If you are thinking about selling your home or currently have it on the real estate market here in Minneapolis, the single most important thing you must do is have your home put it’s best foot forward. Here are some tips on how to win the “Best in Show” award and get your home sold!

  1. Turn the Lights on – if your agent calls to schedule a showing, immediately turn on every light in the home. Not only does it benefit the buyer so they don’t have to turn them on, but it literally lights up the house and give it more warmth. Your goal here is to make the buyers feel like it is already their home.
  2. Fix the Front Door – the first thing they see is the doorknob. If it is rusty or just looks worn, replace it with a brand new fixture. This goes for the kick-plate on the bottom of the door as well as any door knockers. Get rid of the doormat and add flowers too. Again, make it as inviting as possible.
  3. Paint the Walls – please, please, please…do not use flat paint! Flat paint shows every fingerprint, smear of dirt, and water mark, not to mention any wall repairs you have painted over. Check your walls for hand prints if you have kids and wipe clean. Better yet, paint the walls with a semi-gloss for a touch of shine. We all know that shine (bling) attracts purchasers!
  4. Stage It – if your home is vacant or you don’t have the best furnishings, spend the extra money and have a professional stage your home. The money you spend up front could save you thousands in mortgage payments as your home sits on the market if you don’t.
  5. Clean Everything – buyers will look in every nook and cranny so make sure your garage, shed, attic, toilets, sinks, basement, are clean and free of clutter. Buyers will not like it if they cannot access areas due to excessive clutter.
  6. De-Clutter – I know you like your collection of dolls or model planes, but your buyers might not. Do not be offended. The goal is to sell your home, and to do so, you must get rid of anything that makes the home still look like it is yours. The buyers cannot see it as “theirs” if your stuff is all over the place!
  7. Empty the Closets – no, cleaning up the house by shoving everything into the closets does not work. Buyers will look behind every door so it is extremely important for closets and pantries to be organized and clean. You want them to see room enough for their possessions.
  8. Bake Cookies – yes, I know it might be cheesy, but buyers love it. I have been looking for a home for my family and when a seller takes the time to bake cookies and leave them on the counter, it just makes me want to look at the home more. Oh, and my two year old loves it! Just don’t put out burnt cookies…that leaves a bad impression.
  9. Put Out the Good Towels – before you leave your home, always put out fresh new, fluffy towels in the kitchen and bathrooms. It adds a feeling of cleanliness and a touch of luxury, especially if you have a nice jacuzzi tub in the master bath.
  10. Put the Kids Toys Out of Site – I have kids so I understand the hassle of picking up the toys. But if you want your home to show great, kids toys in the living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms are just a no-no. Instead, neatly organize the toys in a closet before you leave and only leave out a few key pieces. Explain to your children the reason and ask for their help.

If you do the above items, and price it correctly, then your home should have no trouble selling. In a buyer’s market, every little thing you do makes your home more appealing than the house for sale next door.

What ideas have you used to help get your home sold?