In this economy, houses aren't selling like they used to. However, there are some ways to improve the chances of selling your house. If you have a house on the market, or are considering it, read on for seven tips that will make it easier to sell your house and make a smooth transition from one owner to the next. (Learn more in Selling Your Home In A Down Market.)

  1. Maintain Neutrality
    This policy has worked for Switzerland, and it can also work in real estate. Customizing your home is great if you plan to stay there, but extreme colors and themed rooms can scare off potential homebuyers. If you have customized every room with extremely bright or dark colored paint, wallpaper or wall fixtures, you may want to consider toning it down a bit. Using neutral colors on the walls can help prospective buyers create their own vision for the house, and will also leave them with less work to undo if they buy the house.

  2. Less Is More
    Even though you have not moved out yet, removing some of your furniture can help the house move off the market. If you take pictures for your listing, having less furniture can help the home appear more spacious. When potential homebuyers arrive, having less furniture can also provide clear walkways.

  3. That New House Smell
    Honestly, the new house smell isn't always the most pleasant, but at least it is new. In preparing to show your home, you should avoid strong smells. To avoid odors, make sure to take out the trash and clean the refrigerator regularly. It is also good to be mindful of what you cook in the days leading up to a showing since certain foods have strong scents. If you have pets, keep an eye on the litter box. Any smell that is too strong could send potential homebuyers running out the door.

  4. Pay Attention to the Details
    It is not a good idea to make major renovations when you are ready to sell your home because you may not recoup your investment. If you never got around to starting or completing that total kitchen or bathroom makeover, then you can make some small, inexpensive changes to spruce things up. Replacing the hardware on cabinets is a quick way to improve the appearance of older looking fixtures. Upgrading small items such as light switch and outlet covers can also add a nice touch.

  5. Maximize Your "Curb Appeal"
    The front of your home is the first thing prospective home-buyers will see, so keeping it presentable is a must. If there is a yard, keep the grass to a reasonable height and if there are trees, be sure to keep the branches under control. The path to your front door should be a clear and welcoming one, not an obstacle course!

  6. Don't Get Too Personal
    Upon entering your house, everyone will know it is lived in, but they do not need to see all the evidence. Get rid of excess clutter such as newspapers, magazines, and mail. Be sure to put away your laundry and shoes. It may also be a good idea to put away some other personal belongings like pictures on the refrigerator or mantle. For you, the pictures may make a house a home or display your personal touch. For the new homeowner, it may appear too personal.

  7. Take Care of Repairs
    Waiting to make repairs until after you find a buyer can be tricky. Depending on the nature of the repairs, you may not be able to find a buyer. Depending on how fast the buyer wants to close on the house, you may not have enough time to make the repairs. Save yourself some time and potential trouble, by making repairs before you list your home. The repairs will have to be made anyway, so it is better to get them out of the way sooner rather than later.

First impressions can make the difference between a sale or no sale. Keeping things simple can give you a leg up on similar houses on the market. (For more, check out 12 Worst First-Time Homeseller Mistakes and Can't Sell Your Home? Rent It.)

Related Articles
  1. Home & Auto

    The Pros and Cons of Owner Financing

    Details on the upside and risks of this type of deal for both the owner and the buyer.
  2. Economics

    A Look at Greece’s Messy Fiscal Policy

    Investigate the muddy fiscal policy, tax problems, and inability to institute austerity that created the Greek crises in 2010 and 2015.
  3. Home & Auto

    4 Areas to Consider Roofing Material Types

    Roofing your home is very important, that’s why you should choose a roof specifically designed to handle your area’s climate.
  4. Economics

    How Do Asset Bubbles Cause Recessions?

    Understand how asset bubbles often lead to deep, protracted recessions. Read about historical examples of recessions preceded by asset bubbles.
  5. Investing News

    What Shook the U.S. Stock Market Today?

    What was looking as a decent year for US Stock market has suddenly gone off track as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 531 points in the week ending August 23, 2015.
  6. Home & Auto

    When Getting a Rent-to-Own Car Makes Sense

    If your credit is bad, rent-to-own may be a better way to purchase a car than taking out a subprime loan – or it may not be. Get out your calculator.
  7. Options & Futures

    An Introduction To Value at Risk (VAR)

    Volatility is not the only way to measure risk. Learn about the "new science of risk management".
  8. Investing

    Looking To Begin Trading In The Stock Market?

    If you are a new trader, we explain the differences between penny stocks and options so you can make the best decision for your personal trade plan.
  9. Professionals

    Why Investors Should Consider Cash Right Now

    With so many market watchers thinking that the current stock rally is getting long in the tooth, investors might considering upping their cash holdings.
  10. Stock Analysis

    How GM Keeps on Truckin'

    Following a giant bailout and a giant IPO, the new GM is carried by sales of its giant trucks. But is it profitable?
RELATED TERMS
  1. Derivative

    A security with a price that is dependent upon or derived from ...
  2. Security

    A financial instrument that represents an ownership position ...
  3. Series 6

    A securities license entitling the holder to register as a limited ...
  4. Internal Rate Of Return - IRR

    A metric used in capital budgeting measuring the profitability ...
  5. Board Of Directors - B Of D

    A group of individuals that are elected as, or elected to act ...
  6. Fair Housing Act

    This law (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968) forbids ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. How does a forward contract differ from a call option?

    Forward contracts and call options are different financial instruments that allow two parties to purchase or sell assets ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How does the risk of investing in the industrial sector compare to the broader market?

    There is increased risk when investing in the industrial sector compared to the broader market due to high debt loads and ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How can I hedge my portfolio to protect from a decline in the retail sector?

    The retail sector provides growth investors with a great opportunity for better-than-average gains during periods of market ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the correlation between term structure of interest rates and recessions?

    There is no question that interest rates have enormous macroeconomic importance. Many economists and analysts believe the ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Why should an investor in the retail sector consider the Consumer Confidence Index?

    Investors in the retail sector should consider the Consumer Confidence Index, or CCI, because it measures how consumers feel ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Which type of retailers tend to perform best during weak periods in the economy?

    Retail is a broad investment sector comprising many different market segments, such as automotive, building supply, grocery ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!