How to Sell Your House: 109 St. Louis Real Estate Tips

How to Sell Your House

Learning how to sell your house is complex and every realtor is going to give different versions of the same advice. What they aren’t going to give you is a complex list of the questions / tips you need to consider before selling your house.

Why?

Because they are fearful of telling you something you don’t want to hear. Let’s face the facts, there are things you need to know ahead of time and at the end of the day, you’ll appreciate the feedback.  These are expert tips to sell your home fast!

The secret is to put yourself in a position to succeed when learning how to sell your house!

Below is a list of 109 questions, considerations, and tips for selling your home in St. Louis. Some you’ll love, some you won’t want to hear, all will increase the chances of selling your house fast and for asking price.

Enjoy!

Learn How to Sell Your House Fast with These 112 Tips

Time to put your reading glasses on and dig into these great tips for selling a house or buying a house…

#1 Make Sure Potential Home Buyers Know About Things to Do in St. Louis

Help your potential buyers know about the things to do in St. Louis close to your home.

What I mean by this is take yourself back to a memorable vacation when you strongly considered for about a month after you got home, buying a vacation home. You were pumped about all the things to do in proximity of the place you were staying, you were focused on how great the location is.  We’ve all been there, but eventually life get’s back to normal and you forget.

The key to this is getting a solid understanding of all the amazing things to do in St. Louis and sharing those with your potential buyers.  Help them understand why your home is situated in a great location and how it will provide them a life full great of memories.

  • Do they have summer concert series in the park like Chesterfield’s hot summer nights series?
  • Do they have moving nights at the local pool pavilion like Whitecliff Park in Crestwood?
  • Is there a great running or hiking path close by like Longview Park in Town and Country?

You get the point here.

Identify the great things to do in your community and take the time to share those with anyone interested in buying your house.

Knowing what’s around you and what’s available can transform your mindset about the community you are looking to buy a new house.

Implementing this is a home selling basic when learning how to sell your house.

My suggestion would be to come up with the 10 best things to do around your house and put them on a one page sheet to leave on your table during showings.  It’s a nice touch and helps the buyer better visualize living in your home.

#2 Adding flowers will help your house sell fast

Nothing better then adding a little color to spice up the first impression when a realtor is selling your house. Even if it’s just a few flower pots on the porch, a little color goes a long way.

Flowers are a great way to clean up the appeal of your home when selling as is or if you are just trying to sell your home fast.

Our tip is definitely prepare before you list your house for sale and make sure that once it’s on the market, your fresh flowers are in place!

#3 Update your kitchen hardware

Updating your kitchen hardware can give the look of an updated kitchen, even if your cabinets are 30 years old.

Go check out deals at Lowes, Home Depot or Menards and find a nice and classic look to give your kitchen a breath of fresh air.  Learning how to sell your house doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive.  It’s one of the great ways to sell your house fast with out spending a fortune.

#4 Remove the clutter if you want to sell your home

This doesn’t mean organize the clutter, this means REMOVE it.

Load your car up and get to goodwill ASAP.

9 times out of 10 you don’t need half the clutter in your home. Removing clutter is one of the easiest ways to prevent negative comments from potential home buyers.

This is a must and one of my most common tips if you want to sell your home fast.

#5 Understand hidden costs with buying a house in St. Louis

Make sure you walk through the entire purchase or sales process ahead of time so you understand the various fees you will incur.

For example, if you’re buying a new home, you’re going to need to pay for the various inspections:

  • Sewer Inspection Cost
  • Radon Inspection Cost
  • Roof Inspection Cost
  • Termite Inspection Cost

Another one of my favorite tips for selling a house is have a pre listing inspection.

Getting an inspection prior to listing your home for sale is a great way to prevent objections.  Plus, it helps set expectations of how much money you will need to spend on repairs to sell your home.

This is part of the process of selling a house with a realtor, which is hopefully me! 🙂

#6 Understand St. Louis county property taxes

Taxes can widely vary from one municipality to another.

For example, you may love Webster, but the taxes might be too high. Consider buying a home that borders Webster to get the same community feel without the higher taxes. If you’re from St. Louis, a great bordering community could be Oakland, Affton, Brentwood, Kirkwood or Rockhill if you want to have the Webster appeal for less.

Consider using this strategy in any community that you’re looking at buying a home.

#7 Curb appeal is extremely important when selling your home

Internet is great to quickly gather a list of homes, but it doesn’t always tell the truth.

Once your future buyer has identified your home as one they are interested, they will likely drive by ahead of the showing.

