Do you want to get top dollar for your home when it goes on the market? Good. Because I’m going to give you the top five absolute best ways to get the highest possible price for your house.
- Declutter. This one is huge. I can’t stress it enough. I can’t tell you how many listing appointments I go to where the house is beyond cluttered, sometimes where you can’t even see what kind of flooring there is in a bedroom, or you aren’t able to walk into a garage because it’s just packed with stuff all the way up to the ceiling.
So, here’s the deal. If you’re selling your house, get rid of everything you can before you move. Sort it into these three kinds of piles: Box it up and put it away, give it away, or throw it away. And if you’re at the point of getting your house ready to sell and ready for professional photography, put away all of those family pictures. You’re going to have to do it anyway when you move. Take all the photos off the fridge. Put away all those personal items. But without a doubt, declutter. Put away all of your stuff!
- Paint. It’s that simple. A $30 can of paint can do absolute wonders, both inside and outside of your home. Color-match from your local paint store and then touch up any interior walls that have handprints or smudge marks. Paint the baseboards and all of those exterior areas where you have peeling or cracking paint, but do one room at a time so as to not be overwhelmed by the whole project. Painting can just brighten up a house like few other things can, and if you want the highest possible price for your home, painting will definitely give you more bang for your buck.
- Landscape (a.k.a. improve that curb appeal). You want your house to stand out from the crowd when people pull up, right? So spend some money on some colorful flowers and plants on the buyer’s journey to your front doors. Make sure the outside of the house is attractive and draws the buyer in. This goes without saying, but pick up all the junk on the outside of your house.
I once had clients whose adult son had parked an old, broken-down flatbed truck in the driveway filled with junk, and despite promising to remove it, had failed to do so right up to just a few hours before our first open house. The sellers were in a panic. So with their permission, I called a tow truck company, and I had that junker moved to my property behind our barn. And by the way, that house sold within about a week of listing it, and it was no coincidence. So pull up all the weeds, pick up all the trash, mow the lawn, and pick up all that dog poop, for crying out loud! You’ll get the highest possible price with some money spent on curb appeal. You really will.
- Repair and replace. Now is the time to get any major repairs taken care of. Not afterwards…before. Now, listen. If your house has some things broken and in need of repair, I can just about guarantee you that the buyer is probably going to come in at a lower price than what you’re asking for, based upon these things that they see are wrong with your house. I’m talking about things like roofing repairs, electrical repairs, plumbing, old or damaged flooring, broken doors or windows, creaking decks, etc.
Listen. Just last week I showed some of my buyers a $1.3 million horse property, and when I stepped outside onto the Trex decking, it felt like a diving board in some places. I’m not kidding. Someone had forgotten to put the floor joists across an entire section of the deck, and I thought I was going to bounce right into the pool. And you know what I thought? 1.3 million? Are you kidding me? So, get your DIY mojo on or hire someone to do it. But by all means, if you want the highest possible price for your home when it sells, repair and replace before you put it on the market.
- Clean. Of course, right? Clean your house from top to bottom. People will put up with a lot of things when searching for a new home, but a dirty, smelly house is certainly not one of them. When I first started out in real estate in Las Vegas in the early ’90s, I went on a listing appointment where, when I walked into the house, I literally had to put my hand over my mouth and nose because I started to gag. I’m not joking. The people had several dogs in the house, and the dogs had done their business all over the place, and man, it stunk to high heaven.
So, I had to take the sellers out to the front yard where I could breathe and talk at the same time. And I said, “I’m really sorry, but I’ve got to be honest with you. If you want to sell your home, you’re going to have to pick up all that dog poop on the inside of your home, and you’re going to have to get rid of that smell, and you may even have to replace the carpet.” The moral of the story, boys and girls, is this: make sure that your house smells great and is clean on the insides. If you want the highest possible price for your house when you sell your home, get the carpets cleaned, wash those windows, have a professional cleaning service come in if need be, make sure the bathrooms smell nothing but great, and just make sure your house smells great and is clean on the inside. Declutter, paint, landscape, repair and replace, and clean. Now, you may want to reach out to a top local agent in your area and have them do a walkthrough regarding these five areas to help you get started. And if you live in my local area, North Monterey County, feel free to contact me and I’ll be glad to help you put together a plan to get you started towards getting the highest possible price for your house.