Are you looking for ways to sell your home faster and for more money? Mindy Jensen, author of “How To Sell Your Home”, shared 16 tips on this topic with the guys on the BiggerPockets podcast. While I agree with most of these tips, these are all from her and not me. But I’d be happy to discuss any of them with you.
You can hear the entire episode here, or read below for the condensed version.
Mindy Jensen’s 16 Home Selling Tips
Tip #1 – Have a pre-listing inspection
This can remove the buyer’s “freakout” from their own home inspection. Inspectors will always find something wrong. So take care of the unexpected big things before they get there. A pre-listing inspection can help with this.
Tip #2 – Clean up your home
This one may be less obvious than you think. Homeowners will often leave dishes out and floors dirty. Clean up and declutter to keep your home “show ready”.
Tip #3 – Does it pass the sniff test?
Homeowners can become nose blind to their environment. Animals, young kids, etc. can have a very distinct aroma that others don’t care for. How do you know? Ask a friend, “what does it smell like in here?” Acquaintances will be nice but real friends will give you the brutal truth. Use cover-up remedies. These include oxidizers, plates of charcoal briquets, baking cookies, and Fabreeze. (This is not a Fabreeze endorsement. But I was a bachelor and I understand its magical powers.)
Tip #4 – Take great pictures of your ACTUAL house
Smartphones are not going to cut it. And if you want real potential buyers, be careful with how you photograph certain rooms. Funky angles can make rooms look bigger, but it may attract the wrong people.
Tip #5 – Be available
First, for questions about the house. Second, for showings at any time. If you can do this it will REALLY help but it also means keeping your home “show ready” at all times.
Tip #6 – Be informative
Provide information on updates you have done to the home. Include the timing of the update and who did the update. This can explain why you are listing at a much higher price than you purchased at. You should also share what needs work.
Tip #7 – Know your competition
After you have put together a price based on previous solds, compare to what is out there. What are the others offering? Even if your sold comps justify your price, the competition may drive your price in one direction or the other.
Tip #8 – Use an agent
According to Mindy, studies show that houses sell at 15% less when they are for sale by owner (FSBO). This includes commissions. And FSBO takes longer to sell. Just sayin…
Tip #9 – Ask your agent for selling advice
A good agent can get very market specific. See tips #7 and #8.
Tip #10 – Price your house right
Going high will cause the days on market (DOM) to go up. But you don’t want to give the wrong impression. Too many DOM and it looks like there is something wrong with the house, even if you drop it later. If you aren’t sure, ask your agent to justify their price with comps or a CMA.
Tip #11 – List at peak market time
Usually, the peak is in the spring. But verify that in your market. Mindy doesn’t bring this up but if you are want to list at the peak of the market, have your agent show you some historical data. It is not hard to pull that info from their MLS.
Tip #12 – Double check listing information
Agents are human and typos happen. And it is not only the agent that enters information. They may have an assistant that does hundreds per day and might make mistakes. When the listing goes live, be sure that you verify the information is as it should be.
Tip #13 – Stage weird areas that don’t have an obvious use
Buyers want to see themselves living in your house. Every part of your house. Help the buyer find a use for strange areas by staging them accordingly, even if the rest of the house is not staged. A book nook is a common go to.
Tip #14 – Leave during your showing (and take your pets with you)
The reality is, buyers don’t care about your opinion. And they need to speak freely about your home when they are there. They may not do that if you are around. Leave early for the showing / open house and don’t come back until they are gone. And remember, people are allergic to some animals so you will want to take them as well. And they may stink. See Tip #3.
Tip #15 – Be prepared to walk away from an offer
If a buyer is trying to nickel and dime you, this is a red flag that future problems may be looming. These problems may include some deal-killing issues. It is OK to find an out if you don’t think it is going well. Lean on your agent for help on this.
Tip #16 – Tell everyone you know the house is for sale
The agent will do their job but you should also help with the promotion. Tell all your friends and everyone you know that your home is for sale. Use social media, email, etc. Remember, it is not the agent’s house, it is your house.
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