By Shawn Graham

In a hurry to move? There’s never been a better time for putting a house on the market. The key to selling it quickly is remembering you’re selling more than your home. You have to convince the buyers to invest in this lifestyle for the next 30 years or more. If you want to sell your home fast this summer, put out the welcome mat.

Welcome your visitors by sprucing up the porch or front door stoop. A few potted plants or blooming flower baskets and an outdoor rocking chair bid a friendly “howdy” to your guests. Keep the porch lights on and make buyers feel at home.

Curb Appeal

The first thing customers see about your home goes beyond the “For Sale” sign. Unkempt yards and flower beds are a real turn-off. Proper mowing, watering, and lawn care is crucial weeks before you put your home on the market. Weeds and grass with brown patches will frighten away prospective buyers before they get to the front door. Start by sprucing up the front.

  • Plant flowers and greenery.
  • Power wash the driveway, walkways, and sidewalk.
  • Replace the old house number with new ones.
  • Wash the front windows.
  • Repaint shutters, doors, garages, window boxes, etc.
  • Paint, fix, or replace the mailbox.
  • Ensure all outside lights are working.

Picture Perfect

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Keep in mind: Today’s buyers will see your house online before they ever step foot on your front porch. While front yard curb appeal is essential, you also have to make your backyard ready for the camera. The patio must be clean and free of toys. Consider adding a 3D tour or aerial photos to capture a larger backyard.

Thinking about taking your own photos? Don’t! A picture’s worth more than a thousand words in real estate. The right picture taken with the right camera is often worth a few thousand dollars when it comes to the final closing price of your home.

Low-Maintenance Landscaping

Creating a beautiful yard is only half the battle. While today’s homeowner wants a nice yard, most don’t want the hassle of keeping it up. The lawn and short of it? Create a yard that’s easy to care for.

Cut back on the amount of turfgrass you must mow, edge, fertilize, treat for pests, and water. It’s also important to install low-maintenance, native plants. Pavonia, winecup, and Texas sage are eye-catching flowers that practically grow themselves. You can do both without breaking your budget.

Inside

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Time to clean your house! That includes all windows, doors, floors, countertops, cubbyholes, closets, and all the nooks and crannies. If you’re not up to the task, hire a cleaning service — especially for larger homes.

Removing clutter is vital. You don’t want a prospective buyer to think the home isn’t big enough for their belongings. Before showing the property, find a happy medium between a completely pristine house and too many personal touches. People need to see the house in livable condition, but not too lived-in. Your goal is to have prospective buyers see themselves in the house — not you.

Are floors clean? Is the carpet worn out? Strategically place throw rugs in various areas.

Closet space is essential, and you know visitors will take a peek. Clean out the closets and store most of your unused stuff somewhere else, especially during an open house. Leave a few things in the closet but don’t let buyers think there’s not enough space.

Staging

You can’t avoid every home-selling mistake. But you’ll get the best bang for your investment if you stage your house. It’s simply a way to highlight the best features. Since most buyers make up their minds immediately after entering a house, the entryway makes a huge difference. That could mean rearranging furniture or painting walls a neutral color.

The more you know about how to sell your house, the more opportunities you’ll have to put these tips into action. Your professional real estate agent can help you get it all done quickly and efficiently.

Shawn Graham is a former Realtor who stages homes and landscapes before they go on the market. Her own garden is filled with native blooms and shrubs that attract birds and bees.

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