This is a great time for you to examine your house and clean things up

  • Yard waste along the curb
  • Weeds in the driveway or sidewalk
  • Dead bushes or trees
  • Dirty vinyl fencing

On the flip side, if you’re looking to buy a new house, doing a drive by is a great way to eliminate wasted showings due to curb appeal, unknown deal breakers such as proximity to busy road, electrical power, sewer placements in your yard, and even crazy neighbors.

No matter if you’re a home buyer or seller, don’t underestimate the value of strong curb appeal.

#8 Put away the Christmas village

Part of the process of selling a house with a realtor is hearing the cold hard truth, which is put away your bulky Christmas village!

It’s important you don’t ask your realtor how to sell your house and then ignore their recommendations.

Set yourself up for success and put away the Christmas clutter and revisit number 4 on this list.

#9 Be politically correct (even if you’re still mad about Trump or Hillary)

While we can all appreciate and respect religion or politics, you need to be aware that over bearing religious or political decorations can impact the first impression of a home buyer.

Like it or not, it’s going to hurt your ability to sell your house fast if you can’t mute your personal feelings.

We’re not saying remove it, just be strategic about how you display.

Learning how to sell your house will be a very painful process if you can’t put your feelings and beliefs to the side.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

#10 Decorate to match your home and don’t stand out

This is an easy fix.

If you’re house is relatively neutral, consider using neutral decorations vs. standout items.  This is all about creating an environment in such a way your potential buyers can visualize themselves making a home our of your house.

#11 Include cookies at your open house

Everyone loves the smell of fresh baked cookies and more importantly can relate that scent to good memories living in a home.

When you are selling your house, you want to do everything possible to eliminate objections before they arise.  Giving your home the smell of baked goods is a great component for your next open house.

Pair this with cleaning up your clutter, planting some flowers, and paying attention to your curb appeal and you’ll set yourself ahead of other homes for sale in your neighborhood.

#12 Understand the impact of “Days on Market”

If you’re going to take your home off the St. Louis real estate market, make sure you consider keeping it off for 60 days to reset your “days on market”.

Why?

This will prevent unnecessary objections or low offers from those who want to exploit that you couldn’t sell your house the first time you listed in on the market. An experienced realtor knows this process inside and out.

#13 Pick the best time of year to sell your house

Summer is hot for a reason, consider selling your house in the hot season to get the hot sales price.

We like to think St. Louis real estate market is always hot!  But, we still follow the basic home selling rules 🙂

#14 Decorate to the season

Make sure and appropriately decorate to the seasons.

Your buyers will feel more at home if the home is in line with the current season.

This doesn’t mean you need to have a Christmas tree, but certainly think about the importance of subtle seasonal decorations such as candles, wreaths, and miscellaneous seasonal colors.

#15 Help me Sell My House:  Clean up your leaves and yard waste

Too many people overlook this when listing their home for sale.

You need to have a clean yard so your buyers can visualize a new life and new experiences. If they have kids, they will want to visualize their kids playing in your back yard.

Cluttered yard debris makes that hard to do.

You don’t want people searching the St. Louis open house listings and end up at your house only to be turned off by a messy yard.

Sometimes yard work seems harder than it really is, you would be surprised how many leafs can fit in a single leaf bag!  Start small and go outside for 1 hour and start picking up debris around your patio, flower beds, swing sets, fence lines, sheds, etc.

#16 Pick weeds in flower beds and other landscaped areas around your house

This step follows #15 and is SO EASY!

Take 5 minutes every day and walk outside and pick weeds and sticks.

Then, take them straight to the yard waste, do not leave them in a pile and risk forgetting to leave an eye sore at your next showing.

#17 Clean up the dog dooky

Life stinks when you don’t do this, so do it if you want to sell your house! 😉

Plus, you don’t want someone tracking in some nasty stinky dog dooky on your freshly cleaned carpet during a showing.

Yes, I called it “dog dooky”!

#18 Rake your kids sandbox

Highly overlooked element of preparing the exterior before selling your house.

If you have a sandbox and your potential buyers have kids, they will notice a well kept space that appeals to children.  And, if they bring their kids, you’ll see the kids immediately find a comfort zone which will send a signal to mom and dad!

Sandboxes are often home to pet waste and weeds, make sure you clean it out and give yourself a chance to sell quickly.

#19 Wash the siding on your house

Do you wash your cars before you sell or trade?

Why wouldn’t you wash your house?

Get a ladder, bucket and sponge and go to work. You’ll be shocked at how clean the siding looks after you’re finished.

#20 Wash vinyl fences

Sounds simple, but if you have a white vinyl fence, wash it.

