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6 Tips on Selling A Home – And Selling It Right

By Mike Holmes

Mike’s Advice / Buying & Selling Your Home

Monday, September 23rd, 2019 @ 11:54am
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Homeowners are always asking me for tips on preparing to sell a home. One of the stages of homeownership that I always talk about is “Selling It Right”. I always tell homeowners to stay away from “lipstick and mascara” fixes. These are things like a fresh coat of paint, cheap new flooring or cabinetry—and they’re most tempting to homeowners trying to sell. They want to make a quick buck and don’t want to pay a lot for it.

But here’s one thing you can’t forget: If you’re selling, there’s (hopefully) going to be a home inspection, and there’s a good chance that home inspection can turn up things that will decrease the selling price of your home.

#6 Get A Pre-Listing Home Inspection


Hire a professional home inspector (not your Uncle Jim) who can show you the red flags, and get them fixed by a pro on your terms—not the buyer’s. When you’re ready to sell, show buyers permits, warranties and passed inspections on the work.

Imagine walking into an open house, and there’s a nice, comprehensive Home Inspection report already sitting on the coffee table for you to read through. This builds trust with the home buyer and may speed up the process of selling your home as well.

#5 Don’t Ignore Curb Appeal


Take a good look at your property. Does it look shabby? Unsafe? Does the exterior of your home look like it needs some TLC? Things like tuck-pointing, brick or stucco repairs?

When it comes to a house, if the outside looks bad you can bet the inside won’t be any better. The outside can usually tell you how much maintenance was put into the home overall.

Take care of entrances, including the garage and any side doors. Make sure entryways are safe, strong and secure—that also means properly lit. Make any repairs to walkways, steps, the driveway, as well as your home’s exterior. And don’t forget to clean up the yard.

If there’s pooling, you might need to contact a professional grader to re-grade the property. If there are overgrown trees and plants, hire a professional landscaper to trim them, or remove any shrubs and that might be directing water to the foundation.

Watch my daughter Sherry share with you more insightful tips on how to improve curb appeal in the video below.

#4 Address Any Roof Problems


If your roof is leaking, get it fixed by a pro and show homebuyers the permits and warranties on the work. A good roofer will fix flashings, soffits, replace missing or sagging shingles—and let you know if your chimney needs repairs.

Leaky Roof

Fixing flashings, soffits, replacing missing or sagging shingles aren’t expensive fixes, but if your home needs them, they can scare away buyers.

#3 Declutter


Clean up. You can’t sell square footage people can’t see. Buyers hate clutter, and the truth is it can affect indoor air quality. I once worked on a job where there were piles of stuff everywhere, which was blocking the vents around the home and causing serious condensation issues.

If you’re selling your home, get rid of everything you don’t need. Have a garage sale. It doesn’t have to cost you a dime, and you might even make a few bucks. Decluttering will help you with the home staging as well and makes the home more appealing to potential buyers.

#2 Simple Fixes Go A Long Way


Repair walls. Simple fixes like filling in holes, fixing baseboards, repairing trim and yes, a fresh coat of paint, go a long way—but do it right. If your home has electrical problems fix those first, because they will turn up in a home inspection.

This doesn’t mean that you should attempt DIY jobs beyond your capabilities though. You could end up with a bigger mess if you don’t have the skillsets to do the simple fixes yourself.

#1 Replace Foggy Windows.


No homebuyer wants to see a foggy window. It’s a sure sign that something is wrong. The seal between the panes could be broken. Maybe it’s cheap windows, or the framing around the windows needs repairs. That means heat loss. Maybe the home has ventilation issues. You see where I’m going?

Replacing the windows can cost around $10,000 at least, but it’s one investment that you can make your money back. If you use a pro, have guarantees and warranties on the work, repair the framing to reduce heat loss and can show home buyers just how much more energy efficient your home is, using your energy bills as an example, the sale price goes up.

Remember, buyers will change the lipstick and mascara but the structure and building envelope of your home, that’s what they are investing in.

Granite countertops and hardwood flooring don’t matter when there’s a leak in the basement or a hole in the roof. It’s basic home seller/buyer etiquette. Play nice, play fair and everybody wins. That’s how you SELL IT RIGHT.

Make It Right®