Tips to Sell Your Home Fast

If you are asking the question "Why can't I sell my house?", it is probably because you have been looking at your house as a seller and not a buyer. There are many things you can do to change this and to give yourself a good shot at selling your home quickly. This article will only cover three very basic categories: repairs, cleaning, and atmosphere. Using these ideas and guidelines will give you a jump start on selling your house fast.

Category #1: Repairs

Sold SignCredit: Wikimedia CommonsRemember you need to think like a buyer, not a seller. Pretend you are interested in buying your house rather than selling it. Do a walk through. Turn on and off all the light fixtures, flush the toilets, and turn the sink faucets off and on. Look carefully at the ceilings for any discolored spots that will signal a leak. As you walk, notice any spots in the floor that seem to give or feel soft. Check the walls as you pass for any noticeable cracks.

Don't forget to walk the outside of your house as well. Check the gutters and downspouts, along with the shingles on the roof. Does the paint still look good? Is there any missing or dented siding?

Hopefully you made your walk through with a notebook. Anything you found that would make you question buying the house needs to be fixed. Before any prospective buyers do a walk-thru. You only get one chance at a first impression. If you want to sell your house quickly, make it a good one.

Category #2: Cleaning and De-cluttering

Perhaps another walk through is in order. Remember that when you show a house that is for sale, you basically lose your rights to privacy during any showing. Potential buyers will look into closets, under rugs, out windows, into medicine cabinets, and--horror of horror--behind the shower curtain, too. They will also check basements, attics, and garages, so don't think these are good areas to store your stuff while your house is on the market.

Seriously consider getting a small storage unit to store some of your clutter and extra belongings. People are looking for a house they can make into home. Seeing a house that is filled to the brim with family memorabilia will only distract them from being able to picture the house as it can be…once they buy it. De-cluttering and cleaning are top priority.

Also, take a look at your current furniture arrangement. Does it leave the room feeling big or small? Sometimes less is better. Move your furniture around to make your rooms seems as spacious as possible. If you have too many pieces, put them in that suggested storage unit. Use light to help add a sense of space, too. Open all your curtains (after the windows have been thoroughly cleaned) and turn on all the house lights before a showing.Gathering PlaceCredit: MorgueFile

This category also goes for the outside of your home. If your house has a porch or deck, make sure it looks like an inviting place to gather on a cool summer evening and not like a storage area for a kid's yard sale. Cleaning on the outside also means keeping your lawn freshly mown and weeds to a minimum.

Category #3: Atmosphere

We all have our personal quirks and taste. Unfortunately some of those tastes can work against us when it comes time to sell our home. To sell a house quickly, one must think neutral. Yes, your daughter may be into the gothic phase of life and love her bedroom walls painted black. And yes, maybe your son did insist on doing his room to resemble the playboy mansion, complete with pinups. But if you truly want to sell your house, these things have to change. Keyword of the day: Neutral.

What color should your walls, carpets, and rugs be? Everybody, now: Neutral. That's right. Think white, cream, tan, light brown, etc. Stay away from overly bright colors. Your taste may be impeccable, but you can't please everyone and right now you have to concentrate on pleasing those who may want to buy your house.

Atmosphere goes beyond the visual, though. You also need to be really aware of just how your house smells. Don't rely on burning scented candles to mask those nasty odors during a showing. Get rid of them (the odors that is). Odors from pets, smokers, and cooking should be eliminated before a showing. This may require cleaning your carpets and airing out or dry-cleaning your drapes. The only exception to this rule is perhaps to make a nice batch of great smelling cookies right before the showing…just be sure to not burn them! If baking just isn't your thing, consider buying a cinnamon broom to place in your kitchen to give off that heavenly scent of cinnamon. Good smells can help make a house seem more like a home.

And since we mentioned pets, they will need to be considered, too. All pets should be removed from the house before showing if at all possible. You never know when you might lose that perfect buyer just because of a dreaded allergic reaction to your cat or dog. Keep a kennel outside for your pets and be sure to vacuum up any lose hairs that may be in carpets or on furniture before the walk-thru. Don't worry, your pets won't suffer any lasting trauma from a temporary eviction.

Next Steps

Following these simple steps should put you on the fast track to selling your home. Notice the word simple does not mean easy. These steps are not something you can do once and forget about them. They are steps that you need to be taking at least on a weekly basis. Your home should be walk-thru ready at an hour's notice. If not, you have more work to do.

If you have followed all of these steps to the letter and still don't have an offer on your house, then it's time to go to the next step: Curb Appeal.