Yes it will take time, yes you may not want to do it, but it makes all the difference when someone pulls up for a showing at your home.

Paying attention to curb appeal is a majorly overlooked component to selling a house.

#21 Paint your chain link fence

Do you have a rusty old chain link fence?

Updating the fence color is another simple way to eliminate any home buyer objections from occurring.

Here is my suggestion:

  1. Rent a paint sprayer from the closest home improvement store
  2. Get a 4×8 piece of plywood (you can always turn it vertical if you have a taller fence)
  3. Place the plywood behind the fence to protect from painting your neighbors bushes
  4. Turn on your sprayer and give your fence a face lift

#22 Consider the real estate markets

Before deciding what time of the year to list your home, study the markets.  Your realtor should be able to pull homes sales data in your area to give you a good idea of when the best time of the year is for you to list your house for sale.

This is one of the first things to discuss with your realtor before listing.

#23 Consider the markets again

Before deciding what time of the year to buy your new home, you need to study the markets to determine when you are going to potentially get the best price.

It’s not always about how fast you can sell your home, it’s also about making sure you’re getting as close to asking price as possible.

#24 Scents help soften the experience, but don’t go over board

An air freshener turned on high will make the buyers think you’re hiding something.  Consider some flowers or cookies.

#25 Don’t schedule your home listing to go live on holiday weekends or weekends with special events

Listing your home for sale on 4th of July, Memorial Day, or Labor Day is a surefire way to reduce the amount of people that will see it during it’s market debut.

The same rules apply for large events such as the Taste of St. Louis, Fair St. Louis, or any major event happening in St. Louis.

Certainly you can’t always prevent it, but do your best not to limit the sets of eyes on your home on its opening weekend on the real estate market.

#26 Pay attention to the price band in your area

How much are you over or under the average sales price and how do the finishes of your home compare to the high end of the sales band?

This is another core component of the process of selling a house with a realtor.

We see it all the time where a home owner is convinced they should be at the top end of the price for their area, except they haven’t taken any steps to demand top end pricing.

  1. Have a pre listing home inspection.
  2. Walk through with your realtor and identify the items that will increase your sales price.
  3. Prioritize and complete the items you can prior to listing your home for sale.

#27 Consider the school district

Research the school district and determine if it’s a good match for you and your children.

Some of the best school districts in St. Louis include Lindbergh and Parkway among many others.

#28 Make a deal with your real estate agent

If you’re going to use a local realtor to list your home and represent you when buying your new home, ask them for a deal on commissions.

This is certainly one of the questions to ask a realtor when selling your home.  They will often give you a deal if they can sell your home and represent you when buying your new home.

Remember, you don’t get what you don’t ask for. 😉

#29 Run local crime reports

Do a little digging and make sure you’re not moving next to any documented crime scenes.

#30 Check the sex offender registry for buying or selling your home.

It’s public information and good to know and not be surprised.  The last thing you want is for someone to bring it to your attention and catch you completely off guard.

#31 How long does it take you to get to the highway during rush hour

Consider how long your commute to work is and what it will be for your potential buyer.

How bad is the traffic in the morning to get you to a major highway?

I have a friend that lives in Ballwin and it takes him 20 minutes to get to highway 40 because of traffic, something he didn’t realize when they initially bought their home.  Imagine how great it would have been things were reversed and the seller had told how close the house was for accessing the highway.

It’s all about mindset and setting the right expectations with your potential buyers.

#32 What amenities are within walking distance

Are there any parks close to you that would be important to share with your potential buyers?

Good places to walk and get coffee?

Dog parks?

How far are these places from your home?

Again, these are great questions to ask a realtor when selling your home, and you should expect them to know this stuff.

#33 Check your community for a pool

Growing up I had so many great memories from full days at the pool.

Does your new community have a pool and park? Can you see yourself spending days in the sun during the summer? Is it within a short walk or bike ride?

Imagine yourself leaving your home and heading to the pool!  Share that story with your buyers.

#34 How close is your house to a local fire station?

Would you feel safer knowing your community firehouse is within close proximity to your home?

Do you or your family have medical conditions?

Does living closer to first responder help make you feel more comfortable in your new home?  It certainly does for a lot of people.

#35 Can you float two mortgages or do you need to make contingent offers?

Sellers are less likely to take contingency offers.

Do your best to sell your home before buying a new home so you have the strongest chance of getting your first offer accepted.

Think about it, would you take a couple thousand less if the buyer was pre-approved and motivated to close vs. a buyer that needs to delay closing until their home sells?

#36 Get a pre listing home inspection

Don’t let home inspections surprise you.

