10 Tips to Sell Your Home for More Money – Bankrate.com | Salisbury Pipes

Even in a seller’s market where inventory is scarce and bidding wars are common, it’s still worth investing some time and energy in positioning your home to sell for the highest price.

This effort can involve a variety of steps, from working with a real estate agent who truly understands the local market to spending on major renovations and improvements that encourage buyers to pay a higher price.

Here are 10 tips for selling your home that realtors say will set you apart from the competition — and help you sell for more money.

1. Find a trustworthy real estate agent

Working with an experienced real estate agent who knows your local market inside out can help you sell your home for more money, faster and more often. In fact, data from the National Association of Realtors shows that in 2021, homes listed without the help of an agent sold for an average price of $260,000, while those sold with a real estate agent sold for a significantly higher average price of $318,000 scored. Interview multiple candidates before committing to an agent—the better you get along, the smoother the process is likely to be.

2. Invest in value-adding improvements

Deciding which home improvement to invest in can be daunting, and the costs can add up quickly. The key is to spend your money on projects that generate the greatest return on investment. For example, according to data from Remodeling magazine, replacing a garage door is the most valuable investment when it comes to ROI. The average yield for a new garage door is almost 94 percent.

Minor kitchen upgrades are also a smart investment, says realtor Jade Lee-Duffy of TXR Homes in San Diego, California. “The heart of the home is the kitchen, and many buyers judge a property by its kitchen,” she says. “While a complete overhaul of this area can run into the tens of thousands, a small update can see the biggest win. Think cabinet remodeling, countertop replacements, a fresh coat of paint, or furniture and hardware updates.”

Renovating a bathroom is another smart investment, says Katie Severance, a real estate agent at Douglas Elliman in Palm Beach, Fla. “Renovated kitchens and bathrooms are the ‘money spaces’ – the ones that add the most value to a home,” she says.

3. Increase your attractiveness

Curbs must not be ignored: As the saying goes: You never get a second chance to make a first impression. “Make sure your front yard is clear of debris, has bushes trimmed, and has grass trimmed,” says Lee-Duffy. “Also, put some colorful potted plants by the front door to make shoppers feel welcome.”

Some simple updates that really improve curb appeal include touching up the exterior paint, adding window flower boxes, and installing a new mailbox, Severance says. “Adding rich-looking mulch around shrubs and trees can really bring out the charm,” she adds.

4. Get a pre-listing inspection

Investing in a home inspection before you put your property on the market is another step to consider. “You don’t want any unexpected surprises,” says Lee-Duffy. “It’s best to do some research first to see if there are any problems you can fix before buyers find out for themselves.” That would give them bargaining power for a lower price, or worst-case scenario, a reason to back out of the deal. So it may be worth a few hundred bucks for peace of mind.

However, there is a downside to a pre-listing inspection. “Be careful, because once a seller becomes aware of an existing defect and doesn’t fix it before listing, they have an obligation to disclose it to a buyer,” says Severance. “Defects that a buyer learns are known but not disclosed before accepting an offer can ruin the deal.”

5. Highlight the positives with professional photos

Spending a little money on quality photography can go a long way in helping your home sell for a higher price. “The majority of people are looking for real estate online,” says Lee-Duffy. “If the photos stand out, it can lead to a higher sale price – and also sell faster.”

You may want to leave some things to the imagination when it comes to listing your home online. “I don’t recommend photographing every square foot of the house,” says Severance. “The goal of photography isn’t to give away all the goodies online; it’s designed to make a buyer want to see more – to sharpen their whistle enough to entice them to see it in person. If they don’t look at the house, they probably won’t make an offer.”

6. Put your home in the limelight

When it comes to home staging, Severance says there are two rules of thumb: less is more and staying neutral.

“It’s very important to capture buyers’ interest from the front door,” she says. “Pay special attention to the entrance hall and invest heavily in the staging of this part of the house. Redecorate; place flowers; Buy a new carpet, an impressive mirror or a dramatic work of art.”

Remove items and clutter that visually shrink a space, like large ottomans or too many plants, and remove everything from kitchen countertops except for a new-looking appliance or two. “And don’t forget to stage the deck or patio, because that’s an extension of the home that can make a small home feel a lot bigger than it is,” adds Severance.

You can do the staging work yourself or up the ante by hiring a professional stager. A Pro costs between $749 and $2,825, with the average cost being around $1,728, according to HomeAdvisor.

7. Set the right bid price

Finding the best asking price for your home can be critical to your success. When a home is priced right, it will attract more buyers to visit. “Pricing too high can be detrimental and deter buyers from walking through your door,” says Lee-Duffy. “If you want to be conservative, always price on the low end to capture maximum buyer interest.”

How do you find the sweet spot of for-profit pricing without over-pricing? This is where your agent’s expertise can be really valuable. A knowledgeable agent will know how much your home is worth and how much you could reasonably get for it. “Good pricing requires the expertise to thread the needle,” says Severance. “List a lower number than comparable properties to draw attention to it, but not so low that you’re disappointed if you’re only getting one offer at listing price right.” If enough buyers are enticed, you could set the stage for a bidding war create.

8. Remove personal items

“The goal of any display is for the buyer to imagine their own items in the space,” says Severance. While family photos and other knick-knacks might seem like they don’t affect how much money your home owns, they really do matter—especially if you’re still living in the home while you’re trying to sell it.

“Buyers are thinking about their own furniture, where they are going and how they will fit. It’s the house they came for, not the items in it,” she says. When buyers are distracted by personal items, there’s a good chance they won’t be able to see themselves in the room and end up not bidding.

9. Be ready to move fast

Once your property is listed on the market, it can happen quickly. It is important to be well prepared in advance so that you can respond to potential offers as quickly as possible. “Fill out any required documents such as For example, have all of the seller’s details, and have recent repairs, home renovation expenses, and utility bills ready for any incoming buyer inquiries,” says Lee-Duffy.

Sellers who are slow to respond or don’t respond can lose buyers, Severance adds. “If the buyer doesn’t feel they’re being treated fairly, there’s a good chance they’ll walk away,” she says.

10. Use your head, not your heart

Finally, try to remove emotion from the equation and look at things as a simple transaction – your home is no longer “home” but a product for sale. Know what issues and items you’re willing to compromise on if buyers ask. It’s not uncommon for potential buyers to ask for credit or repairs, and it’s easy to be offended as a seller.

“It’s important to take emotion out and remember that the buyer doesn’t typically expect to get everything they ask for,” says Severance. “Take a closer look at what requests are valid and fair, and offer something. The cost to you isn’t in getting the concession – it’s the cost of losing the buyer, putting the property back on the market, starting over and getting a potentially lower offer.”

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