House for Sale

The housing market has slowed, but you don't have to wait to sell. Here's what you can do to ensure your property is snapped up!

the competition.

“There’s something else I call the sizzle factor: that something that leaves a lasting impression [on] the buyer,” says Malik Ellis of Ellis Development Group. “I own a development company, and we have begun to see new home and condo builders [installing] plasma televisions over the fireplace. That tends to stick out in someone’s mind when they leave a house.”

2. Throw in a freebie. Otis Darrell, the retiree looking to sell his California home, says some wealthy homeowners are offering extravagant sweeteners to clinch a deal. “Things like, ‘I’ll throw in this Jaguar if you purchase my home,’” he says. If you’re relocating and won’t need your car, this strategy could pay off. Chances are you won’t have to offer a luxury vehicle either — your 5 — year — old Honda could do the trick.

3. Brighten your home. Turn on the lights during open houses, open the curtains and drapes, and do what you can to brighten things up. If you haven’t painted in a while, liven up your home by painting your living room and bedroom. Stick with light, neutral colors; they’ll give your house an overall fresh, clean look and feeling. As a precaution, before you list the house, make sure there are no unforeseen issues with the property by having it inspected for plumbing, electrical, or foundation problems.

4. Make your house pass the sniff test. “First impressions count,” says New Jersey real estate agent Pat Massenberg, and that includes the first impression potential buyers get when they take a whiff of your home. “I always suggest putting out flowers, potpourri in the bathrooms, and I even spray shower curtains with something pleasant.”

5. Increase your home’s curb appeal. Real estate agents often say that prospective home buyers will not go into homes that look unattractive from the outside. Keep in mind that when people approach a house they’re considering buying, they think about what their friends would say if they drove up to the place. Most buyers want them to say, “Wow!” That’s the impression you’ve got to create.

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