Getting a pre listing home inspection will allow you to create your to do list to make selling and closing move faster. If you can prevent an objection from happening, then you’ll increase your chances of closing faster and maximizing your sales price.

Do a quick google search for the best home inspectors in St. Louis and you’ll have plenty of options for inspectors to call.

#37 Don’t let your emotions block your ability to accept an offer

Homes create many memories and you have to make sure and not let your years of memories get in the way of closing the sale.

#38 Start your research early (TBT FREEBY)

Even if you aren’t ready to sell, start following the markets and understand what’s important to buyers in your current market.

A great way to do that is by signing up for an account with MARIS and start getting the inside look at available properties.

This is a much more realistic way to get updates vs. searching sites like Zillow that aren’t updated in real time.

Sign up with Maris for free and we’ll make sure you get all the relevant property details as often as you would like.

Just email info@theblankenshipteam.com and give us you name, email and property details and we’ll get you enrolled for FREE.

#39 Steps to Selling Your Home Starts with Fresh Paint

Ditch the white walls and add some neutral colors to your home.

Light gray is a solid choice as it won’t impact your existing décor. And, it’s a very cheap way to improve your house when you’re willing to do the work yourself.

#40 Make the best of the space you have

Want to know how to stage a house to sell?

You need to maximize the feel of your square footage by rearranging your furniture, adding an area rug, and moving around the pictures on the wall. It’s amazing how simply moving some things around can make a room feel much bigger, or in some cases make a smaller room more cozy.

#41 Consider updating your bathroom tile

My take is everyone should do this if they have outdated tile.

Tile is like talk, it’s CHEAP!

Tile is easy to install and most of the time you can find rockin clearance deals on neutral colors for $1 or less per square foot. That means you can greatly improve the look of your bathroom many times for under $100. You can even get your tile sprayed if you don’t want to replace it before selling.

#42 Replace flat panel doors with six panel doors

Flat panel doors are a thing of the past.

Most homes that do not have solid wood doors can easily replace their flat doors with new six panels for about $50 per door.

If you don’t want to replace every door, consider replacing the bedroom doors and hall closets as that is what most visitors will ever see.

Selling a house is always easier when the doors look fancy! 🙂

#43 Add a back splash to your kitchen

Back to talking about tile.

It’s cheap and easy.

Go to Home Depot or Lowes and see what’s on clearance. Pick it up and transform the look of your kitchen in less than a day.

I always advise clients to take advantage of holidays or winter to start prepping their house for sale in the spring.  Tile work is a great activity during the slow months.

#44 Paint your hand rails and window sills

Handrails can get nasty and easily overlooked.

Get a $5 dollar pint of white paint or stain and give it a fresh coat. Same with your window sills. Many times they get neglected over the years and get coated with dust.

Slap a new look on them in under 5 minutes.

#45 Power wash your driveway and sidewalk before listing your home for sale

Years of cars, chalk, pollen and dirt will do a number of your sidewalks and driveway.

Go rent a power washer, borrow one from your friend, hire a company, but get it done.

If you really want to get pumped up about it, watch how pleasing this video is and you’ll want to start immediately!

#46 Don’t make large credit purchases prior to getting pre-approved or closing your home

The last thing you want is the purchase of a new car for 30,000 to go against your debt to equity ratio and increase your mortgage interest rate.

Even if you’ve been waiting your whole like to buy your first Ferrari, just wait a couple months until you close on your house to do it.

Or, pay cash since that’s what most Ferrari owners do😊!

#47 Put in a new mailbox

If you’re mailbox looks like a chalk board, try a shiny bolt on replacement. Oh, and don’t forget to stain the wooden mailbox post too!

#48 Make sure your light bulbs are replaced

Duh, people need to see and feel good.

Natural light bulbs are particularly good for making people feel more positive about their surroundings.

#49 Spice up your front door with paint

10 minute exercise will cover up years of weathering and make your first impressions that much stronger.

You can also hang a seasonally appropriate wreath.

#50 Clean your windows

Have you ever cleaned the windows on your home?

Well maybe, but most people neglect to ever take the time and really clean their windows, even before they sell their house.

You’ll find doing so removes a lot of unnoticed cob webs and water spots that get easily overlooked by you, but not your buyer.

#51 Keep blinds open and lights on during showings

How many times have you walked into a home showing when the lights were off and the blinds were closed?

Yeah it might happen if the owners aren’t in town or the house is vacant. But, if your realtor calls and says they want to show the house, take a minute and turn all your lights on and open your blinds to bring in the natural lighting.

