Selling Your Home: Six Tips for Success

Selling your home is a major decision that involves emotional and financial considerations. While it can be difficult to be objective about your home, attracting buyers is the name of the game for a quick sale.

1. Increase your home's curb appeal

The National Association of Realtors® advises homeowners to spruce up areas that buyers can see from the street. What buyers see as they arrive at your home can make or break their decision to view your home. Better Homes and Gardens recommends repainting or replacing your home's front door and its hardware. Mow the lawn, trim unruly and overgrown landscaping and clean off the front porch. Pots of flowers and a new doormat welcome prospective buyers to your home.

2. Hire a licensed real estate agent or broker

You've seen "For sale by owner" signs and may be tempted to save money by selling your home yourself. Don't go there. Real estate pros know local markets and what buyers in your neighborhood want in a home. Real estate pros can develop a marketing plan for your home and network with housing industry professionals. They can provide referrals for everything from home repairs to closing agents. Real estate agents and brokers don't get paid unless your home sells, so they'll do everything possible to help sell your home.

3. Ditch the clutter

Sure, you're proud of your kids' athletic awards, family photos and ceramic hand prints from kindergarten, but the National Association of Realtors® says it's important to provide buyers with a clear view of your home's potential. Clutter can obscure appealing features and make rooms seem smaller. Tidy bookshelves and remove items from counter tops and tables. You want buyers to see all that your home has to offer without being distracted by excessive personal effects.

4. Deodorize your home

Steam clean carpets, rugs and upholstery. Clean walls and windows with a white vinegar solution. Dry clean draperies and disinfect bathrooms, the laundry room and pet areas. Ask a friend or neighbor to visit after you clean and before your home is shown, as it's easy to become used to everyday odors that offend buyers. Avoid masking odors with sprays, candles and potpourri as buyers may be allergic to aromatic products.

5. Leave

Homeowners' presence during showings can pressure prospective buyers and interfere with presentation of your property. Allow your home to be shown professionally and discuss showings with your agent or broker afterward. Remove pets if possible, or make sure they are secure and that your real estate agent knows of their presence. Your pet boa constrictor won't help convince homeowners that your place is their next place; pet noises and misbehavior detracts from showing your home.

6. It's all about teamwork

The National Association of Realtors® says that selling your home requires a great marketing plan and cooperation between you and your family, buyers, real estate agents and third party vendors such as appraisers and home inspectors. Comply with suggestions, requests and provide access to your home as needed.

When you're ready to sell your home, these tips and guidance from your real estate agent can help accomplish a quick sale.

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