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Getting your home ready to sell can be a time-consuming process, but it pays off in the end. “Get in” on
these Stauss selling secrets and start preparing your home!
18 Stauss Selling Secrets!
1. Know your competition.
Scope out other houses for sale in your neighborhood. "If you want to get top dollar, you better be the top house in the neighborhood. The only way you're going to know that is if you go out and you actually go to other open houses. Check out your competition and make sure you're ahead of the pack," says Bethany Souza. "You can see how other agents are marketing the homes. You can listen to buyers' conversations as they're walking through the house, and you can see what's really important to buyers out there."
2. Price it to sell, not to sit.
Don't alienate buyers by pricing your home too high. "You run the risk of scaring off buyers and having that home sit on the market for far too long and becoming stale," notes Bethany Souza. "You want to have a very small gap between the listed price and the sales price. That's your goal. So when you get ready to price your house, it should be where you think it's going to sell."
3. Clean up and declutter.
No one wants to buy a dirty house, so take care of things like grimy shower doors, mold and dead bugs in light fixtures. "Clutter gives the perception that there's not enough storage in the house," says Shannon Freeman. A basic rule of thumb to decide whether or not something is clutter is "If you can't sit on it, it's not decoration, and you can't eat it, it's clutter."
4. Complete the picture.
Finishing unfinished projects can bring big bucks once the home is on the market. You're more likely to get top dollar if your house is move-in ready.
5. Go neutral.
Bold wall colors reduce offers, so go with neutral paint colors instead.
6. From trash to treasure.
A repurposed junk room, like turning it into an office, can bring a huge payoff for homeowners. Square footage is at a premium when selling a home, so every room counts and every foot counts. Usable space is key.
7. Go with the flow.
Giving a home a sense of flow can pay off. Open it up from the front door through to the dining room and onto the deck.
8. Open up.
Open floor plans are super popular. Sometimes a wall may need to be knocked down to make it happen, but it can be done safely if a few simple rules are followed. "As crazy as it sounds, it's not that big of a deal, unless it's a load-bearing wall. Then it can get tricky," says carpenter Steve Hanneman. "Make sure you hire someone to tell you if it's a load-bearing wall."
9. Update your kitchen.
Kitchen upgrades will bring you the biggest returns on your money. The kitchen is considered by many to be the heart of the home, so it can really make or break a sale. "If you want to put money into your home before you sell, put it into the kitchen," advises Donna Freeman.
"If you buy new appliances for your kitchen, you will get that money back when you sell," says designer Lisa LaPorte. "If you want to make your kitchen look new, take about $100 and buy some stain, some sealer, some new hardware, and you can make your cabinets look new - huge payoff for little money," continues Lisa. The best paint to use is either a high-gloss or enamel because it dries hard and it makes cleanup easy.
10. Whisk them away.
Accessorize your bathroom to make buyers feel like they are in a spa. Put out items like rolled-up towels, decorative baskets and candles. Clean up old shower doors and dirty tubs for a sparkling sale.
"Tub refinishing is a great improvement to make, and it saves you a lot of money in labor because you don't have to pay someone to rip out your old bathtub. It usually cost around $250, and that's a great investment,” says Lisa LaPorta. You can also dress up an old vanity with paint or stain and new hardware.
"Vanities are really the only piece of furniture in a bathroom, so you need to pay attention to them. If they look outdated, it's going to look like your bathroom is dated," explains Lisa.
Bathrooms are small, so buying high-end materials like granite and marble won't break the bank. If money is an issue, do it yourself. Putting in tile is a good example of a DIY job. "It isn't as difficult as it looks. Give yourself a nice, smooth prep surface and then put down your mortar. Slap the tiles down in place with some spacers and then grout over it."
11. Clear the closet.
Organize closets to show off storage space, and clear out excess items.
12. Create bedroom luxury.
Coordinating bedding and window treatments adds instant style and class to a bedroom. Headboards draw attention to a bed and make a bedroom feel fancy. "When a buyer walks into a master bedroom, they are expecting to see luxury, to see comfort, to see elegance," says Bethany Souza. Remove distracting, unnecessary furniture from the bedroom.
13. The money's in the details.
Crown molding and other details add character and value to your home. "Crown molding is a great thing to do to a room. It's relatively inexpensive - you can spend as little as 50 cents a lineal foot - and it really adds a lot of value, so it's worth it," notes Lisa LaPorta. "People are not going to make an offer and say 'I like that house and I'm going to buy it because it has crown molding,' but it's just one of those little unspoken things that make your house just above the pack."
14. Furnish for selling.
Good furniture placement can help show off a room and makes a huge impact as a buyer walks through, say Terry Haas. "If you want to make a room look bigger, pull the furniture off the wall because people are allowed to see the perimeter of the room, and it creates the illusion of a larger space."
15. Fire up the fireplace.
Making this important feature standout will put money in your pocket. “One simple way to do this is to paint just the fireplace wall an accent color,” says Lisa LaPorta. The color should complement the material of the fireplace itself.
16. Make a good first impression.
You have 10 seconds to make a first impression, so make it count. "Selling a home is a lot like getting a date," says Michael Johnson. "That first impression is big and just like that, it could be over - just like dating. Make sure nothing hits them in the face but good things. What a seller needs to do is stand at the threshold of their front door, and it's really difficult, but sellers really need to be objective and really judge themselves as a buyer would."
17. Opportunity knocks.
Make a good first impression with your front door. "Since the front door is the first thing that buyers touch, it's important to have yours in tiptop shape."
18. Don’t forget the outside.
Improving your backyard and deck will lead to big bucks. Make it feel like a room that just happens to be outside. "People are buying square footage, so tend to your backyard and make it a usable space," advises Toniya Nayak.
"Once you've cleared your yard, it's just really important to get those planter beds full and to have bursting color everywhere you can, as much as you can afford," advises Lisa LaPorta. "We do our show on the East Coast, so it's a good idea to have alternative suggestions for things that you can do in the winter. It's a good idea to use red mulch around a tree to really emphasize the tree and add a punch of color."