1. Add the video walk through from Zillow app on your cell phone to your FSBo listing. Zillow favors listings with walk through videos.
2. Make a flyer about your property and distribute it to the neighborhood. Post it on Nextdoor.com and Facebook.
3. Gather receipts and warranties for any home improvements you have completed and put into a 3-ring binder to show buyers, which demonstrates value.
4. Remove personal photos and make your home clutter free so buyers can visualize themselves in your home.
5. Be sure your home is priced within the neighborhood range of comparable sales. And, instead of listing the home for $400,000 for example, list the home for $399,000 which looks less expensive.
6. Post the home for sale by owner on Craigslist.com, it’s free!
7. Take care of minor repairs like sticky doors, torn screens and cracked caulking. These repairs may seem trivial but they’ll give the buyer the impression that the house isn’t well-maintained.
8. Make the bath luxurious. Make sure your personal toiletry items are out of sight, along with old towels and tooth brushes. Add a new shower curtain and fancy guest soaps.
9. Set the scene. A bright afghan or new accent pillows easily jazz up a dull room. Pretty dishes or a simple centerpiece on the tables can help buyers picture themselves living there. Try staging a chess game in progress. If you have a fireplace, lay fresh logs or a basket of flowers there. TJ Maxx or Ross are great places to find inexpensive staging pieces.
10. Tidy up outdoors. Cut the grass, rake the leaves, add new mulch, trim the bushes, edge the walkways, and clean the gutters. A pot of bright flowers near the entryway adds great curb appeal.
11. Open the windows to air out the house. Consider potpourri or scented candles and diffusers. For quick fixes in the kitchen, cotton balls soaked in vanilla extract or orange juice can instantly make the fridge a nicer-smelling place. Boil lemon juice in your microwave, then add it to your dishwasher to eliminate odors. You can also run lemon rinds through the garbage disposal for a similar effect.
12. Head out or stand outside during home showings. It can be awkward for everyone if you’re home at the time of a showing. Also, you may initially reveal information that is really on a “need to know” basis.
13. Research your area and neighborhood. Are there any new developments being built or in the works? A new school, upgrades to a shopping center or new shopping mall can enhance your property value and lifestyle appeal to a buyer.
14. Include information on the lifestyle in your Zillow online description, such as proximity to popular destinations like restaurants, shopping and entertainment. If you are walking distance to any parks or schools make mention of it.
15. Photos are key! Take photos landscape, not portrait like the Iphone/Android does automatically. Landscape photos show more of the home in one shot, and look better online. The more photos a Zillow listing has, the higher it may show up in search results.
16. Make a list of any upgrades you have completed since you bought the home. This list will be helpful during your appraisal. Also, you can bring out this list and the receipts you gathered in tip #3 to claim expenses against capital gains taxes.
17. Speak with your accountant about selling your home. Understand capital gains taxes and if they will apply to your proceeds.
18. If you receive an offer from a buyer, and they are using financing (meaning not paying all cash), then they need to provide you with a Pre-qualification letter. The pre-qualification letter shows their ability to obtain financing, the maximum purchase price and the amount the buyer must put as a down payment to receive loan approval. This is an important step! I recommend calling the lender they are using directly and having a conversation about the buyer, whether the lender has worked with them before, etc., which will give you some additional insight on your buyer.