Getting the Most for Your Home When It’s Time to Sell 

When you sell your home, you want to get the most money for it. You may be able to boost your sale price by making a few simple upgrades and repairs. 

The right timing can also be important. Ideally, you want to sell when you have enough equity (the difference between what you owe on your mortgage and the house’s value). But life sometimes moves faster than you do. 

1. Curb Appeal 

If your home is on the market, the first thing prospective buyers will notice is your curb appeal. They will automatically start assessing the exterior and landscaping, forming a knee-jerk opinion that could affect how much they want to pay for your property. 

They will also compare it to other homes in the neighborhood. A house with luscious green lawn, well-kept flowers and a tidy front porch will be perceived as more valuable than one with toys strewn all over the yard, chipping paint or a dilapidated deck. 

To increase your curb appeal and boost the value of your home, you don’t need to hire a professional or spend a fortune. These simple and affordable do-it-yourself curb appeal ideas will help you elevate your home in just a weekend. 

2. Repairs 

A well-maintained home is more attractive to buyers, and it will likely sell faster and for a higher price than an as-is property. But some repairs can have a negative impact, especially when they are expensive. Ask yourself, “How does a home warranty work?’ and look into offering one with the sale. 

The key is to choose projects that will get your home in selling shape but won’t eat into your profits too much. Look for upgrades with the highest payoff based on your location and neighborhood. 

A few examples include replacing old carpeting with hard floors, repairing chipped paint and removing personal items from the walls. Even something as simple as a fresh coat of paint can boost curb appeal and make the interior more appealing to prospective buyers. These are all less costly than major renovations and can help 

you justify a higher asking price. 

3. Stage It 

If you’re willing to go the extra mile, staging can make a huge difference in how fast your home sells and for how much money. A staged home can spend half as long on the market compared to homes that have not been staged according to many realtors. This can save you money on carrying costs like mortgage payments and maintenance fees. 

Staging also helps potential buyers envision your property as their own. However,

this requires you to depersonalize the space by removing family photos and knick knacks. 

You’ll also want to give your home a deep clean and touch up paint in areas that may be noticeable, such as a scuff on the wall or a ding on a cabinet door. This will help make your home feel new and fresh. 

4. Price It Right 

One of the biggest factors that can determine how much you get for your home is its price. A seasoned real estate agent can give you pricing guidance. They will look at sales of comparable homes (known as comps) in your neighborhood and town to help you determine a fair asking price. 

Buyers are looking for a blank canvas to imagine their own furnishings in the home, so it’s important to remove personal items like family photos and knick-knacks. Also, be sure to rent a storage space if needed, so you can neatly organize what’s left in closets and cabinets. 

5. Market It 

The best time to sell depends on market conditions and your own financial picture. The rule of thumb is to stay in a home for about five years before selling, to build up enough equity to break even on the sale and cover expenses like mortgage interest and homeowners association fees. 

Your real estate agent can help you set a competitive price by researching comparable homes in your neighborhood that have recently sold. Your lifestyle and life changes are also important factors to consider, such as taking a new job or starting a family. 

Your home is a major investment, so don’t rush into the sale until you’re sure that you can find another property in your desired location and that your monthly housing costs (including mortgage, property taxes and insurance, plus HOA or condo fees, if applicable) will not exceed 28% of your income.

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