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10 Tips on Selling Your Home

It’s time to upgrade or downsize your home, but you fear putting your home on the market will be too stressful. The fact is that now is a great time to sell…inventory is down, prices are up. What are you waiting for? Following these sure-fire strategies will make the transition from selling to sold as seamless as possible.

  1. Know the Real Estate market in your town – What is moving the market in your community? What are the local trends? Who is your target buyer? When you interview Realtors, make sure they are savvy and experienced on the trends in your community. Here is a great link for the Indianapolis market from F.C Tucker.
  2. A clean, uncluttered, staged home sells – Buyers must be able to envision themselves living in your home. This involves taking the “you” out of your home by decluttering, depersonalizing, deodorizing, and finally staging. Most buyers can’t look beyond your personal style and family photos and memories on display. Neutralizing the decor of your home makes it easy for them to consider buying it. Make sure to remove odor from pets, smoking, and cooking. Remember, odors linger in fabrics, so make sure to clean rugs, carpets and curtains. Finally, having a professional stager add their creative touch to your home is worth every penny. In the 2017 Profile of Home Staging Report from the National Association of Realtors states, “Seventy seven percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.” Additionally, the report emphasized, “Thirty-nine percent of sellers’ agents stated that staging a home greatly decreases the amount of time the home is on the market.” For the full report click here.
  3. Homes priced correctly sell more quickly – The first few weeks that your home is on the market are the weeks it will get the most attention and attract the most qualified buyers. A listing can become stale after several weeks to months. Buyers will think that there is something wrong with the property or that it is priced too high the longer it’s on the market. Pricing it correctly will increase the chance of a quicker sale with multiple offers.
  4. Repairs left undone will cost you $$$ – Repairs on your to do list will be much less expensive before your home goes on the market. When buyers see the need for repairs, their imagination begins to wonder what else may be wrong with the property. What lurks beneath the surface that is hidden from the naked eye? This leads them to believe they have more room for negotiation in the home inspection response. This is why a well maintained home sells for more money. If there is a major repair that you cannot afford, make sure it is disclosed in the Sellers Disclosure. This way the offer reflects the defect, and there are no surprises. The inspection period requires a skilled negotiator, so make sure your Realtor is a capable one.
  5. Selling a home is inconvenient – Being prepared upfront that selling your home will inconvenience you will make the process easier. A home needs to be ready to show at a moment’s notice. Schedules will be thrown off, dinners delayed, and bedtimes extended. Some prepacking will be necessary in the decluttering process, and the home should resemble a model home at all times. Also, be aware that the closing date is the move out date. Therefore, when the closing date rolls around, all of your belongings should be packed and in the moving truck.
  6. The offer is everything – In a seller’s market the specifics of the offer is of premiere importance. Offers should be clean with no errors, accurate and complete. A pre-approval letter should be attached to the offer with as few contingencies as possible. With the many timeframes on the Purchase agreement, buyers need to be quick to respond. In fact, you would be surprised how a personal letter from the buyer looking forward to life in the home can pull on the emotional heart string of the seller, especially if the seller holds a lot of favorable memories of the home.
  7. Slow response time and ignoring communication can jeopardize a home sale – Once you have listed your home for sale, all communication should be prompt and timely. Slow responses to your Realtor’s requests for answers to questions a prospective buyer has about the home can annoy and discourage the multiple parties involved in selling your home. Missing deadlines on the contract can also delay closing and cost money.
  8. Professional photography and video sell homes faster – First impressions are everything, and 90% of buyers do their shopping online. They want to SEE the home, and high quality photos with a well-staged home that is priced right will have buyers knocking down your door.
  9. Cooperation is the name of the game – In the negotiation process of selling a home, a little cooperation goes a long way and most often ends in a favorable outcome. When you fight the buyer over everything, you are putting him on the defense. He then may step up to the fight, and nobody wins in that situation. Negotiation is about give and take so everyone feels like they got what they wanted.
  10. Experience sells – Hiring an experienced Realtor who is trusted, skilled, and professional gets your home sold in the shortest time, for the most money, with a seamless transaction.

When the seasons of life change, and your home is no longer the right living space, don’t give into the fear that selling will be too much change. Hire a Realtor, follow these tips and remember…

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates

Getting ready to sell your first home? Contact me today and let’s chat about some more first time home seller tips to get your house on the market and sold.



  • I’m glad you suggested taking the “you” out of your house when you stage it. I’ve been thinking about listing my home and moving into the city to be closer to my job, but I’m worried that no one will want it if they come inside. Maybe I should get an agent who can help me clean up the place and make it appealing to buyers.

    • Cathy Sturm says:

      You definitely should! Choosing the right agent is everything when you list your home. Make sure that they have staging experience or that they work with a professional stager. It is an investment that will bring great reward!

  • I like how you mentioned that pricing your home just right would be essential in selling it since the higher or lower the price the more your potential clients would think that there’s something wrong with your house. That is why I would be sure to get a Realtor to help me with pricing our home. Having the help would surely be able to keep my mind free of some stress once the selling starts. Thanks for the informative article on some things we should know as first time sellers!

  • I just wanted to thank you for these tips to sell a home. I’m glad you mentioned that you should neutralize the decor in the home. My sister has been thinking of selling her place and it sounds good to research some different tactics to accomplish a neutral feel in a home, like repainting rooms or using different furniture.

    • Cathy Sturm says:

      You are so welcome! Staging a home to sell is one of my favorite things to do for my sellers. Fresh paint makes a home feel new to a buyer, and can update the look drastically.

  • Sam Solo says:

    I like your tip about the pre-approval letter being attached to the offer. I imagine that getting pre-approved for financing would help the seller have more confidence that you can come through financially on the sale. I’ll have to remember to check up on the contingencies and approval so that I can get quick sales.

    • Cathy Sturm says:

      It really is the best way to represent your sellers! Here in Indianapolis, the market is so hot that we are seeing more and more offers with an escalation clause attached to them.

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