Dos And Don'ts Of Selling A House

Selling your house can be one of the most tense and emotional tasks you will face in your life. For most, the house became a place to express yourself and a place where you have built some wonderful family memories.

But, when it comes to selling your home, you must remember this is a business transaction and that you are trying to make someone else fall in love with your house. In order to do this, they must be able to see the home as a place for them to enjoy and build memories based on their own lifestyles and preferences. So the key is to price it right and to prepare the home for sale with neutral colors and few personal touches.

By Lita Epstein | May 13, 2015

Do Clean the Clutter

The cheapest thing you can do to make your home ready to show is to clean up the clutter and show lots of useable space. For example, if you tend to keep small appliances and pots on the countertops, put them away so people can see the greatest amount of available counter space.

Don’t Fill the Closets with Your Clutter

Some people make the mistake of cleaning up the clutter by filling up the closets. The problem with that solution is that you then give the impression there isn’t enough closet space. You are better off renting a storage unit for the clutter until the house is sold.

Do Make Improvements That Will Help Sell the Home

Some improvements, such as landscaping, will give your home curb appeal, which helps speed up the sale of your home. Other improvements can help you increase the price of the home and make it more attractive to most buyers. The most popular is updating kitchens and bathrooms. Decks or other additions to living space can also help, but don’t expect to be fully reimbursed for these improvements.

Don’t Spend on Improvements That Won’t Raise the Price

Large projects that cost you big bucks won’t necessarily raise the price of your home. You’re more likely to take a loss on the amount you spend. Keep the changes small. Check with a realtor before doing any major work to find out whether the work will help sell the house and how much it might add to the price. (See Selling Your House­ Avoid These Mistakes for more pitfalls to avoid.)


Do Paint with Neutral Colors

If you haven’t painted for years, if you have a lot of wallpaper in the home or if you have many color accent walls to match your individual style, think about repainting using neutral colors. Neutral colors provide a blank canvas so buyers can more easily picture their own decorating style in the home. A fresh paint smell also helps to improve odors in the home.

Don’t Paint with Bright and Bold Colors

Your favorite color might actually be one color a potential buyer hates. Even if the buyer loves your floor plan, if they think there will be a lot of work to cover over a color they don’t like, they may just move on to another similar, but more neutral home.

Do Make Your Home Easily Accessible for Showings

Buyers, especially those ready to make an offer, want to see the home when it is convenient for them. Often the most qualified buyers are those on a short trip to an area before a corporate move, who must find a house quickly during that trip. If your home isn’t available to show, the agent will just move on to another house.

Don’t Put Up Barriers for Buyers to See the Home

Some sellers make the mistake of limiting show times to when it is most convenient for them. You can almost guarantee you will miss some buyers with that strategy. You may even miss the one person who would have loved your home and made an offer that day.

The Bottom Line

Always price your home to sell and make it look the best it can to meet someone else’s vision of a home, which might not be your vision. The more neutral and less personal your home shows, the better. (For more tips, see How To Stage Your Home For A Quick Sale and How To Stage Your Home Like A Pro For Free.)

Read more:
Follow us: @Investopedia on Twitter