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10 Tips on How to Sell Your House Fast

Putting your home on the market? A local realtor shares selling tips on how to get that purchase agreement signed quickly.

Declutter, freshen and – cover up the tarantulas. That's the advice of at least one local expert for homeowners looking to sell their house quickly

Spring is the best time to sell your home, according to lendingtree.com. If you’re getting ready to sell, realtor Ginny Fisher of  in Birmingham says to focus on first impressions.

“The advice I give to all my sellers?" Fisher said. "The buyer will be making judgments about the house from the moment they pull up in front of it, so take the time to get your house ready to put on the market and look at your home from a buyer’s perspective.”

Fisher, who’s been a realtor for 15 years at Hall & Hunter, added, “Spending the time and some money to make your house sparkle will pay off.”

Laura Scaccia of Troy knows all about how to succeed in selling a home. She recently sold her four-bedroom, ranch-style home in Troy in just one week. “My top two recommendations,” Scaccia offered, “are fresh paint and de-cluttering."

And if you have tarantulas, read on.

Prepping for the big sale

Fisher offers these tips for prepping your home for the big sale: 

Curb Appeal. Look at your house with a critical eye. When a potential buyer drives by or pulls in your driveway, you want them to have a positive feeling before even stepping inside —  a neatly trimmed lawn and shrubs, fresh mulch, a clean walkway and porch all are important. Spend a little money and plant cheerful flowers in a charming pot on the front porch.

A new front or storm door and polished brass or new hardware will make a huge difference and tell the Buyer that the home is cared for.

Declutter. This is critical. Remove all your family photos, mementos and collections. You want the buyer to picture themselves living there and  not be distracted looking at your things. If the house is cluttered it gives a message that the seller is not ready to leave. Keep the tabletops clean and clear; remove most everything from your kitchen and bathroom counters.

• Check the Walls. If, say, a teenager has offensive or controversial posters in his or her room, remove them and replace with art posters. I once looked at a house where the teenager had an entire wall, floor-to-ceiling, lined with glass cages filled with tarantulas! The homeowners ended up covering them with a sheet. 

Organize Closets and Cupboards. Less is better as it makes them look bigger.

Neutralize Colors with a Fresh Coat of Paint. Again, you don’t want to showcase your favorite colors and collections, but should rather provide a clean palette/backdrop so that the potential buyers can imagine themselves there with their own furnishings, tastes, etc.

Clean, Clean, Clean! Inside and out ... every surface, window, floor and carpet should be clean and fresh. Polish hardwood floors.
 
• Let There be Light.
Push aside or open your window coverings to let in as much light as possible.
 
• Replace Carpets if Needed
If the carpet is old and worn and can't be cleaned, then replace it.  

• Remove the 'Dated Label.' If a house is labeled "dated," it can delay showings, so try to update kitchens and bathrooms, especially master bathrooms, which are critical to a sale. Redoing kitchens and baths can be expensive, but it is a big payoff. No budget for a major renovation? Consider new hardware for cabinetry, a new powder-room mirror, a fresh coat of semi-gloss paint for cabinetry and walls in off-white. Also, and have a lot of inexpensive kitchen and bath cabinets for quick powder room, master bath and kitchen face-lifts. If you can’t do anything else, at least paint the walls, trim, etc.

• Know Your Neighborhood.  If everyone has granite countertops in your neighborhood, then you should have something just as nice as granite. Or consider something like Silestone, a natural quartz option.  

Bryan Bentley (Editor) May 19, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Having sold my own home a few years ago, I can say this article is spot on. There are many inexpensive things that will pay dividends for you in the end. I can help with many of these things. Cleaning up the landscaping, as well as decluttering the property. Gutters should be clean, and free of debris. I have experience repairing holes in walls, and painting as well. I have great references, and would love the opportunity to help prepare your home for sale, or even handle some work you may want done, but do not have the time. My address & qualifications can be found on my blog here at the Patch. http://plymouth-mi.patch.com/blog_posts/unemployed-in-america
John McKay (Editor) May 20, 2012 at 06:49 AM
Best of luck, Bryan!

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