5 Killer Secrets to Selling your Home at the Highest Price

home staging kitchen



You most likely purchased your home for stability and equity. When it’s time to move on you rightfully are ready to capitalize on your investment, years of hard work, timely mortgage payments, sweat equity, maintenance and other improvement costs.  Here’s some advice on how to get the highest price for your home with little stress.



Detachment & Anxiety


By detaching from the home, you allow the experts and marketplace to guide the sale to successful completion and maximize the value potential of the property.


Sentimental value, marginal equity or plans that may be relying on the successful sale of this home can instill uncertainty and fear.   Homeowners worry that their home may not sell or sell for less than what they’ve invested in it.


Selling a home often means letting go of a home full of cherished memories.  Have a family meeting where you openly discuss the positive and negative features of the home, the memories made here and plans for your next home.  Focus on the future and view the sale of this house as a commodity in a business transaction.  After all, this is just a space and your home is wherever your family resides.


Preparation is the mother of success. To begin the process, do your research, price it right, hire the right professionals, prep the house and prepare yourself to be open minded and flexible. Emotions typically run high in real estate transactions, which can cause delays and disruptions and sometimes even ruin a sale.  By detaching from the home, you allow the experts and marketplace to guide the sale to successful completion and maximize the value potential of the property.



The Right Team


When buying or selling a home you need a team you can trust to advocate and guide you through the process.  The right professionals can help you realize maximum value, negate excess time on the market and make for a smooth transaction.


The most critical step in selling your home is knowing its true market value.  This ensures a timely sale without leaving money on the table.  A Pre-listing appraisal is the most underutilized tool available to a Seller.  A certified residential appraiser spends all their time studying the market data in their local area.  Besides giving you the most accurate value and selling time for your market they can also guide you to focus your dollars on repairs and improvements that will maximize return on investment.


Karen Martin Kelley TheriotWith the right pricing strategy in mind interview several agents.  Your goal is to find a trustworthy professional agent who is an expert in negotiating, will advocate for your best interest, can navigate through challenging situations and stand their ground when dealing with unscrupulous or difficult parties during a transaction.


If your budget allows, a staging professional can help sell your home for top dollar.  Consider a home stager as an artist who can create an illusion of a lifestyle using your home as the canvas.  Some agents will help guide their sellers to stage the home themselves.  Either way a vacant home typically sells better when it is staged.


If you suspect your home needs some major repairs, you can proactively add on a home inspector to your team of real estate professionals.  Tackling problems head on can help you move confidently through the sales process.  However, by having a home inspection done prior to listing your home, you must either fix the items noted in the inspection report or disclose them to a potential buyer.



Price your Home Right


Price your home at the appraised value or even 5-percent below.


Price your home at the appraised value or even 5-percent below.  This is will give your property increased attention when buyers are comparing similar homes in the neighborhood.  Being in a position where you receive multiple offers and create a frenzy is a better strategy than overpricing it and waiting for that unicorn buyer to come along.  Allow competing buyers to bring you the best possible price.

“One of the biggest obstacles to overcome is overpricing a home when it’s initially listed. As a Seller, when a REALTOR® offers solid comparable sales, but you insist the list price be higher, you are setting yourself up to fail. The market changes daily and, while we have seen a great increase in home values over the past few years, indication now is that we have peaked and will hold steady for the foreseeable future. Properties that are overpriced generally tend to stay on the market longer, or receive below market offers. If you price the home at market value, you should achieve your goal of selling within a reasonable time,” said Karen Martin, REALTOR®.

Overpricing your home will eventually lead to multiple price reductions or being passed over completely for homes which are more competitively priced.  In case you do stumble upon that unicorn buyer that is willing to pay your asking price there is a good chance it may not pass the lenders appraisal.  Read  The Poor Strategy of Pricing a Home Above Market Value.






Landscaping, Maintenance & Staging


The goal is for the buyer to walk around and imagine themselves in the home.  You can opt to hire a professional stager, try virtual staging or do-it-yourself.


