The North County of San Diego is a highly desirable place to live.  World-class beaches, top ranked schools and year-round recreation help it to consistently rank as one of the best places in the west to retire and raise a family.  So it might surprise homeowners to find out that North County homes don’t sell themselves.  Owners need to take steps to prepare their home prior to putting up a ‘for-sale’ sign in order to minimize the time on market and maximize their selling price.


#1: Know the Importance of Curb Appeal and Landscaping

10 Tips to Sell Your Home for the Most Money

When it comes to selling your house, first impressions are critical.  Homeowners should review their front yard landscaping.  Planting fresh flowers, trim overgrown trees and repaint or repair fence if needed.  If your front yard does not look neat and appealing, you risk time-pressed buyers that will just move on to the next home.

#2 Depersonalize Your Home

Homebuyers want to buy ‘their’ home, not ‘your’ home.  Real estate experts encourage sellers to get rid of everything that personalizes your home. Hiding pictures and other personal memorabilia or accessories is a smart move and removes any potential distraction from homebuyers.  Buyers need to be concentrating on how great their quota-buster-for-September work award will look in their new office.

#3 Clean Everything

If you want your home to show well, spend the money to have all your carpets professionally cleaned.  Hire a professional cleaning service to do an independent, deep clean of our home.  It is difficult for many homeowners to discern what is neatly organized pile of old magazines and what is a leaning tower of junk. And yes, the faint coffee stain on the carpet does look like something different.  Get clean and get sold for maximum asking price.

#4 Take Care of Repairs

As an agent showing property, nothing is worse than trying to open a door to show the ‘spacious rear yard’ than having the door handle jiggle and fall off.  Small items of disrepair reflect poorly on the entire home.  Even one or two items place doubt in the buyers mind that the home has not been taken care of.  Take extra effort to fix your honey-do-list and reap the rewards when it comes time to sell.  Leaky faucets, electrical outlets without faceplates, doors with broken hinges, working toilets: fix’em.  And if you are not sure or don’t have the time, an experienced Agent can review the list with you and recommend a handyman. *Yes, The Lund Team can help.

#5 Don't Over Renovate

Remember, most home remodels at best yield 80% of the original cost back in resale.  Kitchens and bathrooms tend to return the most to the owner.  The master bedroom sauna-combo-wet bar, not as much.  When and if you decide to renovate, take a judicial approach.  Get several independent opinions and review all costs.  Resist the temptation to do ‘everything you always wanted’ and don't do anything that's too personal.  Stick to neutral colors and contemporary fixtures.  Your home will appeal to more buyers.

#6 Remove Evidence of Pets

Don't assume that most home buyers have or want to have pets. A house that smells of dogs or cats can challenge even the most sellable home.  Homeowners are wise to remove animal cages, litter boxes and pet toys. Make sure that your house is cleaned and pet odors removed.  After 34 years of selling real estate, we Lunds will tell you: “If it smells, it doesn’t sell.”

#7 Remember the Lighting

Few buyers are looking to buy a cave.  Light and bright homes appeal to homebuyers. Light creates a warm, inviting and safe feeling.  Walk into a model home at a new development and you will find every single light on, door open and window blind up.  The home will feel more spacious and inviting.  Homeowners should use blinds or shades to correct any privacy issue.  And counter any dark areas with strategically placed canned lights or solar tubes.

#8 Declutter Closets

Organized closets appear larger. And it sends a subliminal message to the homebuyer that the homeowner is organized. And an organized, meticulous homeowner fixes broken things that need fixing.  Thus, an organized closet means the house is well taken care of.  Homebuyers make complex, lifelong buying decisions in minutes upon walking into a home.  A cluttered or overstuffed closet sends buyers the wrong message about the owners and the home.  Clean your closets to make them appear larger and more useful, at the same time signaling to the homebuyer: this house has been well taken care of.

#9 Consider Hiring a Home Stager

Yes, the Lazy-boy is a comfortable chair.  But does it deserve to be the center-piece of your living room furniture design? A home stager professional can help you place key pieces of your furniture and art work to create the ideal environment for a homebuyer.  The right placement of furniture can make rooms feel larger, brighter and more usable.  Ambiguous spaces can be turned into usable ‘game-rooms’ or ‘lounge areas’.  A professionally staged home looks more appealing to buyers and helps the home sell faster.

#10 Hire a Realtor

If you're serious about selling your home and want to sell it fast, hire an experienced, real estate professional.  There are hundreds of small points that can make real dollar difference in a home sale. An experienced agent can help you sell your home faster, for more money and with fewer headaches.  As local experienced broker with thousands of successful, happy home sales: from condos to beach-front to multi-unit; call The Lund Team when selling North County Real Estate.

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