Tips to Help Sell Your House Fast

Welcome to the second article in the Why Can't I Sell My House series. Let's consider for a moment the mentality of a home buyer and the steps they take to purchase a home. First, they notice that a home is for sale, either by seeing an ad in a newspaper or online or a sign in the front yard. Next comes the drive by. Unlike an official home showing, you have no warning as to when this will occur. And if your house fails this test, it won't make it to the next step which is the actual home walk-through.

Sold SignCredit: Wikimedia CommonsTherefore it is of the utmost importance that the outside of your home be clean, well maintained, and inviting. In other words, you need to give your home curb appeal. There are four main areas you need to focus on here: the exterior of the house, the yard, the driveway, and helping your house to stand out--in a good way.

The Exterior of the House

First and foremost, take a close look at the paint or siding on your home. If it is in need of repair--repair it. If it is in need of painting--paint it. There really isn't a better investment of time or money that you can make to help your house sell quickly than this one simple step. If you simply can't afford to re-paint, the very least to do is hose or wash down the outside of your home to get rid of the accumulation of dust and grime.

Once the paint and siding is immaculate, take a walk around your house. Look for any cracks in your windows, or tears in your screens. Glance up at your roof and make sure there are no loose shingles. Again mContainer GardenCredit: MorgueFile by Robbinsskyake any needed repairs.

Once that step is completed, look for ways to add color to your exterior. You can do this in several ways. Container gardening is a simple way to add an inviting touch to your front steps or porch. Choose colorful flowers depending on the season. If it happens to be the winter season, add a tasteful winter or holiday decoration. If your house has a front porch, give it a face-lift with some bright chair cushions or more potted flowers. Buy a colorful Welcome mat and place a tasteful wreath or decoration on your front door. All of these small little touches will make your home seem more inviting. Just remember to keep it tasteful.

The Yard

An overgrown yard can be hard to look past for home buyers. If you want to sell your house quickly, you need to keep up with your yard work. This means making sure the grass is neatly mowed and raked. It also means making sure any shrubbery is pruned and shaped, and any flower garden areas weeded. If you have an area for a flower garden, but nothing in it, consider adding some mulch and a couple of container pots for color.

The Driveway

If your driveway is paved, then at a minimum it should be swept and washed on a regular basis. This also includes all walkways up to and around your home. Repair and patch any noticeable cracks and pull any weeds. If your driveway is gravel, take note as to the condition of your gravel. Do you really have a deep enough layer, or has the gravel eroded over time? If needed, hire someone to bring in a load of gravel to give your driveway an added boost.

The Extras

Little things can really make a difference to a home buyer. Remember the goal here is to get the home-buyer to the walk-through stage so they can fall in love with the inside of your home as well as the outside. If the first three categories weren't enough to get a quick sale on your home, here are some things you can try to boost your home's curb appeal:

  • Update your front door. If you can't afford a new door, at least consider painting your current one.Bird BathCredit: Morgue File: By Dee
  • Add a simple and tasteful yard feature. It doesn't have to be anything extravagant like a three tiered water fountain. A simple bird bath or bench can do wonders.
  • Devote at least a small portion of your yard to outside gathering. A picnic table, a grill (even an old-fashioned charcoal one), or even just a couple of tasteful chairs, can make a world of difference in how someone sees your home.
  • Do a drive around town and notice the homes that really stand out. Take notes. Can you copy what they've done? Get creative.

Don't Go Overboard

The outside of your home should never be seen as cluttered. Keep your exterior well maintained, your yard mowed and raked, your driveway and walks clean and clear, and with one or two little extras you should be on the way to quickly selling your home.

If you've followed all the advice in Why Can't I Sell My House: The Basics and this article on curb appeal and still don't have an offer, it is time to pull out all the stops with Staging.