Turning Top Dollar
By Mimi Greenwood Knight
You want to sell your home. You want to get the best price. And you want it done quickly. Take it from the insiders we consulted—here’s how to reliably make it happen.
Curb Appeal // Home buying starts when the buyer pulls up. Keep your grass cut and windows sparkling. Highlight your home’s best features with lighting. And add some cheery flowers for special allure.
De-clutter and Clean // A decluttered home looks larger and more inviting. Bonus—it’s also easier to keep clean since it only takes a few minutes to run around with a duster and vacuum.
Stage it // A certified home stager can re-organize your possessions to spotlight your home’s best features while downplaying its problem areas. Be sure to have it done before your home is photographed.
Use Knock-out Photos // Save your smartphone for selfies. Enlist a professional realty photographer—preferably with a wide-angle lens—to photograph your home. Ask your realtor for recommendations, then schedule your shoot for a time of day when the sun casts the perfect light on your home.
Fresh Paint // It only takes a weekend to apply some new paint and totally transform your home. Choose welcoming but neutral colors in low-odor paint.
Ditch Personal Items // Allow potential buyers to imagine themselves living in your home by removing all those mementos that declare it’s already yours.
Music and Ambient Lighting // Mood lighting and background music can make
buyers feel good and change a cold house into a warm home. Choose soft background music without vocals.
Consider Scents // Avoid strong cleaning fluids like bleach and consider baking bread or cookies just before buyers arrive. Or brew a fresh pot of coffee.
Remove Pet Odors // Pet owners often become immune to the smells of their animals. Ask a friend or your realtor to do an honest sniff test. Then remedy pet odors if they’re an issue.
Accentuate the Positive // If you have a new roof, windows, or appliances, leave notes or information out to inform the buyer. Most new roof warranties are transferable and a home with a 10-year roof warranty is a huge selling feature.
Consider Timing // For a home to sell it must be available and accessible to realtors and their buyers. If you refuse showings because it’s not convenient for you or the house isn’t tidy, many buyers won’t reschedule, especially if they’re coming from out of town. The one showing you turn down could be the buyer who wants to write an offer.
Now let’s sell that house already!