#52 Turn on some background music

Depending on how techy you are, just say “Alexa, turn on the best music to sell my house” and she’ll do her best to set the mood!

Or, you can put in your favorite CD if that’s your style.

Turn on something and make the mood more comfortable for your buyers.

#53 Don’t leave your closets unpainted if you want to sell your house fast

Do you have bedrooms with new paint, except you ran out before you could finish the closets?

Guilty!

Touch up the paint inside your closets to make it more appealing for someone to see their storage capabilities. If they see a half ass painted closet, they will immediately think they need to paint it before they can start moving in their clothes.

Don’t give them any reason to come up with a negative objection.

#54 Remove the magnets from your refrigerator

Think back to what we said about clutter, remove it!

I’m not saying you need to take them all down, but you certainly don’t need every child painting or 3 years of outdated cardinals schedules taking away from the clean look of your stainless frig.

#55 Pick up the dog food

Move it out of site.

There is no value in keeping a water bowl in the firing line of a stranger’s foot walking through and considering buying your home.

Even worse, what happens if they spill it and slip on your floor?   Buying your house will be the last thing on their mind!

#56 Hang your pots and pans

Organizing your pots and pans is simple with a few hooks and some elbow grease.

Run to the store and get some pot hangers and install in your cabinets.

  1. Measure the space in your cabinets
  2. Determine the pattern
  3. Mark and pre drill your holes
  4. Hang up the pots and pans and think to yourself, “Why did I wait until I was selling my house to make my kitchen cabinets so organized”!

Organized cabinet space will always leave a good impression, especially as people spend a ton of time in their life in the kitchen.

#57 Clean the tracks of sliding doors and windows

Take 30 seconds and scrub out the grime, bugs, and grit from the tracks of your sliding glass doors and windows.

  1. Use a flat head screw driver to scrape out the grime
  2. Vacuum out the other lose dirt
  3. Put non stick lubricant on a wash cloth or old shirt from the garage
  4. Apply to both tracks on the sliding door

This will ensure your doors are opening smoothly while for potential buyers are buyers at your open house or private showings.

#58 Wash or replace your floor mats at your entry points and kitchen

It’s not uncommon for people to come in and take their shoes off. Don’t have them take their shoes off on dirty rugs.

I just googled it and you can find new floor mats for your house for $10.  Seems like a small price to pay to help make a great first impression.

#59 Make sure your outlets are GFI

If you don’t have this already, your buyer will ask for it during the inspection.

  1. Call a handy man to come over
  2. Inspect all outlets
  3. Replace your outlets with GFI in all required locations.

One of the main questions to ask a realtor when selling your home is whether or not you should update your outlets, we would be shocked if they said anything but yes!

Get it?

Shocked! 🙂

#60 Cut your grass

Curb appeal is your first chance to impress.

Make sure you’re keeping your grass cut and your fence lines trimmed.

#61 Pick up the sticks in the yard

The cleaner your yard, the better your grass will look.

If you have a lot of trees that shed branches, take some time to clean them up. If you don’t want to do this, it’s a great job for a neighbor kid trying to make some extra cash.

#62 Scrub your base board

Another neglected area of many homes for sale is the base boards.

  • Get a magic eraser or wash cloth
  • Scrub the dust off your base boards
  • Determine if you need to paint or not
  • Watch them come back to life!

If you did a few boards each night for a couple weeks, you can clean all your baseboards to ensure they are open house ready when you list your home.

#63 If you want to know how to sell your house, make your address marker visible

This goes back to making a strong first impression.

Make sure your address marker is clearly visible from the street so people can easily find you. Can you imagine how frustrating it would be for someone coming to a showing and not being able to easily find the house.

They’re already frustrated and haven’t even gotten out of their car yet.

#64 Stain your deck

After you’re done power washing your driveway, take it out back and knock out your deck before putting on a fresh coat of stain.

Well, you should be staining your deck every couple years anyway, but in case you haven’t, definitely do this. Most buyer’s aren’t thrilled with having a long to do list when they move in, unless they’re of course looking for a project.

  1. Choose your cleaning solution
  2. Pick out a stain color
  3. Apply stain with a roller, brush or sprayer
  4. Wait 24-48 before walking on it
  5. Do this if it’s been longer than 2 years since you last stained your deck.

Don’t let staining your deck be your buyers problem.

#65 Organize your storage areas

Storage is huge.

People have lots of crap and they have to put it somewhere. If you have storage space, make sure and arrange it in a way they can see it’s very good for maximizing space.

