We’re getting ready to put our house up for sale this week and have been researching the best house selling tips to try and make our house look as appealing as possible to potential buyers.

Related: 4 Hidden Costs When Buying And Selling Your House

Of course we would like to receive a full market value offer for our house.  As with investing, this is best accomplished by maximizing value and minimizing fees.

Best House Selling Tips

Let’s begin with maximizing your value.  Less is definitely more, so get rid of anything that you won’t need right away (or at all).  Rent a storage unit, have a garage sale or donate items to charity.

Replace your cabinet hardware, door hardware, light fixtures and plumbing fixtures.  This is a quick and inexpensive way to update your home.

Fixing the small stuff can leave a big impression in the eyes of the buyer.  Finish putting up that light fixture or patching that small hole behind the door.  When potential buyers see a few minor things that need to be done, they might wonder what else needs tending to.

A fresh coat of paint goes a long way.  Stick with neutral colours as they appeal to a larger market.  And home staging is a great way to help the buyer imagine themselves living in your house.

You also need to think about where the buyers are going to look when viewing your home.  The electrical panels, storage room, garage and closets should be clean and tidy.  If you have small kids or pets, a good carpet cleaning does wonders.

Save the big renovation projects for the new owners.  Chances are they will have their own ideas about what should be done with the house.  Remember that you want a return on investment for any projects you take on.

If finishing the basement will cost you $15,000, you better make sure that it gets you at least an extra $20,000 on your asking price, otherwise why bother?

When it comes to listing your home, don’t just swing for the fences.  Do your research along with your real estate agent (if you have one) and make sure that you are not listing your home too high compared to the market, especially in a slow season.

Related: Saving Real Estate Fees

A good rule is to under price your home by 1% in order to attract more potential buyers and increase the chances of an offer.  Who knows, maybe you’ll receive multiple offers and start a bidding war?

An over priced home may sit on the market for a long time and buyers will begin to wonder what’s wrong with it.

Minimizing Fees

One of the best house selling tips is to minimize fees, and of course the biggest fees when it comes to selling your home will be from your real estate agent.  Expect to pay around 5% of the sales price with a full service agent.

With the average sale price in Canada around $340,000, that’s a $17,000 bite out of your profits and definitely something to factor into your overall budget.

You can investigate other avenues like a For Sale By Owner listing service such as Property Guys.  In the past you could pay commissions as low as $349 for using their service, but you couldn’t get access to the MLS website.

Related: New Mortgage Rules For Canadians

Now that agents can just list your home on MLS for a flat fee (around 0.5% of the sales price) there has been a rush of companies looking to offer this service for you.

In fact, our home builder works with a real estate agent who will list our home on MLS and the builder will cover the listing costs for us.  We will still be responsible for the buying agent’s fees, but we will save thousands of dollars.

As with all discount services make sure that you understand all of the details before rushing into an agreement.  There’s no such thing as a free lunch, so remember that the less work the real estate agent does for you, the more work you will have to do yourself.

Related: 4 Reasons To Avoid Using A Mortgage Broker

The last of the house selling tips I will mention is that you don’t have to take the first offer that comes your way.  It’s been said that your real estate agent won’t look out for your best interests when it comes to receiving a full offer, since a lower offer doesn’t affect their commissions very much.

You on the other hand have a big incentive to get the most value out of your house.  Be reasonable when you negotiate, but understand that an extra $1,000 from an offer means $950 for you and only $50 for your real estate agent.

Readers, please share your best house selling tips.  Has anyone used a For Sale By Owner or flat fee listing on MLS?  Do you have any good negotiation tips?

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