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8 ‘Extra’ Ideas That Help Sell a House

There are plenty of posts that share advice agents should give to sellers as they prepare a home for sale. By now, most agents understand the wisdom of obtaining high-resolution photos, featuring homes online, designing professional property flyers, a possible open house here or there, and everything else that goes into good marketing. Yet, the most important factor still is what the buyer sees when visiting a home in person.

To avoid turning buyer “elation” into “deflation,” my advice to agents is to be a good “student.” I always listen to what people talk about at the closing table to find out why they selected the house they bought. Recently, I closed a listing on a home that was 34 years old. The furnace was original, which can be a concern, but the buyer pointed out a number of features that stood out and convinced him that this home was well-maintained and a “safe bet.”

What I took from the conversation with this homebuyer is advice all listing agents should be sharing with their respective sellers. These simple extras can help sell a home more quickly and for top dollar.

1. Fresh exterior paint. If the home has siding or trim and you can see wood “bleeding” through flecks of paint, then the property needs to be painted prior to marketing it for sale. This should include the trim and fascia!

2. New carpet. There are a handful of things that all buyers despise. Old or worn carpet is usually first or second on everyone’s list!

Compare a Fannie Mae HomePath listing and a HUD listing. What you will see at every HomePath listing is new carpet and fresh paint. What you will see at a HUD listing often is an abused home that needs renovation prior to anyone being able to comfortably live in it. The last HUD home I closed was “uninhabitable,” according to the appraiser. Fannie Mae is getting both a faster sale and a premium on the average closing in our market compared with HUD, according to our MLS. And what’s good for HomePath’s marketing can be good for your seller, too!

3. Remove wallpaper. Buyers tell me that wallpaper makes a home seem “dated.” And it is a chore to remove! I have seen painters who would almost tear up when asked if they would take wallpaper down, repair the walls and paint.

4. Turn up the lights! A builder showed me a trick once: Put high-wattage bulbs in a house to brighten it up for sale. They make everything seem to “pop” compared with underlit rooms or rooms where bulbs are burned out.

5. Change air filters and vacuum the vents! If your seller has pets, this is a must!

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Hank Bailey is an associate broker with Re/Max Legends and a Realtor for more than a decade who provides buyer’s agent representation and seller listing services related to residential real estate.

Written by Hank Bailey Realty Times Staff for Copyright © 2014 Realty Times All Rights Reserved.