8 Tips to Get Your House Ready to Sell in Today’s Market

Nicole Franzen kitchen

Photograph Courtesy of Nicole Franzen

1. Have your agent look into zoning regulations so that you can inform potential buyers of the changes, expansions, or additions they are allowed to make.

2. You might love your fuchsia powder room, but don’t expect potential buyers to. “A coat of white paint and some neutral slipcovers can go a long way,” says the Corcoran Group’s Michael Schultz.

3. Consider staging: A dated dwelling can often benefit from some thoughtful editing and rearranging by a professional, who will bring an empty house to life.

4. Remove personal items. “Otherwise, buyers will end up spending more time looking at your stuff than the actual house,” says Corcoran’s Susan Breitenbach.

5. Study up on current market conditions. “Sellers need to be very competitive right now and price aggressively and fairly,” says Justin Agnello of Douglas Elliman Real Estate. “Then, when it comes to negotiations, they should hold steady.”

6. As you discuss pricing with brokers, ask them to share market research that justifies their recommendations. Additionally, get an appraisal in advance. “It’s good to have a sense of what your home is worth before you list it,” says Schultz, noting that a good appraiser might charge as much as $2,000.

7. Be sure plumbing, air-conditioning, mechanical equipment, and appliances are in working order, because “having to disclose problems to potential buyers is never a good way to start,” says Agnello. And don’t forget about curb appeal: “If buyers see a broken railing,” Schultz cautions, “they’ll question the condition of the rest of the home.”

8. Clear out the clutter. “The fewer distractions, the better,” Agnello says.