The most important thing to understand is that once you put a “for sale” sign in the yard, it’s no longer your home – it’s a house, that someone else is going to buy and make their home. Let go of the emotional attachment. Take pictures, video, whatever you need to sustain those memories, and then let it go. No one is going to pay a premium because you loved raising your children there. The idea is to start looking at your house like a product that you are trying to sell.
Get the house ready – Clean, de-clutter, and remove most personal items such as family photos, paperwork, children’s artwork, etc. The goal is to make the house as neutral as possible, so a potential buyer can picture their own things in the house.
Get organized – Pull together all important paperwork: surveys, maps, house plans, manuals, warranties, list of contractors/utilities, etc. These things are invaluable to a buyer – and showing that you kept files of these items also shows that you have attention to detail and took care of the property while you lived there. Have these documents available for buyers to peruse at showings.
Price it right – Can’t emphasize this one enough. This is the number one “make it or break it” item – price too high, and you won’t sell. Period.
Make it easy to show – Please, let people show your house. I know it’s inconvenient to keep it clean, shuffle kids and pets, etc. And unfortunately, not all agents plan ahead and give as much notice as you would like. But the more you let it be shown, the sooner it will sell. Understand that agents are trying to sell your house – so let them bring their clients in!
Be helpful and available to answer questions – I just closed a transaction (representing the buyer) where the seller was amazing and willing to answer endless questions about the property. This immediately put my client at ease and therefore the entire transaction ran smoothly.
It’s a tough, competitive market. Make sure that you are doing everything possible to make your house stand out against the competition!