15 Tips to Sell Your Home Fast for More Money

LAST UPDATED: Apr 03, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Jul 20, 2016 | By: Julie Blanner

beautiful farmhouse kitchen

I’ve been urged by a few friends through the years to write about how to sell your home fast, for the highest price possible. I’ve been hesitant to write about it because I’m not a house flipper or real estate agent, but what you may not know is that for one short year, I managed an office of over 30 realtors – in a down market. In addition, we had a lot of success selling our last home and have now purchased 5 of our own over the last 10 years. So why not?

interior design blogger Julie Blanner shares her home in progress

One thing to remember is that buyers get distracted. You don’t want them to think of clutter, but features. These are my tips to sell your home fast with the highest property value possible.

spring home tour

1. First, you need to prioritize. What projects will give you the greatest return on your investment? Start there.

Home design blogger Julie Blanner shares her powder room transformation that blends utility and design

2. Consider painting or touching up the interior and exterior of your home. I know it’s an investment, but a few hundred or thousand could easily be tripled with well selected paint colors. I recommend selecting warm creams over grey because warm colors tend to feel more inviting. You can see the difference paint made in our Colonial home and Tudor here. When we purchased the Tudor, the market was hot. All of the other homes were selling before we could offer. One of the reasons I think ours didn’t sell was the variety and tone of paint colors indoors and out. Buyers couldn’t visualize the space or what to do with a dark, dated home.

IMG_4939-2

3. Painting also helps depersonalize your home. Buyers tend to want move in ready. You know what’s not move in ready? Removing names from walls or telling your son he has to sleep in a hot pink bedroom. In my opinion, you don’t need to remove it all, just keep little hints of your family.

Easy ideas to get organized and maximize space

4. One of the best things you can do when selling your home is also free – declutter! Nothing says “this home lacks storage” like clutter does. In fact, you can use this as an opportunity to make money! Sell pieces you’re not using on Craigslist or donate and receive a tax deduction.

How to organize a hall linen closet

5. Organize. Organizing is not only free {or really inexpensive}, but it gives the illusion of more space. More space = more value/money.

traditional breakfast room / dining area

6. When all of your things are stripped away, few things remain, like lighting. Replace dated or builder’s grade lighting with a few well selected fixtures and you’ll immediately add value, far outweighing your investment.

tips for adding light to a hall and your home

7. Buyers tend to like light and airy homes. Add light to your home with these simple tips.

17 art ideas for your home

8. Turn eyesores into assets. Don’t let buyers become distracted by a funky feature, help them visualize it. We turned a dark, awkward room between the basement stairs and storage room into a guest bedroom – for just $300! We also turned a random sink into a wet bar by adding shelves and staging it with alcohol. Suddenly the basement because useable square footage to entertain guests.

light switch plate cover - easy ways to update a hall

9. Make your home feel new. There are so many simple tweaks that can really make your home feel fresh to buyers.

home blogger Julie Blanner shares her home decorated for summer

10. Vigorously clean your carpet. Each time we’ve looked at homes I’ve been surprised at how dirty seller’s carpets are. Buying a home with dirty carpet might make a buyer worrying about the expense of replacing them.

Outdoor Living | Beautiful decor ideas and how to define your deck or patio as an outdoor living room

11. Use rugs to define a space. Do you have a room that feels lost? Did you know that using a small rug could make your room feel smaller?

Screened In Porch outdoor dining room decor ideas | Photography: Clary Pfeiffer

12. Use curtains to define a space or make windows appear larger by hanging them high and wide.

garden ideas

outdoor decorating ideas - garage design

13. Add flowers or plants for realtor photos and showings. Flowers make a home feel lived in, yet welcoming. They’re the perfect pop of color. The same applies to your garden or planters.

how to decorate your kitchen or breakfast room

14. Get price opinions from at least 3 realtors. I am so thankful we did this on our last house. Price opinions are just that – opinions. Your home is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it, so naturally, it varies, despite market data. Just because your neighbor’s house sold for xyz and had the same layout and features doesn’t mean yours will sell for the same price. We took the time to seek a few price opinions and it paid off exponentially. In fact, we sold for $65,000 more than our first suggested price. Of everything we have done to sell our homes in the past, that was the best investment of our time.

15. Don’t use air freshener. When we were lake house hunting earlier this year that was our first sign that something was amiss. It made us feel like the sellers were trying to cover something up. In fact, we rushed out of a couple because the smell was overpowering. Instead, opt for a soft scented candle {blow it out just before you leave} or subtle room spray. Of course fragrant flowers like peonies always work well, too. Just avoid lilies as so many are allergic to them.

A few simple projects that can add a lot of value without a lot of expense:

I hope you find these tips for selling your home helpful. If you have any, please add them below for others! Have a beautiful day.

I was chatting with a friend earlier this week about where to spend and save when you know you’re planning to sell your house in the near future. While I’m certainly not an expert, we have purchased 4 homes and sold 3 in the last 10 years in addition to one miserable year managing real estate offices along the way {long story}. Little tweaks go a long way when selling your house. It’s easy to neglect it or become obsessed with it, but in the end, here’s what to do before selling your house that will really resonate with buyers:

Pretty neutral paint palette of cream colors

Paint it a neutral palette. Colors are a very personal choice. Buyers may not like the same bright yellow or bold red that you do. It’s best to play it safe so they can envision their things in your home, not a lengthy to do list and upfront expense before they move in. You can also find my favorite cream paint colors here.

7 Ways to Add Light to Your Home

Add light. What do you notice about all realtor photos? All of the lights are on. It immediately makes a home feel inviting. Here are 7 ways you can add light to a room.

Easy home project ideas - Fall Makeover

If you don’t have one, add a statement light fixture. For a very minimal investment, it can make a room, even your home, standout.

Having popcorn in your home isn’t near as exciting as enjoying it at the movie theatre. Buyers may immediately deduct thousands in their head or think the entire home needs to be updated for something that just takes time or costs $300/room. I’d limit this to the most prominent spaces.

Beautiful kitchen paint color & white painted kitchen cabinets

We all know kitchens and baths sell. They can be your biggest money maker, but that doesn’t mean they have to be your biggest expense. See what a little white paint, hardware, countertops and backsplash can do, or even just this stainless steel makeover.

Landscaping tips and plans from a designer

Add a little landscaping. A little color can go a long way to making a drab house feel beautiful.

A nursery vignette - simple ideas to create a beautiful nursery on a budget

Clean your carpets, yourself. I’ve used a number of carpet cleaners in 3 different cities and no one can clean them as well as my determined husband. Again, this just takes time, but can make old worn carpets feel like new again.

Organize your closet with these simple ideas

Minimize. If you’re running out of storage space, they’ll see it as an immediate issue. I’m full of ideas on getting organized.

4 easy houseplants that you can't kill

Add something organic to several rooms. Plants, a flower arrangement and bowls of fresh fruit can really bring a room to life.

Consult with a realtor! Realtors can tell you before you list what specifically they see as a concern, especially in your area.

I know it’s difficult to invest in a home you’re not invested in, but spending a little as you prepare to sell can give you significantly more to invest in your new home! I hope you enjoyed my quick tips on what to do before selling your house and if you have any to add, leave them in the comments below!

Disclosure