Where else are they going to store all of their unopened wedding gifts, 100 pound mixer, Christmas tree, old college memorabilia, t shirt collection, etc…

#66 Drive by during peak hours

Once you have checked out a new house, drive by it later during peak hours and see how the traffic is. Maybe you didn’t realize it’s on a cut through street? Maybe you overlooked the house sit’s in front of a stop sign.

#67 Go to every other open house in your area

Get a good look at the competition and see if there is anything you can do to improve your own listing.

Maybe you’ll walk away with a great idea to increase the curb appeal of your home.

#68 Hire a good photographer

Don’t skimp out on the photos, especially now that you live in the world of smart phones

More eyes will get on your property, so make sure the photos you have best represent your home.

#69 Always say yes if your realtor calls to ask if they can show your house

If you want to sell your house, then do your best to be flexible during the times you are at home.

If and when your realtor calls, be ready to flip the lights on, open your closets, open the blinds, have Alexa turn on some tunes, and get out of the way.

Stay prepared for unexpected showing requests. This is definitely what to expect from a realtor selling your home, lot’s of showings!

#70 Consider offering deals for cash or pre-approved buyers

People love deals, just look at Groupon.

I never knew so many people could get excited to save .75 on their favorite latte.

Take that same concept and offer some deals like appliances, custom made furniture, organizational elements such as extension cord wind ups.

You never know what will strike someone’s interest and move them closer to making an offer.

#71 Start cleaning up your credit a year or two before you’re ready to buy a new home

Unless you’re not worried about the financial impacts of a few percentage points, you should start cleaning up your credit now.

Here are some ways you can start getting your clean up process in motion.

  • Pay your bills on time to show a history of consistent payments
  • Keep credit card balances low
  • Keep off debt to improve your debt to equity ratio
  • Avoid over spending

You can also use a utilize a credit repair service to help you boost your score, request false reports be removed. Understanding what the average credit score required to buy a new home is important when you plan on selling as low credit could squash the entire deal.

All of this takes time and can make a major impact on your mortgage rate, you need to get a head start on this if you believe it’s a concern for you.

#72 Update your light bulbs with natural light vs. yellow

Do you love walking into a room lit with yellow bulbs?

Or do you feel like you just walked into the scene of a 90’s murder movie?

Natural light is proven to improve your mood. Over time, start replacing your bulbs with natural light and get away from those old yellow show stoppers!

#73 Use a great mortgage lender

Do your homework.

Make sure you get referrals from your friends and family and don’t just pick the guy you meet at a random neighborhood cleanup project.

The best lenders are the ones you aren’t going to see advertising everywhere chasing new business, the best lenders are busy because everyone refers them for good service.

One of the things you may not learn when you learn how to sell your house, is how to choose a lender.

Let us help you.

We have very strong opinions on who the best mortgage lenders in St. Louis are, and even those you should always stay away from.

Let us know if you have questions and we’ll happy give you our feedback.

#74 Fertilize your yard 6-12 months ahead of time

Curious how some yards are so green?

Fertilizer!

Even if you don’t want to spend the money to water your grass in July, fertilizing will allow you a couple months of beautiful green grass before the hot St. Louis scorching sun does a number on it.

#75 Clean up your garden

Gardens are great, but are often super messy.

Take the time to clean up around your garden so people can best see the functionality of the space your using.

If it’s cluttered with sticks, tools, and bags of soil, it just looks messy.

#76 Organize your garage

The easiest way to do this is go to home depot and get a few simple things.

  1. Plywood
  2. Pegboard
  3. Large hooks

Plywood is great as you can screw directly into it and hang heavier objects and peg board is a solid way to get all the little stuff off the counter and nicely organized.  Lastly, the large hooks will allow you to remove things from the floor up to the ceiling such as bikes, coolers, ladder, etc.

#77 Light and sweep your garage

Not only to keep people from tracking in dirt, but you want to appeal to those who appreciate a clean garage.

You may have some gaps under your garage and overtime the grass clippings add up and bugs start to call it home.

Treat the garage like any other space in your house and make it appealing to your buyer. I would suggest putting some paint and hanging a fluorescent light if you don’t already have it.  I googled 4 bulb fluorescent light and found options for $50 or less.

Good lighting makes a room look bigger and people appreciate a garage that has space to not just park cars, but store their tools, lawnmower, etc.

Wouldn’t you say it’s worth the $50 for this?

#78 How to Sell Your House: Ask your neighbors to clean up their mess

Don’t feel bad about asking your neighbors to clean up any eyesores that might exist.

For example, your neighbor has a rotting swing set and the kids have been gone 20 years.

Just simply ask if they would like it removed and do them a favor and help out.

