Buy low and sell high is a strategy for investing in stocks, bonds, or houses. Whether your objective is a bigger house, retirement funds, or getting by after a significant life change, your home is most likely the biggest asset you have. When you are ready to sell, you can do things to maximize your profit.
One way to think about it is this…if you were to look to buy your home all over again, what are its best features? What would make you say WOW? What would you want to be updated? You are your home's worst critic. You know its intimate details. A buyer of your home wants to see possibilities. They want to see new beginnings and picture a life there. You can create this impression.
1. Boost Your Curb Appeal
Driving by your home or pulling up to the garage is a buyer's first impression. Can they imagine their car sitting in the driveway? Can they picture themselves walking up to the front door, sitting on the porch, or getting the mail from the box at the curb? Improve the look of your home by:
- Clearing clutter
- Painting trim, siding, or the door
- Patching the roof
- Placing a planter on the porch or a wreath on the door
- Add a new knob or light fixture
- Cleaning windows
Continuing with the first impression, a well-manicured lawn, healthy trees, and a welcoming place to sit or play can boost your home price by 5 - 12%.
- Mow the lawn and trim around the driveway, sidewalk, and walkways
- Power-wash your patio or stain the deck. Talk to your agent to see if upgrading the deck will give you an advantage
- Set out your best garden furniture or knick-knacks, but keep it simple
- Sweep the walkway
- Trim shrubs or dead branches from trees
3. Energy-Efficient Insulation
Buyers want a warm, cozy home. Drafts, leaks, or inadequate insulation let in air and bugs, creating higher electric bills. Improve energy efficiency by:
- Using caulk to seal up window leaks
- Adding a layer of insulation to the attic
- Fixing door jambs, so they fit snugger
- Replacing screens with tears or holes
The easiest home improvement you can make is to add a layer of paint - outside or inside. This covers up scuffs, scratches, and holes where you hung pictures. Choose neutral colors and think about creating a blank canvas rather than letting your personality shine. Paint is inexpensive and can brighten up dark corners. Painting projects include:
- The front door and window trim
- Cabinets that are a dark color
- Any room to make it look more welcoming
- Any walls that have a bold color choice should be painted a more neutral color
5. Update Kitchen & Bathroom
Kitchen and Bathroom remodels are massive undertakings and only done when necessary. There are some less costly things you can do that create a significant impact:
- Replace light fixtures, add a new faucet or door pulls
- Paint kitchen cabinets if they are a dark color
- Retile a backsplash or shower
- Upgrade flooring
- Replace appliances so they all match
- Add new countertops
Staging involves taking an objective look at how your home looks to a potential buyer. Where you see memories, others might see clutter. While you can do this yourself, a professional can come in and advise you on how to make your home look the best. Over 70% of homes in urban and suburban settings are staged, creating an advantage.
This might involve rearranging furniture, doing a deep clean, putting personal items in storage, or rehoming Fido for a short period. Simple steps involve:
- Adding lighting
- Creating neutral palettes and moods
- Placing a cover over your worn sofa
- Setting the table
- Decorating extra rooms to show possibilities
- Making things smell lovely and homey
7. Leverage Digital & Social
The more visibility you can get to your home in today's market, the more potential buyers you will attract. Choose an agent with a comprehensive digital strategy:
- Use all available social media platforms, including local pages
- Create a video walkthrough of the home for buyers; including floor plans, views, and aerial views of the property
- An online digital footprint of floorplans, warranty documents, and maintenance records.
- If the home is a fixer-upper or potential investment property, advertise in forums where these buyers congregate
- Make sure the realtor has the home listed on all available sites that reach out of town and local buyers
8. Working with a Knowledgeable Agent
Choosing the right realtor can make your life easy and sell your home fast. Here are some things to look for in an agent:
- Choose an agent that knows the neighborhood
- Choose an agent that is tech-savvy and innovative in reaching potential buyers
- Choose an agent who believes in your home and has your best interests at heart.
- Choose an agent with a proven track record of sales and is capable of getting sellers a high rate of return.
- Choose an agent with a track record of happy sellers and buyers.
9. Price Your Home Properly
Pricing your home involves more than just picking a number. Just because a home in your neighborhood sold for a large amount of money does not guarantee yours will. A home market evaluation will:
- Compare your home's square footage, neighborhood, and features with other similar homes sold in the area.
- Ensure that your home has a better chance of a quicker sale
- Ensure that you are getting the best return on investment.
A home market evaluation can also point out features you might consider improving to fetch a better price, including the ones mentioned here.
Selling a home is a big step. You made those four walls your home, and it can be hard picturing someone else living there, but you need to think of this as a business transaction. Follow these tips, and you have a better chance of fetching a higher rate of return. The right buyer for your home is out there; you need to get their attention and show them your home's best aspects.