Curb Appeal. First impressions matter. So a house with overgrown bushes and patchy grass won't make a good impression. Be sure to weed, trim bushes, add new mulch and put new flowers in the planters in the front of the house. Landscaping is a small cost, yet is one of the most important things to do to help sell a house. The good thing is it generally just requires some sweat equity and an afternoon to turn a boring front lawn into a beautiful work of art. Plus, if your house is in good shape on the outside, buyers will see it as one less thing they have to spend money on once they move in.
Make all necessary repairs. Even minor things, such as a leaky faucet or chipped paint on a baseboard, can suggest to buyers that you might not be maintaining the house well in other ways, too. Replace all burned out light bulbs and make sure your windows are clean inside and out.
Stage the house. Staging involves deeply cleaning, decluttering, depersonalizing and arranging furnishings to make your house as appealing as possible. According to a survey by the International Association of Home Staging Professionals and StagedHomes.com, 95% of staged homes sell in 23 days or less, on average.
De-personalize. Do this – pretend you’re moving out. Take all the things that make your home “your” personal sanctuary (e.g., family photos, religious décor and kitschy memorabilia), pack them up and put them in storage. Buyers want to visualize your house being their house – and it’s difficult for them to do that with all your personal items marking the territory as yours.
De-clutter. Keep the faux-moving in motion. Pack up all your tchotchkes, anything that is sitting on top of a countertop, table or other flat surfaces. Anything that you haven’t used in at least a year? That goes, too. Give away what you can, throw away as much as possible of what remains, and then pack the rest to get it ready to move.
Clear all kitchen and bathroom counters. There’s certainly no need for your own toothbrush hanging around when presenting the house. Remove them whenever buyers are coming over.
Remove pet bowls, toys, and beds before showing. This is usually missed out if you have pets. Although you might love your little cat or dog- the next buyer might not want to be reminded that you have pets.
Set the price right. View listings in your area at Realtor.com, Zillow.com or Trulia.com. If most of the homes that are comparable in size, age and location to yours have hardwood floors and granite countertops and yours has carpet and formica, you'll need to set your price lower (or make updates to fetch a higher price). If the reverse is true, you might be able to set your price a little higher and point out to potential buyers that your house has more features than comparable properties. Most importantly, though, you need to be willing to negotiate.
Spread the word. Post on Facebook that you might be putting your house on the market soon. Tell people you come into contact with that you are selling your house. Even if you hire a real estate agent, you should let as many people as possible know that your house is for sale. Someone who isn't even in the market for a new house (and not checking real estate listings) may have secretly been longing for your home and might jump at the chance to buy it.