First impressions matter.  While you don’t need to go overboard, some simple landscaping in front of house will add to your homes curb appeal.  You want your front yard to be tidy and appealing as the buyers drive up.  Plant some flowers, keep the lawn mowed and trim the bushes. Read 7 Cheap Landscaping Ideas That’ll Rake in Cash Later.


Since you’ll be moving soon this is a great time to pack up your non-essentials and send it to storage.  You want the rooms, closets and garage to look spacious to the buyers.  Showing your home in the best possible way will maximize your home value.


staging a bedroom to sellBuyers want to know the home has been well cared for.  Find a good handy man and make a punch list of small items that need repair or replacement, like broken hardware, outdated fixtures, leaky faucet, broken fence, running toilet, cracked tiles, holes in the wall, maybe even recaulk around bathtub and windows.  Replace any burned-out light bulbs and stock up on extra to make sure the home is always well lit.  Here’s 7 Important Repairs to Make Before Selling a House.


If there are rooms that look a bit dreary consider a fresh coat of paint in a neutral color.  Painting is one of the least expensive ways to transform the appearance of a home and help it sell faster.


Consider hiring a professional cleaning company to make the house sparkle.  You’ll want them to wash the windows inside and out, polish the fixtures and appliances, wax the floors, wipe down the cabinets, dust from top to bottom, including fans, blinds and cabinets, clean the drapes and remove ashes and debris from fireplaces.


Now that your home has been decluttered, repaired, painted and cleaned it’s time to stage it.  Strategically place select furniture and accessories that can help a potential buyer envision the space as a warm and inviting home.  An important part of staging is de-personalizing the house.  You should remove all family photos, keepsakes and collectibles.  The goal is for the buyer to walk around and imagine themselves in the home.  You can opt to hire a professional stager, try virtual staging or do-it-yourself.  Here’s 30 DIY Home Staging Tips to help you get started.



Protect Your Home Equity


Despite all the fancy marketing, rest assured you will give up most of your hard-earned equity.


These days there is a lot of marketing propaganda and excitement created around the iBuyer platform.  You are taunted to skip the decluttering and fixing, hiring of any real estate professionals, the open houses and multiple showings and the anxiety that goes along with all of it and just sell your home directly to an iBuyer.  Despite all the fancy marketing, rest assured you will give up most of your hard-earned equity.  A simple way to gauge this is have an appraisal done prior to interviewing agents including any iBuyers. If capitalizing on earned equity is not a priority to you wouldn’t renting have been the smarter choice?  The reward for the years you’ve spent caring for the home, making timely mortgage payments, paying HOA fees, home warranties and maintenance items is the equity you will realize on the sale of the home.  Don’t give it away too easily. Read An Honest Review of Opendoor.



Final Thoughts


You have carefully selected your real estate team, prepped your home well and priced it accurately or even below market value.  You have calmed your anxieties, disassociated from the space, decluttered, depersonalized, fixed, cleaned and staged it to wow the buyers that stream in. Is there anything left to do?  Yes, Keep it show-ready.


Keep your home tidy so you won’t have to spend too much time cleaning up prior to a showing.  You want to accept most all the showings requested, even if they’re on short notice.  Find a park or dog friendly restaurant so you can gather up the family including pets when its time for a showing.




Related Posts:

How to Write a Real Estate Listing that Sells

6 Tips to take Listing Photos the Right Way

Is the Fall a Good Time to Sell Your Home?

5 Things Appraisers Wish Sellers Knew



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Gynell Vestal

Certified Residential Appraiser, Gynell has a diverse appraisal background covering Commercial, Residential, Rural, Complex and Luxury Properties as well as National Appraisal Review work in the secondary Market. She began her Appraisal training in Oklahoma in 2001 covering Rural and Commercial Properties. With several years as a National Review Appraiser at Fannie Mae and other big banks, Gynell has keen insight into the secondary market guidelines and requirements.

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