“What really makes a house sell?”  

Is a question realtors get from sellers and buyers alike.  Sellers want to know what will earn them top dollar and buyers want to know what they should be paying for.  To be clear, the condition of the structure of the property and what buyers are willing to pay is what makes the house sell.  Based on what market you are in, you’d be surprised at what inspires high priced sales. Factors such as location, future development plans, sustainability, and good old supply and demand really affect the value.  

About 10 years ago I went through the process with a friend as they got out bid by 5 developers on a dilapidated property.  This all took place within that space of 18 hours. That includes the the moment the property was listed in MLS to the time the seller accepted the all cash offer.  The house sold for a little over $550K when a mere 5 years ago it had been purchased online for $60K. My friend thought he was make a ballsy but good investment because it was only 7 houses down from a metro stop.  What my very intuitive friend didn’t know at the time, was that that particular neighborhood was earmarked to be completely upgraded within the next 10 years. Fast forward 5 years, that same property was developed into 3 condos and grosed of 2 million after renovation.

Today the properties are worth even more. The point is that timing and other factors play a major part in what people will pay or a property. So…let’s say you aren’t lucky enough to be right next to a metro or an area marked for revitalization, the list below will give you a good idea of how to get the most out of your sale.    


  1. CHECK OUT THE COMPETITION

Ask your agent to give you a CMA with homes listed slightly higher than your target price.  In my opinion they must be within less than a half mile of your property. They also need to have similar sizing and attributes.  View those properties so that you have an idea of what buyers in your area are willing to pay for.

Sign up to property portals and receive digital alerts about houses for sale in your area. This gives an idea of what the competition in your area looks like, the prices being sought and which estate agents are most active in your area.

  1. Inspection done

    Most offers and contracts are contingent upon inspection.  FYI, I recommend this to my clients and 99% of my contracts(unless you are a developer or investor aware of the risks) are contingent upon inspection.  If you have more than 12 months before you plan to list a property for sale having, inspection done is a good idea. This way you can tackle things on that list.  Despite what you want to do the fact is structural things sell homes Roofs, water heaters, ac units, safety issues, etc.

  2. Price it right

A house is worth what a buyer will pay.  End of story! If you want a buyer to pay top dollar you need competitors or at least the threat.  Contrary to popular belief, overpricing your property only to lower the price later is not the best idea.  Buyers notice when a property is on the market for a while. Unless you have a very high priced property which requires a special buyer, having a property on the market over 60 days is like blood in the water for a shark.  Starting off with a good pricing strategy is better than ending up getting less than you deserve.

 Nothing kills a real estate deal faster than an overpriced property.  Don’t let your ego factor into the listing price. If you have chosen a strong real estate agent then trust them to guide you to the appropriate square footage cost.

  1. Clean and declutter

    Sell…sell…sell!  Check out the book “The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up.”  One of my clients recommended this to me when I was in the process of downsizing.  It totally changed my life. If storing an item costs you more than you paid for it…time to let go.  You have things in your possession that would make you more money than its use.

The fewer things there are in the home, the larger it will look, so remove any personalized things such as excess furniture, clean cables,  family photos.Prospective buyers can envision their family in the house, not yours.kn

  1. Neutral paint.

     “I saw in a magazine that colorful is in, so should we repaint the house to something more on trend?”  Consider that people need to envision themselves in the space. Update interior and exterior paint, but don’t go nuts.

  2. Cosmetic upgrades

    “I heard kitchens and bathrooms sell homes.  Should we install mosaics tile murals for the backsplashes?”  Then consider cosmetic upgrades last on the list (specialty tiles, upgraded kitchen appliances (it’s most important to have working appliances). Depending on the price point buyers often prefer to personalize the home themselves.  Having clean working appliances are more important than breaking your budget in hopes of recovering it in profit.

  3. Find the Right agent

    The right agent will be willing to tell you the truth.  What you decide to do is up to you, but your To take the right pictures for it to show on all the platforms and share it on social media.

  4. IDENTIFY YOUR BUYER PROFILE

    The property needs to be attractive to the buyer profile active in your area, says Susan Slevin, partner at DNG. “If we think your home is best suited to buyers with young families then we will suggest that the third bedroom that you’re using as a home office is set up as a bedroom with the home office situated elsewhere within the house.”