Besides staging, sellers also should take a few more steps to ease the stress of their sale. Realtor.com® offers up some of the following often-overlooked tips:
1. Highlight improvements and any issues.
“If you’ve owned your home for a while, make a list of all the problems you’ve solved for a while, make a list of all the problems you’ve solved while you’ve lived there,” suggests Avery Boyce, a real estate pro with Compass Real Estate in Washington, D.C. For example, be ready to disclose any potential past issues like chimney fires, water damage, or a flood in the basement. Disclose “invisible improvements,” such as a French drain system, too, says Boyce.
2. Google your address.
Nearly all buyers now search online for homes, and sellers need to be aware of how their listing looks on the Internet too. For example, Google Maps’ street view may not show your recent home improvements, so you’ll want to flag those updates in your listing. Also, “is the site’s estimated value very different from your asking price? It might be because tax records have the wrong information about the number of bedrooms or bathrooms your house has, and this is easily fixed,” says Boyce.
3. Test out the doorbell.
A lack of cosmetic repairs, even seemingly minor, can cost you a sale. “First impressions make all the difference,” says Marianne Leonard Cashman, a real estate professional with William Raveis Real Estate in Andover, Mass. “A well-kept home, starting with the view from the curb, gives the perception that the seller has great pride in the home and has taken good care of it—which translates into less energy and costs for the buyer as they prepare to move in.”
4. Clean everything.
Buyers are going to snoop everywhere, from inside drawers and cabinets to even the dishwasher. They are going to judge how clean everything is, too. “Spending the money on a service to deep-clean your home will come back to you at least 10 times in your sales price,” says Boyce.
5. Designate which items aren’t included in the sale.
If the custom window treatments aren’t included, sellers need to be sure to let their agent know. “The law says that anything bolted to the wall or ceiling goes to the buyer unless specifically excluded in the contract,” says Boyce. “If you want to take your flat-screen TV, chandelier, or custom pot rack, be sure to label it as soon as the house goes on the market, so that buyers don’t bank on owning that item and wind up disappointed.” Read more: Fixture Feuds