The phrase “You only get one chance to make a first impression” is a cliché.

It’s also true.  Especially, when preparing your home for sale.

And nowhere is it truer than when it comes to selling your home. The impression potential buyers get from the moment they walk into your home will go a long way toward closing the deal.

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Here are a few things you can do to help in preparing your home, so that you make the best first impression possible:

  • If you have a yard, make sure it’s in good shape. Mow your lawn, get the toys out of the yard, and make sure everything organized and in its place.
  • Touch up small blemishes, make sure your baseboards are clean and painted, check to make sure all the light switches work, and in general pay attention to the little things. Perception plays a huge role in purchasing a home, and you don’t want to lose a buyer over something that would have been an easy fix.
  • “Stage” your home. You know how your home likely looks on a day-to-day basis? Don’t do that. Instead, pretend your in-laws are coming over. If you don’t have in-laws, or don’t have hypercritical in-laws, imagine the type of mother-in-law that you see in the movies, and get the house ready for her. Vacuum, sweep, dust, and put some flowers out. Another important part of staging is to remove personal items and replace them with generics, including furniture. You want buyers to see the property as their next home—not your current home.
  • Find a friend to do a walk-through of your home and give you their perspective as a potential buyer. Don’t take their criticism personally, and use it as an opportunity to improve your home.
  • Check to see if your municipality does an occupancy inspection. If it does, schedule one. It will likely help identify and fix minor issues before a buyer can spot them. The cost for an occupancy inspection is usually relatively low and is worth the investment.

Having a clean, well-cared-for home that has the best curb appeal possible may mean the difference between a home that sells immediately and one that sits on the market far longer than it needs to.

But what if you are choosing a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) option, rather than listing with an agent?

In that case, the advice given here is especially important. You can sell your own home just like a qualified agent would—if you approach the sale professionally. Sell your home as though it were a highly valued asset worthy of the best possible marketing pitch, because that’s what your home is.

In addition to the tips above, remember to hire a professional photographer. Poor photographs are one of the most common (and avoidable) mistakes owners make when selling their home. Tell your networks that you have a home for sale.

(Then what you do is your business.)

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Remember, don’t get defensive with buyers. Like you, they are just trying to get the best deal possible, and are likely trying to negotiate you down, just like you’ll do when you become a buyer again.

And sell.

Follow up with potential buyers. Ask what it will take to get them into your home, and keep an open mind when you hear their response.

Whether you are considering going the FSBO route or choosing to work with one of Transactly’s preferred partner agents, following the advice above will help you get the highest and best offer sooner rather than later.

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