1. Maybe you've read lots of advice on selling a house. But do you know the biggest mistake many people make when selling a house? Not understanding real estate value. You see, it doesn't matter what you think your home is worth. It doesn't matter what you did to make it nicer for your family. What you enjoyed about your house may be irrelevant when it's time to sell. The value of your home is determined by the market. Most buyers use a mortgage to purchase a home and lenders will not loan for more than what the appraised value is.
2. Decide on a minimum price that you will accept in case you have to reduce the price. This doesn't mean to reduce to your absolute minimum but it's good to have this amount already thought out.
3. Concentrate on the first visible things buyers will see, the exterior. Curb appeal makes a great first impression and tells the buyer the home has been cared for.
4. Neighborhood problems. If the next-door neighbors’ yard is a mess, try to talk to them about having it cleaned up to at least look presentable. Offer to help in some way if possible. This can be tricky especially if you don’t know them or have an amicable relationship with them. Also, if their home is in disrepair it can affect the sale of your property. This is why neighborhood associations and HOAs exist. If your neighborhood does not have an association, then your only other alternative is to anonymously turn to your local code enforcement office. Messy homes next to your house is a major deal killer with most buyers.
5. Photos. Prepare your home before taking photos to market it. This is an often overlooked step that is critical to getting buyers through the door. No one is interested in seeing a cluttered and unclean home. It makes a bad impression and it's difficult to see the home's potential.
6. Listen to prospects. They'll be more objective than you. For example: if you hear several times that the kitchen is dark, do something about it.
7. Find the average sales time for your area. If your house is taking longer than average to sell, there's a problem, and usually it's the price.
8. Agent advice. Take your real estate agent’s advice. If they make suggestions to you about things they feel you need to do regarding property preparation, pricing, etc., listen carefully. If you are not able to do some of the things they suggest, like not having the money to repair certain things, then try to come up with an alternative solution.
9. If there are known problems, such as an old roof, get an estimate for repairs. The sellers may want a $7,000 allowance for a new roof - until you show them your $4,000 estimate.
10. Do improvements that can realistically get you at least a two-to-one return on investment. For example: If it $300 to seal the driveway is likely to add $600 to the sales price of the home, do it. Always consider things that are the most visible first.
There are dozens of things you can do to sell your house faster, and get a better price. Start with the ones that will get the most "bang for your buck." Your agent can usually help you with assessing the things that need to be done.