Angie's List: 4 tips to sell your home quicker and for top dollar.

Simple ways to make your house stand out and sell

TAMPA - With talk of the housing market rebound, perhaps you're thinking about putting your house up for sale. Before you do, check out these tips from Angie's List to sell your house faster and for more money.

"Today's real estate market is a competitive market so consumers are looking for ways to rule out your house," said Angie's List founder, Angie Hicks. "You really need to get back to the basics and make sure your house really shines. Is your house clean inside and out? Is everything organized?"

Angie's List Tips: 4 ways to sell your home fast

  1. Make repairs: When people are thinking about buying a house they are looking for reasons to rule it out and simple things like a leaky faucet or a missing floor tile can be a turn-off for buyers. Take the extra step and make these small repairs service your home's mechanicals regularly. "The first step towards getting your house ready to sell is to look at your house as if you are getting ready to buy it," Hicks said. "No one looks at their house in a more critical way than at the point when they are deciding to buy a house. So walk around your house go in doors you've never looked in and make a list of things that need to be improved.
  2. Keep it clean: You never know when someone may stop by and want to see your home so keep it clean and tidy. Remove as much clutter as you can – this will help make the house look cleaner. Don't forget the outside too – keep your grass mowed and weeds out of flower beds. "Are there cob webs around your front door? Get rid of them! Remember, that's the door the potential buyer is going to use. On the inside, freshen things up. If you need a fresh coat of paint this is the time to go neutral. Tone down those bold colors. Also look at your flooring. If your carpet has been neglected for some time maybe a fresh cleaning is what's in order," said Hicks.
  3. Stage your home: If you have fewer personal belongings, prospective owners can picture their own belongings in the home more easily. Bring in some furniture pieces to fill an empty room. Hicks adds, "A lot of times people think that their own interior design is a selling point, it usually isn't."
  4. Online listings: The Internet is a popular place for people who are looking to buy a home and it's one of the first places they look. Find a real estate company that has online listings and offers a virtual tour, with photos. Attractive, high quality photos are crucial. The first image is very important to buyers using online search tools. They will either click on that home or skip it and move on. Real estate professional make few sales at open houses anymore. With the rise and convenience of online listings, featuring photo and/or video tours, experts say open houses are just not as necessary.

Angie's List Tips: Working with a real estate agent

  • Ask questions: Many agents offer free market analysis. Before choosing and agent, ask how they came up with their price, their opinion of what's happening in the market, etc.
  • What experience do you have? You want an agent with a proven history of sales in your area. Ask how long they have been in the business, how many homes they sold last year, and the average number of days those homes were on the market.
  • Do you have references? Ask for references and talk to former clients whose homes they've sold to get their experience on how the process went.
  • Marketing plan: Get a copy of the agent's marketing plan, review it, and make suggestions if appropriate. A good agent should tailor a marketing plan specifically for your home – not just list the home online. He or she should be creative in making your home stand above the rest.
  • Communication is key: Your agent should be in contact you frequently and keep you updated on your home and other homes for sale in your area. If you decide yours isn't doing enough, find another again who will.


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