You ever wonder how your neighbor sold their home in 3 days or they were able to get a higher price then anyone else in the community? It is not because they have a statue upside down in their landscaping or better karma but because they probably took the tie to plan and make the most of that first listing period. Now I will admit some of the sales out there make no sense and sometimes a blend of timing and buyers immediate needs come into play, but there are several things a seller can do to make sure their listing performs as good if not better then any other sale in their neighborhood.

Remove your Feelings – Nobody cares how much you spent on any updates 5 years ago and the word “original” outside of maintained floors and woodwork is a swear word. Forget your emotional attachment to memories and how much you have enjoyed the home as you prepare to pass the optional experience onto the next lucky buyer as their goal is not to live your memories but to create their own, with or without your curtains.

Update just to compete – On TV you can update a home and add up all those receipts then pad that final number and add that to a list price. It does not work that way in real world or at least in the Midwest. Updating a home regularly with current appliances and fixtures is standard and what you paid for them a decade ago probably won’t be as expensive as the lost interest of buyers. Every home on the market seeking a retail price should have fresh paint, newer flooring, updated/upgraded appliances and nothing “retro”. The house next door to you is listed for five grand less and has a new kitchen and competing with that is nearly impossible.

Listen to the data – Using good comps in the same neighborhood or identical neighborhoods is a must because there are so many deciding factors in value. Just because you want the home to be worth the same per square foot as the mansion around the corner, does not mean any buyer will agree. In todays marketplace there are so many transactions that finding comparable properties should be a breeze. But making up a number is dangerous because 20% off can cost you a lot of showings and the “we are too far off” from buyers. Your agent can put together a list of sales in the community to determine your value. I said “sales” not current listings or what your neighbor was going to list for. Real closed sales.

Look really really good – I don’t date much anymore but if I did my first attention would be made for my look. Nice clothes, clean neat hair and smelling super good. Why not for your home? Get rid of the blankets, the extra chairs, the kids crap, the artwork on the fridge, the catch all at the back door, the 27 pairs of shoes, the dirty dog dish, the stack of sweaters, the charger cables and anything else that may take away from the features in your home. We want people to walk in and feel like they are about to move into a fresh start and a blank canvas. Same with the pictures. Take great ones and edit them. Take realistic shots from normal heights and even do a walk through or 3D tour to give an online shopper as much show as you can before the actual date. Tinder requires photos, why not do the same with a house?

So what I am saying is if you want the most for your house you have to do it the smart way with good planning, using an expert and going above and beyond to present your listing. I can promise you that any combination of some of these will never get you the highest and fast sale but I can tell you that taking the time and effort to be the best will give you a heads up all day long in the battle for buyers.

Curt has been in the Indianapolis Real Estate business for over 10 years and spent his first years learning all aspects of commercial management and brokerage.  He has had great success in managing existing commercial projects and new retail and office developments.  Curt specializes in building owner representation and purchases in the Westfield Indiana market as well throughout the Indianapolis Metro area.  Curt is passionate about growing the local Westfield community and in his free time  volunteers with Westfield Youth Assistance and raising 2 children with his wife Jennifer.