Money Talks, So Should You

8 clever home-selling strategies

Elizabeth Rosen
by Elizabeth Rosen, Contributor (@dimespring)

As a home seller, it is important to know what your goals are and to lay out a game plan. The more preparation you do, the better of you will be throughout the home selling process.

The real estate market may still be struggling to recover, but a smart seller will do their research and use every tool at their disposal. Here are some great home selling strategies to help prevent your property getting stuck in a stagnant housing market.

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Establish Your Priorities and a Timeline

Your home selling strategy largely depends on how much money you want from the sale and how quickly you need to sell your property. Remember that the longer you house is for sale on the market, the more it will cost you. Listing your home at a low price will help it sell faster. On the other hand, putting some extra work into upgrades and renovations can help you command a higher price.

Be in Tune with the State of the Market & Buyers’ Psychology

Many areas were hit hard by the real estate crisis, so check to see the current condition of your local housing market before listing your home. While many regions have begun to recover, there is still a lot of inventory on the market, giving home buyers more power.

Take seasonal real estate fluctuations into account — nationally, there tends to be two major peaks in housing activity during the year (one at the start of spring and the other in the autumn). Also try to see things from the buyer’s perspective, particularly when it comes to staging and marketing your home.

Realtor or Sell Yourself?

There are pros and cons to hiring a real estate agent to work with you on selling your home. While it costs more money on its face, the resources that an agent can use may help sell your home faster, thus saving you more money overall. When choosing an agent, look for someone with a solid reputation and experience in your local housing market.

If you choose to sell the home yourself, you’ll definitely want to make good use of the Internet (online listing websites, Facebook, YouTube, etc.). Selling a home yourself will require some extra work on your behalf, but with adequate research and preparation, you should be able to avoid the common mistakes that many home sellers make.

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Be Realistic with the Price

Some home sellers are discovering that despite the cost of renovations and the original price of their property, they cannot recoup everything they put into their home. It’s important to be aware of the current market conditions (both locally and nationally) and to avoid overpricing your home, as it will only drive buyers away. If selling quickly is your main goal, you’ll have to consider listing your home at a lower price.

Update and Upgrade

Since there are so many properties on the market, you may have to put some effort into home improvements in order to attract buyers. Kitchen and bathroom upgrades are huge selling points, as well as any newly-purchased major appliances. Even “small” enhancements like a fresh coat of paint and waxing the hardwood floors can really make your home shine.

Buyers want to be able to imagine themselves living happily and comfortably there, so don’t cloud their vision with a lot of repairs.

Professional Home Inspection

You will generally be required to cooperate with a home inspection by the buyer after an offer is made (which you accept). But you can really set yourself apart by getting a professional home inspection done before your home is listed on the market. You can advertise your home as such in the listing, making your property even more appealing to buyers.

Having an inspection done yourself shows buyers that you’re responsible (particularly when it comes to your property) and it helps lighten their load.

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Stage Your Home

It is extremely important to make sure your home is in perfect shape before buyers come to see it.

You only have one chance for a first impression! So clean up the yard (front and back) and pay special attention to your home’s front walk-up. Curb appeal is a major factor in shaping a buyer’s opinion of the property. De-clutter every room, open up closets and curtains (people like to see in and out), and remove any personal memorabilia. Fix squeaky door hinges and check all the hardware as well.


There are many different home selling strategies out there, so choose what works best for you and your situation. Remember that there’s a lot of inventory on the market today. In order to get your home sold quickly, you may need to be flexible on some items. Above all, be realistic and do your research, so you can market your home efficiently and effectively.


Elizabeth Rosen grew up near Boston and comes from a family of financial planners. She attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa. where she studied professional writing. After graduation, Elizabeth moved to San Francisco where she worked for several years as the senior writer/editor and content manager for an online company. She now lives in Los Angeles working as a financial writer for numerous websites and print newsletters.