We often think that selling a house is merely a function of supply and demand. Although there is truth in that, raising the value of your home when you want to sell it can bring in extra money and help you sell quickly. The key is knowing what can hurt you in the market and overcoming those detractors. Here are some tips that are universally understood to help you get the most from your house and sell it fast in a competitive market.

Update curb appeal

First impressions matter and when a potential buyer walks up to your home, you want to make that first impression one of, “Oh, I can’t afford this” even though they are looking because they know the listed price. The curb appeal means making sure that the front of the house looks nice, good paint, landscaping, lawn, sidewalk, front door, doormat, fence.

If any part of these components looks shabby, it creates an immediate subconscious concern from potential buyers. This is very important because this impression is difficult to overcome as they enter the house. The rest of the house must overcome the emotional imprint of a bad first impression. Simultaneously, people like to tell stories, like, “I knew immediately, this was the one.” In order to get that response, the curb appeal must be well done.

Don’t Sell with A Bad Roof

Buying a house isn’t merely a place to live and store your stuff. It is an investment. Most people are very aware of this and when they are looking at a house, even if they like it, if they see problems that will cost them money down the road, it can turn a typical yes into a no. A roof is often the culprit of these situations. Roofs are designed to last a couple decades, so when sellers put a home on the market, the roof is usually not new.

Taking care of the roof can give your home’s value a boost and put you in the front of the line with buyers. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the new buyers can buy the new roof. Roof financing is typically available and you can pay off the financing with the extra money you make from selling your house.

Clean the Windows

This might seem like a duh, but windows let in light and give a general feel about the house. Dingy windows give potential buys are a negative feeling and the displays and staging inside is less impressive. Also clean the window frame.

Cobwebs tend to thrive in these areas and they might trigger a potential buyer’s fears. Cleaning the windows tells buyers this is a house that was well maintained and is where you want to live. It also subconsciously tells buyers that there is nothing to hide.

Little Things

Some things might seem too harmless to do. Nobody cares about door knobs or window treatments or air vents, right? Maybe not consciously, but when someone turns a door knob and it is a quality feel, that feeling permeates through their evaluation of the rest of the house. When they look at the heating vents and they are dented, paint-chipped or mismatched there is a sense that the house is dented and chipped.

These aren’t conscious thoughts, they are deep in our psyches, but they influence our decision making. Windows are important because they bring in light, but are also seen from the outside in as well as inside out. How well they are treated gives a signal to buyers. Make sure that signal says, buy me.

Paint Neutral Colors

People often don’t have the ability to imagine past what they see. If a room is painted a terrible color, it seems reasonable to think, no problem, I was going to paint the house the colors I wanted anyway. Instead most people apply the color to the value of the home.

Neutral colors keep potential buyers from forming negative opinions about the house that are disproportionate to the actual aesthetic potential. In this same vein, avoid wild wallpaper or exotic staging. The exception is if you are trying to sell your home as a niche avant garde art piece, but that will limit your market.


If you want to sell your house, remember there is some preparations necessary to get the best price and the quickest turnaround. Work to attract people emotionally to your home because it’s not merely shelter from the elements, it’s where people show the world who they are, where people entertain and where people spend most of their time. This means they are attracted to the attractive.

Don’t just show your house, show it off, and if you need to do some work to make it sparkle, do it. You’ll be glad you did with your profits and the speed at which your house comes off the market.

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