How to Sell Your Home for the Most Money

As a homeowner thinking about putting your home on the market, the number one question keeping you awake at night just might be, "How do I get the most money for my home?" There are many variables that play into how much you get when you sell. Some variables you have no control over. Like the current market and the timing of your listing. But there are other variables you do control. Don't stress over the things you can't control. Channel your energy into the things you can. Here is a list of pro-active things you can do that will yield the highest return on your investment and ensure you get the most money for your home.

Choose a great Real Estate Agent

Selling your home is not a DIY activity. Having a knowledgeable agent will set you up for success. They are experts in their field. DIY is popular in this age of information. There are many things you can do on your own. But there are so many things you shouldn't do yourself, even if you can. You'd never rewire your home without hiring an electrician. They simply have knowledge you don't have, even though you can google how-to videos. It's just not wise to do electrical work on your own. The same is true of selling your home. You may able to, but you simply don't have the knowledge and resources that agents have access to. Rely on your agent's experience and advice. The National Association of Realtor's found in a profile of home buyers and sellers in 2016 that the average FSBO sales price was $185,000. The average price with an agent representing the seller sold for $245,000. The difference of $60,000 is worth the price of using an agent.

Make sure the Price is Right

Now that you have an agent, consult with them to come up with a competitive price. This is a crucial issue in selling your home. If priced too high, your home could stagnate on the market and over time become less desirable. If priced too low, you won't achieve your goal of getting the most for your listing. Experienced agents have access to tools that help them research comps (recently sold homes in your neighborhood) and guide you through pricing your home right for your area.

Now that you have an agent to guide you through the process and you've priced your home right, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Putting in a little sweat equity can yield big results.

If it's broken fix it

Do a thorough evaluation of your home. Look at it through the eyes of a potential buyer. If you were looking to buy this home, what would you want fixed? Are there holes in walls? Patch and paint them. Do all the faucets work? All the door handles? Look for broken and ripped screens or windows. Missing molding. If you leave things un-done you send the signal to prospective buyers that the house has not been maintained. Don't make the mistake of selling your home "as-is" if you want to get the highest sales price.

Create a clean slate

One of the joys of homeownership is putting your personal touch on it. You may have enjoyed adding that pop of color to your walls. A different color in each room made you happy. But experience has shown that most buyers are more drawn to a clean slate. Neutral colors sell homes. Buyers need to have a clean palate to imagine their own belongings in your home. A new coat of paint is an affordable way to make your home look fresh.

Fix bad smells

This may seem like a no-brainer, but honestly, we can go nose-blind to smells in our own home. It might help to ask your agent for an honest answer. Do you have odors that need fixing? Are you a pet owner? Get the carpets cleaned to eliminate pet stink. Are there kitchen or bathroom odors? Investigate your home for smells that can turn off potential buyers. Trying to mask smells with air freshener won't fool anyone and may make it look like there's more wrong with your house than is true.

Small Upgrades can yield Big Returns

Right before putting your home on the market is not the time to undertake massive remodeling projects. It is likely you won't re-coup what you invest. But small upgrades can be just enough to freshen and brighten your home's appeal. Some of the projects that can bring the highest return on investment are updated light fixtures, faucets, and even new backsplashes. Changing out the light fixture in the bathroom, especially if you upgrade the faucet to match can make the whole room appear upgraded. Pay attention to what is currently in vogue both in finish and style. You want to give an upscale feel. It is often said that the kitchen sells the house. If you can't afford to replace the cabinets and update countertops to granite, this might be a good time to consider adding a beautiful backsplash or updating flooring. Tile is usually around $10 a sq ft, making this a more affordable option than gutting the kitchen. Stick to the rule that you want to keep it neutral. Classic and neutral are going to draw the eye of home-buyers much better than a bright color you love but they might hate.

Go Green

Just like complete remodels are not the thing to do when putting your home on the market, big green friendly upgrades aren't necessary either. Adding solar panels and bamboo flooring may not be in the budget, but replacing old appliances with EnergyStar models can be a better way to go.

Upgrade to Smart Features

There are so many new-fangled ways to up your home's I.Q. What are the features most buyers are interested in? Research done by The National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that even though most consumers (82 percent) don't ask their real estate agent about smart home devices, they notice and are looking for those things themselves. The study also found that 42 percent of agents are interested in smart home certification and over half of buyers considered smart home security functions to be "very important". Some of the smart features buyers are looking for are automated thermostats for temperature control, along with smart locks and lighting. They also look for smart smoke alarms. Adding a few smart features to your home could put your home ahead of your competition.

Stage for selling

Hiring a professional stager is one option to make your home look its best for showing. A stager can either advise you on the best placement of your own furniture and d├ęcor or they can bring in whole sets of furniture to give your home a decorator look. Your agent can help you locate a good stager. But if a stager is beyond your budget, there are still simple things you can do to help make your home look staged. The most important thing to do is declutter. Be brutal in your evaluation of your home. If you are in the habit of storing food and appliances on the kitchen counters, hide them in the pantry or cabinets. Anything on a counter top, even the bathroom, should be moved behind a closed door. You want to give the impression of everything being clean and fresh. Eliminate all stacks and piles, even if you need to put things in storage. You should also de-personalize. This is a time to take down family photos, large collections, anything really personal. You want your buyer to be able to visualize themselves living in your home. Years of experience has shown that buyers have a harder time doing that when all your personal belongings are in view.

Create Curb Appeal

Go out to the street in front of your home and look at your house. Now imagine what a buyer is seeing when they walk up. How can you freshen the look? Start by mowing the lawn and trimming the shrubs. Does your door need a clean coat of paint? Can you plant some colorful flowers in the flower beds or add mulch? Potted plants and flowers around the porch and doorway are very inviting. If you have a wrap-around porch or back deck, seating areas can help buyers imagine themselves enjoying the outdoor spaces around your home. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Make sure the impression your buyers get from the moment they step out of their car is a positive one.

Photography matters

Now that your house is all ready to show, make sure you get professional photos taken for your listing. 90% of consumers start their home search online. The listings that showcase professional photography receive 139% more clicks than similar listings in the same postal code. This is really your first chance to make a first impression. Your photos are not the single variable that will sell your house, but great photos can increase your showings. The higher the traffic through your home, the higher your chance of selling your home and getting the best price.

The professionals at are ready to assist you with all your listing needs. We have the expertise, knowledge, and resources to help you get your home sold. Call us today!

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Categories: Home Selling

Cities: Virginia Beach Chesapeake Norfolk Williamsburg Newport News Hampton Suffolk

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