Set the stage for sale
Selling a house is a lot like romance. It really pays
to set the mood. Real estate pros call it staging -- showcasing
the best side of a home to create interest and help you get top
Here are some tricks to selling your home from the
1. Make room. Clear
out as much furniture as you can. Put it in storage, give it to
charity or have a garage sale. Hallways and doorways, in particular,
need to be clear and open.
2. Follow your nose.
A home should smell good. That means no noticeable odor -- no pet
scent, no stale cooking smells and no cigarette smoke. "People
just don't realize how much odor plays into this," says Scott
Griffith, president of ERA Griffith Realty in Brighton, Mich. Get
rid of smell problems at the source: Scrub the house, have the air
vents cleaned, replace old, smelly carpeting and smoke outside.
3. Make your home ageless.
There's a difference between an old house and a classic home.
"If the house looks 40 years old with 40-year-old paint, 40-year-old
appliances and 40-year-old carpet, that's a hard sell," says
Ron Phipps, principal broker of Phipps Realty and Relocation Services
in Warwick, R.I. Keep everything fresh and up-to-date (read well-maintained)
and you have a solid home in an established neighborhood -- a real
4. Get a home inspection.
Most buyers will have one done anyway, so do it now -- and
make any needed repairs before you put the home on the market. Depending
on where you live, the service will probably run about $200 to $400.
5. Learn to love white walls.
When it comes to walls, color is popular. The problem is
that the next buyer might not like the same colors. Paint is a relatively
inexpensive way to make a house look clean and fresh. And if you're
going to repaint prior to selling, stick with neutrals.
For more tips on how set your house apart from
the others, check
out this Bankrate story.