How to list and sell your home in a competitive market

Senior Producer/Reporter
Yahoo Finance

Spring’s home-buying season is just around the corner and those looking to sell their homes are getting ready to impress buyers. To make sure your property stands out from the crowd, Yahoo Finance invited Scott McGillivray of DIY Network’s ‘Buyers Bootcamp’ for tips on how to give your home a competitive edge.

Remove half of your belongings

For the average person who has a home in decent condition, McGillivray says to start by taking a few weeks to declutter your home by removing half of your furniture, clothes, books, toys — in every room and category — to open up the space.

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Avoid cramming your stuff into other areas of your house like your basement, garage, or attic because potential buyers will want to open up every door for a peek at what’s behind it. The best thing to do is pack up half of your belongings and move it to a location off the property into a storage unit, says McGillivray.

Take photos in all seasons

“There’s no excuse not to have the best version of your home captured,” says McGillivray. If you’re putting your home up for sale in a colder month like February or March, there may not be any leaves on the trees and your lawn could look dull or brown. So take pictures of your home during the summer when the flowers are in bloom, when the trees have green leaves, and your photos will stand out against others who have snow in their driveway, says the DIY host.

Replace anything people touch

Smaller upgrades can go a long way, especially when it comes to replacing small fixtures that people touch all the time like old door knobs, cabinet hardware, and light switches. When a buyer comes through your home, it’s not just a visual experience, they’re experiencing your home with all their senses.

“It was actually researched that replacing your front door was the single highest return on investment renovation that you could do to your home because it creates a sense of security,” says McGillivray. “If you have a worn-out door that people have to fiddle with to get in, the whole house immediately feels insecure, old and busted,” he says.

Compile all your manuals and records

Completing the sale can often fall through toward the end of the process for many reasons. But to help solidify the deal and show the buyer you’re buttoned up and ready to go as a seller, it helps to compile all your renovation records, warranties, paint colors, keys, and appliance manuals into one easy-to-read binder, says McGillivray.

“What makes the best purchase? It doesn’t have to be a perfect house, it doesn’t have to be a fully renovated house – but one that’s been loved is typically one that has a ton of potential and a ton of value,”McGillivray says. 

For more tips, check out “Buyer’s Bootcamp” on the DIY Network every Saturday night at 10 p.m.

Jeanie is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Reach out by email jeaniea@oath.com; follow her on Twitter @jeanie531.

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