to get top dollar, you better be the top house in the neighborhood. The only way you're going to know that is if you go out and you actually go to other open houses. Check out your competition and make sure you're ahead of the pack. You can see how other agents are marketing the homes. You can listen to buyers' conversations as they're walking through the house, and you can see what's really important to buyers out there.

Pare It Down.
Remove distracting, unnecessary furniture from the bedroom. Bedrooms need to send a signal of relaxation and comfort, not where you're doing your work nor where you're storing everything. If you have multiple purposes in one room, people are going to think there aren't enough rooms in the house for you and there won't be for them. When in doubt, take it out.

Make It All About the Bed.
Headboards draw attention to a bed and make a bedroom feel fancy. When a buyer walks into a master bedroom, they are expecting to see luxury, to see comfort, to see elegance. I look at the master bedroom as really being the lion. That is the formidable master bedroom, so you have visions of grandeur when going into a master bedroom.

Create Instant Luxury.
Coordinating bedding and window treatments add instant style and class to a bedroom. If you feel like you're not a designer and you're not good at pulling together a room, just go to a great bedding store, buy bedding and from the bedding, pull out a paint color and get matching window treatments. It will instantly look like a high-end hotel suite, and it's a no brainer.

Clear the Closet.

Price It to Sell, Not to Sit.
Don't alienate buyers by pricing your home too high. You run the risk of scaring off buyers and having that home sit on the market for far too long and becoming stale. You want to have a very small gap between the listed price and the sales price. That's your goal. So when you get ready to price your house, it should be where you think it's going to sell.

Use High-End Materials.
Bathrooms are small, so buying high-end materials like granite and marble won't break the bank. When choosing materials it's OK to splurge a little. If money is an issue, do it yourself. Putting in tile is a good example of a DIY job.

Primp Your Vanity.
Dress up an old vanity with paint or stain and new hardware. Vanities are really the only piece of furniture in a bathroom, so you need to pay attention to them. If they look outdated, it's going to look like you're bathroom is dated.

Don't Pour Money Down the Drain.
Clean up old shower doors and dirty tubs for a sparkling sale. Tub refinishing is a great improvement to make, and it saves you a lot of money in labor because you don't have to pay someone to rip out your old bathtub.

Whisk Them Away.
Accessorize your bathroom to make buyers feel like they are in a spa. Put out items like rolled-up towels, decorative baskets and candles. It's a great way to create a polished look and it doesn't cost a lot to do.

Cook Up Your Kitchen.
Kitchen upgrades will bring you the biggest returns on your money. The kitchen is considered by many to be the heart of the home, so it can really make or break a sale. Even very modest improvements can really bring you a lot of money for your investment.

Reheat Your Cabinets.
Paint or stain old cabinets to make them look new again. Buy some stain, some sealer, some new hardware, and you can make your cabinets look new. It can be a huge payoff for little money. If you're painting you cabinets, then ask your local home improvement center associate for the best paint to use.

Use Counter Intelligence.
Updating the most important surface in your kitchen is a must. If you want to sell your house, you can not have grungy old kitchen countertops. Buyers want to move into the kitchen and prepare food on those countertops. If your countertops don't look clean, you need to change them. Get what you can afford, but make them appear pristine.

Apply Yourself.
You can't go wrong by installing updated kitchen appliances. If you buy new appliances for your kitchen, you will usually get that money back when you're selling.

Open Up and Say Offers.
Open floor plans are probably here to stay. Sometimes a wall may need to be knocked down to make it happen. If you can't DIY, then hire someone to do it for you. Open floor plans make a home look much larger.

Go With the Flow.
Giving a home a sense of flow can enable perspective buyers to see that your home "makes sense". Open it up from the front door right through to the dining room and then onto the deck.

Go From Trash to Treasure.
A junk room turned into an office, can bring a huge payoff for homeowners. Square footage is at a premium when selling a home, so every room counts and every foot counts. Usable space is what selling your home is all about.

Match the Book to Its Cover.
Updating some tired and disappointing features might just lead to a big sale. Make sure the inside of a house looks just as nice as the outside.

Complete the Picture.
Finishing unfinished projects can bring big bucks once the home is on the market. You're more likely to get top dollar if your house is move-in ready.

Go Over the Top.
Making key upgrades to a home that is already in good shape can lead to an over-the-top sale, so go ahead, take it up a notch! You don't have to spend a fortune to fix up a space. Take what you have and make it better.