Simple Steps to Sell Swiftly

Want to get your house off the market fast? Here are some tips on how to receive top-dollar for your home.

Prepping your home for a quick sale at top dollar requires more than cleaning out closets and patching a few walls.

“Buyers want to walk in and say ‘This house is ready to live in,’” says agent Robin Naylor of Donnelly Real Estate in Bay Head. Naylor helps clients create a to-do list that will help them get the best price. Buyers, she says, “don’t want to stare at a project.” Instead, sellers should take on the obvious projects—within reason.
Naylor says start by gauging the home’s curb appeal. “Stand across the street from your house and take a peek,” she says. Ask yourself: Does your home look inviting? Fresh paint and tidy landscaping are essential. Damaged sidewalks and steps should be repaired. A colorful flowerbed can work wonders. “If the outside is well kept, it sends the message that it’s well cared-for inside,” she says.

Next, examine the inside. Are floorboards broken or tiles cracked or cabinet hardware missing? “At a bare minimum you have to make sure paint isn’t chipping, that the grout is clean and the tile is repaired,” Naylor says.

Real estate professionals agree that de-cluttering and de-personalizing are essential steps. Some easy fixes: Remove extraneous furniture, thin out the bookshelves and store the knickknacks. While artwork can add to the aesthetic appeal of a home, it should be kept to a minimum. All family photos and other personal mementoes should be packed away.

If you have the budget, upgrading the kitchen and bathrooms almost always pays off. But don’t go overboard. “Don’t put in the Sub Zero and the six-burner professional-grade cooktop,” Naylor says, since you’re unlikely to recover those costs. A fresh coat of paint and a thorough cleaning are often enough to do the trick.

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