For many, owning a home is what is considered part of the “American Dream,” especially in the United States. It is part of the national ethos with the belief that anyone, regardless of where they were born or what class they were born into, can attain their own version of success in a fair and equitable society where upward mobility is possible for everyone. The American Dream is achieved through sacrifice, risk-taking, and hard work, rather than by chance. In order to achieve this level of independence for many people, it is through that private property and having your “own slice of heaven” is the easiest and most worthwhile method.
This ethos of the United States, including homeownership, entrepreneurial activity, and human independence in general, has spread across the world to become part of their goals. For some, it is not only enough to own their home or other pieces of property, but another part of the bargain is to be able to sell and control it themselves. Instead of enlisting the services of a real estate agent for a fee off of the sale price, they prefer to do everything on their own and reap the final rewards. These people may engage in a combination of DIY (Do It Yourself) activities or simply browse the latest home marketing tips to try and see what offers they can get with their property as-is. There is no correct way to sell a home or property, but there are many efforts that will help you along in your journey.
In this article, we’ll focus on practical home marketing tips that anyone can use to be their own real estate agent with gusto and glee. You want your home to be comfortable and inviting, not only because that’s the right thing to do, but because many people work from home now. With approximately 47% of people saying that they’re very satisfied with working from home, presenting your home in the correct way should be an asset, not a hindrance. With these tips, not only will you be able to show your house off as it’s meant to be for the market, but you’ll be confident that the buyer won’t have remorse while you’re on to new digs and quality experiences.
Start With An Inspection
When you want to sell a piece of property, it’s best to know what exact condition it’s in so that you can market it properly. If your home needs some work that you’re not willing to repair (or would prefer to the buyer to invest in), then you should state that outright from the beginning. Lying about the condition your property is in, or consciously omitting details from the record (even if your area does not require this information to be disclosed) will end up causing you nothing but headaches in the long run. When engaging in a voluntary sale between two parties it is simply best to be honest. This is one of the top home marketing tips that will always be true.
If you’d rather not hire a home inspector to appraise and evaluate your home, you can do it yourself. While an inspector may be more detailed and provide a legal report of your home’s condition, technically you can point out that your home is in need of gutter repair just as much as they can. Just be sure to be thorough and investigate every inch of the property that you can reach and access, documenting evidence and suggestions along the way. Once you get going, you may find that it’s more cost-effective to hire someone to do the inspection and document things you forget, but you will find that out in time.
When you list your property or show prospective buyers around if you’ve done an honest inspection or had one performed you will be able to highlight all the new/repaired features of your home. Being able to say with confidence that “the gutters are brand new” is much better than stating “the gutters could use repairs, but it won’t cost much.” Buyers never have to know how much or little you spent on repairs, as long as it’s quality and improves the home. You can feel free to do many of the repairs yourself, but things like home roof repair are best left to professionals. Not to mention that sometimes buyers will inquire as to who did the repairs (so that the same contractor can service the home in the future) and may be put off by too many DIY jobs.
Highlight the Assets of Your Home
One of the home marketing tips that you’ll hear is to “highlight your home’s assets,” but what does this mean? When listing and advertising your home, you always want to highlight the assets and try to downplay potential negatives. If it’s near a great high school, buyers will want to know that. If the neighborhood is sometimes loud on holidays, it can be worded other ways such as “If you’re into celebrations, then you’ll love that the neighborhood gets incredibly festive on holidays.” You never want to lie, but you always want to emphasize the positive and try not to dwell on potential negatives. Buyers will have their own questions for you, which you should answer honestly and succinctly.
It can also be helpful to list the attractions and numerous cultural/geographic features around your home that are worth exploring. If there are art museums or gardens nearby, buyers will want to hear about that. If it’s a short drive to state parks or farmer’s markets, that’s another positive. Present your home as being “in the middle of the action” even if it’s not an action that you participate in. Every buyer is different and will be attracted to different things.
Don’t Put Off Improvements
If your home is truly outdated and in need of more than just a facelift, you may want to consider hiring a home design and remodeling expert to help you gut some spaces and make them more modern. You’ll find in a list of home marketing tips that “consumers want upgrades” and it’s correct to assume that they always will. Having modern outlets, furnishings, appliances, and more will only make your home more appealing to prospective buyers than a well-kept outdated house. Even something like an updated oven, microwave, or new countertops can be a game-changer.
