Ever wonder why some homes sell in a day and others linger for months? We’ve got tips from the experts to get your place off the market, stat.
1. GET A NEW HUE FOR YOUR FRONT DOOR.
A fresh coat of paint for your front door sets the tone of a well kept, updated place, says Julea Joseph, lead stylist and owner of Reinventing Space, based in Palos Park, Illinois. Joseph likes a line of paint by Benjamin Moore called Grand Entrance (it comes in 11 colors), which was designed specifically for the front door. “I always choose a color that makes a bit of a statement, yet complements the home’s existing exterior colors,” she says.
First, prep the door by cleaning it and give it a light sanding to smooth out any old paint lines. Use a good brush to apply the paint.
2. UPDATE YOUR KITCHEN ... A LITTLE.
Buying new cabinetry is expensive, and full custom cabinetry can take months to complete. But you can update your existing cabinets by painting them white, says Sheri Schueller, broker associate with Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty in Chicago. Schueller also suggests painting the island cabinetry gray (she recommends Benjamin Moore’s Kendall Grey), which will contrast nicely with the white.
The most luxurious homes have Calacatta gold marble kitchen countertops, but if you’re updating for a sale, Schueller says to consider swapping out old granite with less expensive marble that has a similar look. “Carrera marble is one of my favorites for a more reasonable cost,” she says.
3. CHANGE YOUR BEDDING.
The focal point of any master bedroom is the bed, and the bedding has to look magazine-worthy, like something you’d want to jump right into, Joseph says. “People buy homes because they fall in love with them, so make that master bedroom an emotional statement with an irresistible bed,” she says. A duvet cover set will allow you to slipcover your existing comforter and a few of your pillows.
To make your bed look irresistibly cozy, create layers by adding another comforter folded at the end of the bed, plenty of pillows, and a few accent pillows, Joseph says. If you don’t have a headboard, or if your headboard isn’t a statement maker, a few Euro-size pillows (26x25) will fill the gap. And Joseph says you should never be able to see under a bed or to see sheets hanging down, so if needed, use a bed-skirt and proper bed-styling on days your broker takes photos or shows the house.
4. LIST YOUR HOME ON THE RIGHT DAY.
Homes listed on Thursdays sell faster and for more money than homes listed on other days of the week, according to a 2015 study by Redfin. Redfin's study shows homes listed on a Thursday have a 22 percent chance of selling above list price (compared to the 17.5 percent chance they have when listed on a Sunday).
5. DO THE DISHES DAILY.
You never know when your broker might call you about scheduling a last-minute showing, so you need to be prepared, says Greg Jaroszewski, real estate broker with Gagliardo Realty in Oak Park, Illinois. “The beds should always be made and the dishes should never be left in the sink,” he says.
6. HAVE AN OPEN HOUSE IMMEDIATELY.
If you’re willing to have an open house, do it within the first week: The Redfin study found that holding an open house during the first week that the home is listed will help your home sell for 2 percent more than what it would sell for if you held your open house later. It will also help you sell your home within 90 days.
7. HIRE A PHOTOGRAPHER.
Your home will sell up to three weeks faster if your pictures are amazing, and you’ll get $3400 more for it, according to Redfin.
8. TAKE COMMUNITY PICTURES.
Your photographer should take a minimum of 40 pictures, and some should include the community, says Michael Mahon, president of First Team Real Estate in California. For example, if your home is near a beach, make sure the photographer includes a picture of the surf. If it’s near a popular shopping mall, include a photo of the mall, Mahon says.
9. PRICE THE HOME CORRECTLY FROM THE START.
Your house will get five times more visits the first day it hits the market than it does a week later, which means everything has to be perfect the first day. Testing the waters with a higher price and planning on a price drop later could scare away prospective buyers.