Yeah you might feel like a butthead, but it’s better to remove the eyesore when listing your home for sale.

#79 Look in the attic for water damage to the roof

Get a flashlight and step ladder and poke your head into the attic. Look for spots on the roof that show signs of water damage.

You’ll want to make sure and get the repairs either completed or estimated so you can prepare for that objection from your future buyer.

#80 Check for mouse poop behind storage areas

Move the big boxes away from the walls and make sure you don’t have any unwanted pets in the house.

If so, lay some traps and blast them ASAP. This is one of the golden rules of getting your house ready for sale.

#81 Check for hard water

Depending on the area your looking, you may have issues with hard water which over time can cause plumbing issues.

You can find hard water testers at your local Lowes, or you can examine the fixtures such as faucets and shower heads for calcium build up.

If there is hard water, you’ll need to consider the cost installing a water softener or giving a credit if it’s an issue for your buyer during the inspection process.  Hopefully hard water is not a surprise for you, but we see it happen to people selling their homes pretty often.

#82 Run every faucet and check for dripping tubs and showers

Check every fixture for function. Run them and make sure there aren’t any drips under the sink.

If there are, add them to the list of thing to fix before listing your house.

#83 Check appliance’s for function

Make sure all the stove burners work, exhaust fans, ice maker, etc…test them for function and fix as necessary.

#84 Look under every area rug

This one can sneak up on you. I once spoke to a home owner who had a floral runner in front of their fireplace in their carpeted living room.

They explained there was a runner when they looked at the house, but never thought to look under it.

When they finish closing their home and receive their keys, they showed up to to find the runner was covering up a previous carpet repaid.  Can you imagine showing up and having two colors of stripes hidden on the day you’re moving into your new home!

#85 Beware of woodpiles close to the exterior of the home

Woodpiles are great home to termites, spiders, ants and other insects.

The closer these are to your home, the higher the chance these critters will want to become roommates. If you don’t have a fire pit, then you have no business hoarding stacks of wood and yard debris.

#86 Check the attic in areas where trees branches or large bushes are touching the roof

Branches that touch a home or roof act as a bridge for pests

Make sure to check the attic for signs of infestation if there are any trees or bushes that have been touching the house.

If you have any issues, you can usually take care of it with a local exterminator.

#87 Make sure all your windows work correctly

As you’re walking through, take a minute and open all the windows.

You might find the windows aren’t functioning correctly.

It’s an easy item to overlook and the last thing you want are windows that can’t lock.

#88 Check dimmers

Dimmers can get very expensive if you have a whole house full.

Don’t just turn the lights on and off, check the dimmers are functioning correctly.

If they aren’t make sure to check the light bulbs before you assume the dimmer is bad. Some bulbs don’t work with dimmer switches.

Make sure you have the right dimmer bulbs.

#89 Replace your HVAC filter

Good indication that someone has taken care of their home is looking at their HVAC filter.

Filters should be changed consistently and if the filter is extremely dirty, there is a strong chance other areas of the home have been neglected.

Don’t let a dirty air filter make your buyer question the other things you might be procrastinating.

#90 Look at the water heater pan for damage

Water heater are equipped with a pan to help capture overflow water and reduce damage.

Examine the pan for signs of water to get an idea of the health of the unit. If you’re dealing with an old unit that has signs of damage in the pan, consider that in your offer.

#91 Test the sump pump by pouring water in it

If have a sump pump in the basement, then you know there was a history of water issues in the basement.

Take a small bucket of water and pour it into the sump pump to make sure it triggers the pump to start.

#92 Check the exterior outlets work

Want to make sure your army of holiday blow up decorations are going to continue to brighten the holiday spirit?

Make sure all the exterior outlets work so you’re not surprised and end up with a holiday electrical project.

#93 Consider updating your ventilation covers to updated models

Again, the idea here is to make sure and never give someone anything to point out as something they don’t like.

Vent covers are cheap and you can replace the ones in the high traffic areas to further reduce anyone’s concerns with the look of your home.

#94 Paint your return air vent to match the wall

You can often find the return air vents plastered front and center of a main wall.

One coat of paint and about an hour of work you’ll have those hiding like camo in no time!

#95 Update old light fixtures

Here’s another super simple fix to improve the value of your home.

  1. Go to Lowes or Home Depot
  2. Check their clearance section
  3. Choose a new light fixture

You can almost always find a great fixture for $100 or less that will bring your 1960’s bathroom up to date before selling.

#96 Clean your patio table and furniture

Everyone knows how difficult it can be to keep a patio table and chairs clean, especially if you live in a home with trees and a big lot.