When you’re home hasn’t been painted or updated color-wise in a long time, then it might be worthwhile to enlist the services of an industrial painter to re-do the outside and inside of your home with quality paint that shines and pops. The home design expert mentioned previously may be able to suggest popular colors, or even colors that “sell more often” as referenced by psychology experts. Certain colors bring out certain emotions in people, which is why you want to make sure that none of your rooms are too bright, loud, or distracting.
Make Sure the Outside is Prim and Proper
Lots of homeowners know that focusing on the inside of a home waiting to be sold is a smart endeavor. In fact, it’s usually on the top of most home marketing tip lists. While making sure that the master bedroom and bathroom are in working order, it’s just as important to call a landscaping or weed control service to maintain the outside of the house and make it look presentable. If it looks like a castle on the inside, but a swamp on the outside, you probably won’t have many quality bites. Especially since the majority of home marketing is done by outdoor/indoor photos that are then followed up by actual visits from prospective customers.
A landscaping company may be able to turn your barren yard into a wonderful garden by simply spreading some mulch products and planting a couple of flower beds. If you want to increase the value of your home to prospective buyers, you may also consider adding fruit trees that will mature and be productive in later years. Small things like blueberry bushes, roses, and grapevines add a special vibe to a home that screams “I’m more than just a place to live” to many people.
Get Rid of Waste: Donating and Trash
In preparing your home for sale, you may encounter a lot of old objects from your past (or even ones that a previous homeowner forgot). You have a couple of options for how to get rid of these items in a safe and professional way, some of which will actually make or save you money. It’s almost guaranteed that you won’t find these tips in any blog or article about home marketing tips, but they’re worth knowing.
The first is a classic in American culture: the garage sale. Not only will a garage sale help you meet your neighbors and get rid of some of your stuff, but it will make it known to all who attend that the reason for the garage sale is that your house is up for sale. It’s one of the more subtle home marketing tips that require you to be able to schmooze and blend in with people while trying to figure out if they’re in the market for a new house or just really want your old record collection. While you may not make incredible amounts of money from a garage sale, it will help you get rid of bulky items (such as furniture), old/vintage items, and junk (that may be a treasure to some) so that your moving or storage costs are decreased once you do finally sell your house. It’s literally the definition of a win-win.
Another option for getting rid of items that are still perfectly fine, but you don’t want anymore, is to donate them to charitable causes and foundations. Places like Goodwill, The American Kidney Fountain, Habitat for Humanity, and more are always looking for items to sell in order to raise money for their causes. One of the more modern home marketing tips is to broadcast your donations on social media, letting people know of a good cause while also advertising that you’re donating these items because your house is up for sale.
When all else fails and you just need to get rid of items, you may want to consider a roll-off dumpster rental in order to throw all your household trash in. It can even take trash or scrap from contractors that are at your home to remodel, so you can knock out two things in one go. It’s far easier than packing things into trash bags and hauling them to the dump.
If All Else Fails, Consult an Expert
Sometimes, no matter how many home marketing tips you read and real estate classes you take, it just isn’t good enough. Whether your prospective buyers are disinterested no matter what you do or you can’t seem to attract enough people, sometimes it’s worth it to consult an expert for a variety of reasons. In this case, contacting a real estate law firm can not only provide you with legal advice on how to properly market your house, but may actually be able to put you in touch with a digital marketing agency that can function as a “quasi” real estate agent done vicariously.
While it may seem odd to contact a real estate law firm because you’re trying to avoid agents and fees, it can actually make sense if your long-term goal is to invest in real estate somewhere else and use your current property as collateral. Real estate lawyers can help you navigate the sometimes complex real estate market while keeping you compliant with selling your home now. Be sure to ask upfront about fees and associated costs so that you’re not surprised when the bill comes.
When the Sale is Done: Reflections on a Job Well Done
So you’ve finally managed to sell your home on your own, perhaps even managing to add to your arsenal some personalized home marketing tips. Not only is a congratulations in order, but hopefully you’re reflecting on the process and how it went in case you need to sell another property in the future. Perhaps you’ll even end up writing some of your tips for other prospective sellers or friends to help them in their time of need.
Something that’s never mentioned in articles about home marketing tips is checking on how the buyer is doing. It doesn’t have to be constant, but six months and one year out from buying your property it can be helpful to ask the new homeowner if they need help figuring out anything with the home that you lived in for quite some time. Little things like how a particular pipe needs to be tightened, or squeaking sounds on floorboards can do a lot to ease in a new homeowner and assure them that the house is not a lemon. The buyer can always refuse this help from you and assure you that all is well, but it’s nice to ask. After that, there’s really not much you can do but enjoy the profits from a sale done well.