Make improvements if they make sense, but don’t over improve. You know those little things you’ve been putting off? Well, it’s time to get them done. You’ve seen the statistics about how much money you’ll get back on improvements, but as often as not those numbers are a tad inflated. Remember, prospective buyers have their own tastes and may not share yours. Specifically, you want to address all the senses of the prospective buyer including touch and hearing. The only sense you probably won’t worry about is taste. No one is likely to lick your house. If doors or floor boards squeak, take care of the noise. Rule of thumb: If it doesn’t need done – don’t do it.
Clean and stage your home inside. Do what you must to clear your home of the really personal “you-ness” and set a stage for the buyer to imagine how it would be for them to live in. This may repainting with neutral colors like ivory, grey, and beige; possibly even sagey greens or caramelly browns. Try to strip each room down to its bare necessities because buyers need to experience the benefits of the space. Emphasize light, space, coziness, character, and those special features that each room has.
Assemble home documentation. Anything concerning home improvements or appliances you intend to leave should be assembled into a notebook or folder so you can answer questions quickly. It’s another great sales tool for showing that you have consistently maintained your home.
Work on curb appeal. Curb appeal is that special look that attracts the second glance and makes the buyer want to come in. The yard should be tidy with flowers deadheaded and lawns mowed. Trees should look lush and healthy and shrubs should be neatly shaped. The front entry should be welcoming and obvious. The buyer should know where to go. Window boxes and planters should be freshly planted with healthy flowers to attract the eye. Curtains or window treatments should look good from the street.
Price fairly. Because you are selling your home yourself, you can price your home at the current appraised value. To ensure a quick sale, the value needs to stand out compared with other area homes that are similar. Use grocery store marketing too. Instead of pricing your home at $100,000, list it at $98,900. Compared with other similar homes in your immediate neighborhood listing at $101,000, the buyer is going to perceive that difference as much larger than it is in reality.