Don’t overlook the coat of dirt and dust, knock it out with some windex before your open house or showings.

#97 Scrub your basketball hoop base and replace the net

If you have a basketball hoop, use it to your advantage, whether you’re a dedicated baller or not!

  1. Clean the base up
  2. Replace the net

You can even go as far as leaving a basketball and soccer ball visible in your garage so potential buyers will realize the property is good for sports.

#98 Get onboard with the chalkboard

Choose a main cabinet and spice it up with a user-friendly chalk board.

This is a great way to help stay organized, keep consistent recipes, important phone numbers, etc…And, chalkboards are trendy right now, just look at pinterest!

#99 Provide a list of local restaurants

Consider making a list of local restaurants so your client’s can imagine themselves enjoying their community.

  1. Breakfast
  2. Lunch
  3. Dinner

#100 Trim your trees

I’m not saying you need to hire a company, but certainly clean up the low hanging branches, especially those that impede pleasant views of the property.

If you’re wondering how to sell your house with a nasty yard, the answer is it’s not easy!

Clean it up!

#101 Create a SWOT analysis

Use the old SWOT analysis to determine what you need to do before listing your home.

  • Strength
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

This is a great way to create and prioritize your to do list.

#102 Clean up the curb in front of your home

Take 5 minutes and sweep up the road debris along the curb in front of your home, it’s crucial for prepping your house for sale.

#103 Utilize fresh flowers vs. artificial scents

As we mentioned, scents are good.

Try using fresh flowers in lieu of artificial when you can.

They not only smell good, but they add color inside the house.

#104 Ask your realtor about staging your home before selling

If you’re not going to be living in the house while it’s listed, use the staging services available through your relator.

This will allow you to show the house with nice furniture and décor after you have moved out of the property.

#105 Replace your shower curtain liners

Don’t keep up a shower curtain if it’s yellow, enough said.

#106 Consider creating a neighborhood bio

Create a document that talks about the amount of kids around the area, annual block parties, etc…Give your buyers a reason to want to live there.

#107 Replace your exterior lighting bulbs

Make sure your exterior lighting is in working order so the house looks inviting at all hours for your potential buyers.

  • Landscape lighting
  • Flood lights
  • Motion lights

#108 Want to Know How to Sell Your House? GET PERMITS!

Get your occupancy inspection done.

Most municipalities require some sort of occupancy permit when selling your home. Call and get that done in advance. It will you save some headaches, when you find a buyer!

#109 Get preapproved to buy a new home

If you really want to know how to sell your house, don’t waste your time looking prior to getting pre-approved, unless you are a cash buyer.

Homes can sell very fast and if you’re not pre-approved, you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment if you find the house of your dreams and can’t pull the trigger.

#110 Clean carpet before selling the house

I should have put this at the top of the list, but better late than never.

Carpet cleaning is cheap and makes a huge difference during the sales process.  Have a carpet cleaner come out and clean the entire house before putting your house on the market.  Pair that with some new entry mats to keep it clean during the entire home selling process.

#111 Line up your travel trailers early

It’s amazing how many little things will add up and potentially cause a conflict when you get ready to list and sell your house.  Coordinating your moving seems obvious, but so many people let it fall through the cracks.  Below are some examples of things you might need to start thinking about before putting your house on the market.

  • Renting a travel trailer (self explanatory)
  • Getting a toy hauler (for those of you with fun cars, bikes, etc)
  • Renting a boat trailer (tons of people have boats without trailers and it’s an easy thing to forget)
  • RV Rental (for those of you planning to sell your house and go on a road trip before settling back in.  Make sure you can get an RV that is ready for your closing date)

Seems simple, but certainly easy to overlook.

#112 Coordinate an Apartment Rental

If you haven’t found a new home and aren’t necessarily in a hurry, you may end up needing to get a temporary housing.  Below are some of the ways you can stay ahead of this.

  • Rent an apartment for temporary stay
  • Contact a hotel suite (Baymont Inn and Suites, Homewood Suites by Hilton, or Hampton Inn and Suites)
  • Coordinate a stay with family

Conclusion

Aren’t you happy you now know exactly how to sell your house?  Remember, the key to selling your house fast is setting yourself up for success by eliminating objections before the come up.  This can easily be accomplished, you just need to take the time to prepare for the sale.

In summary, below are the questions you should can now confidently answer when you ask yourself, “how to sell my house”?

  • How to get your house ready to sell?
  • How to sell your house with a realtor?
  • How to sell my house fast?
  • What to do to sell your house?
  • Process of selling a house with a realtor?
  • Tips for selling your home
  • How to Sell Your House

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