5 must-do steps to sell your house right now

Be smart about the things you choose to invest in, and the things you choose to change

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As a real estate agent, a common question I get is, "What should I do to get our house ready to sell?"

Whether we find ourselves in a nationwide pandemic or in a booming economy the good news is that the steps remain the same.

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Let's be honest, selling your home can be intimidating and overwhelming but that’s why we’re here.

1. First things first. Find a great real estate agent. Actually, find the best.  

Your real estate agent will guide you through the process from day one, and they will also become your new best friend. Your agent will be the expert, so you don’t have to be – that should take some pressure off. Your job? Spend some time on the necessary home improvements. Get them involved at the very beginning stages and remember, the best agents have the best database.

2. The second step to making sure your home is ready to be sold is to spruce up the curb appeal.

Expect buyers to judge a book by its cover, because they will, and your whole goal is to get them through the front door or at least make a phone call. We want to lead those horses to water, and we’re going to make sure they drink. These can be easy fixes like planting some colorful flowers, freshening up some paint and keeping the grass cut.

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Be sure to appeal to the masses. Stay up with current trends, but don’t try to set the trend. Remember the first person you know to have a bowl cut? Don’t be the one that paints your front door hot pink.

3. Next up, declutter your home and clean.

The less there is in your home, the bigger it looks and the more presentable it will be. Less is more, right? This is also a great chance to clean out your house and get rid of anything you don’t want to take with you. No one needs their fourth-place trophy and sorry but lava lamps aren’t making a comeback, so let’s move on to greener -- and cleaner --pastures.

If your home is overflowing with clutter, buyers may worry that there is not enough room. Hiding any valuables, firearms and prescriptions is also key since you cannot trust everyone who walks through your home.

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This step is also a kick start to get busy packing some things up to be ready for your own move. And, no, you still don’t need that lava lamp!

After the decluttering process has been completed, I suggest hiring a professional cleaning service to be sure the house is as clean as possible.

4. Another thing you will want to be sure to do is to make any necessary repairs or touch-ups.

Pay special attention to scrubbing off any scuff marks, touching up baseboards, fixing broken door handles, and any other small repairs. Leaving these unrepaired would create a long to-do list for buyers right off the bat – and that is not appealing, trust me.

Just like tennis great Andre Agassi said some years back in those awesome Canon camera commercials, “image is everything.”

5. Be YOUR buyer. Put yourself in their shoes.  

Remain in the mindset of things you would want to look for if you were searching for a home.

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Be smart about the things you choose to invest in, and the things you choose to change. Keep your home clean – and also smelling great at all times (not like your sweet, four-legged friends if you have them.)

I never knew the difference between an ordinary candle and a nice candle until I got into real estate. Did you also know there’s a difference between average wine and good wine?

There are a million things you can do to get your home ready to sell  but keep it simple. Don’t get carried away, only do what is necessary and let your real estate agent guide you. And then go get a great bottle of wine.

Cheers to a successful home selling process!

Rogers Healy is owner and CEO of Rogers Healy and Associates Real Estate and Healy Property Management.

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