• Sarah Lipkowitz

How To Sell Your Home For More Money

Updated: Dec 30, 2019

Everyone has a number in their head when they sell their home. That number is the amount they’d like (or need) to walk away with after closing. Here are a few tips to help you achieve your goal.

Stage Your Home. Staging is an important tool for those who want higher offers on their homes…which is everyone. It can help modernize a home and enable buyers to get a feel for the space. A room that is cluttered or—on the opposite end of the spectrum—empty makes it tough for buyers to see the potential. Sounds cheesy, but the stats don’t lie. Staging can help you sell your home faster for an average of 6% more.

The most important rooms to stage are the kitchen, dining room, living room, and master bedroom. Expect to pay $300-600 per room. If you can’t imagine paying this amount and would rather take a DIY approach, check out my article on staging.

Create Some Curb Appeal. The first thing buyers see is the outside of your home so it stands to reason that this would be an integral part of getting better offers. Much like the interior, presentation of the outside of your home can elicit a knee-jerk reaction from potential buyers. If you don’t want to drop thousands on a landscaper who promises to make your home look like the Gardens of Versailles, then take a look at these inexpensive ways to spruce up your front yard.

Hire An Agent. Aaaand here’s the plug. Really though, there are a number of reasons it’s a good idea to hire an agent. Even in a hot market, selling a home is more work than putting up a sign and telling your Facebook friends. Buyers are judging your home from afar. Sites such as Zillow and Trulia give buyers unprecedented access. Realtors have access to the MLS and affiliate sites. We also have knowledge of the current trends and the network to market your home effectively in today’s world. Not to mention, it can be difficult for an owner to make time for showings.

There is also the issue of contracts. Contracts are much longer than they used to be. In fact, they are routinely dozens of pages long. Agents act as guides through the process and also buffers in negotiations. Agents, though financially invested, are not emotionally invested in the transaction and are therefore well equipped to navigate any bumps in the road. What does this have to do with making more money from the sale? Negotiations can be contentious. You want a good negotiator on your side to look out for your best interests.

Make Repairs. Home inspections always turn up a few issues with the house. This is especially true for older homes. Some sellers might consider a pre-inspection so they are not met with any surprises (keep in mind that you will then have to disclose any defects you choose not to repair). Surprises can cost you a lot of money. A buyer might ask for the repair to be done or ask for compensation. Or they might walk away entirely leaving you to put your home back on the market and the longer it is on the market, the lower the offers will be.

Make Some Renovations. Be careful with renovations. Remember, the kitchen you have already has a value. You can spend $50,000 on a renovation, but you may not recoup the full amount of that investment. Be strategic. Consider converting an attic to a bedroom or renovating a bathroom. Minor renovations can pay off too.

Be Sure You Can Transfer Title. Be sure of your ability to transfer title. If it turns out there is ground rent on the property that can’t be redeemed, then you may have to compensate the buyer by lowering the price. If a court case prevents you from transferring title, then a deal might fall through. Again, the longer a house is on the market, the lower the offers. Good news! After three months off the market, a listing should appear as a new again. Nevertheless, it is best to get it right on the first try.

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