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March 21, 2016 | By

According to Zillow, the magic window for listing your house for sale is mid-March to mid-April.

The data shows homes listed for sale from mid-March to mid-April sell around 15 percent faster and for 2 percent more than the average listing. That’s a national premium worth more than $4,000. And in hot markets such as San Francisco, that could mean “an extra $22,000 in your pocket!” states a #ZillowTalk Market Trends article.

Making an exceptional first impression (online and in person) and setting the right price are both essential to attracting buyers, but what else can help sellers?

Here are five simple things you can do to get the offers rolling in.

1. Lighting

Buyers are drawn to rooms with natural light. Clean the windows (inside and out), open the shades and blinds to let in as much light as possible. The right lighting can make a room seem bigger, cozier, more memorable, and generally more attractive. Real estate sales expert and author Robert Irwin says, “If you’re looking for a quick fix, replace all the old fixtures—they typically run about $35 to $50 apiece. Be sure to get fixtures that produce 200 to 300 watts each, however.” Also, replace all the old light bulbs; nobody wants to flip a switch that doesn’t work.


Make a great first impression when a potential buyer pulls up. Trim and reshape hedges, mulch heavily, remove unruly ivy and growing weeds, and edge your lawn. You can make your landscaping look professional with a few tools and some effort. Next, plant flowers, with pops of color, around the yard and near the entryway to the front door. Consider pressure-washing your deck, driveway, and walkways, or even adding a fresh coat of paint to your brick, shutters, or trim. Even the little things can help — polish your front door knob, and get cobwebs or bird droppings off your front porch and exterior of the house.

3. Painting

A new coat of paint provides a fresh and clean feel. Allow buyers to start envisioning their own style by using neutral-color paint throughout the house. Neutral doesn’t necessarily mean white. Use rich and warm beige tones, light gray and olive shades. Choose a brand that has paint and primer all in one, so you only need to use one coat. Painting is a relatively simple step you can take to bring a room to life and sometimes even make it seem more expansive. For the exterior, Bob Vila, former host of “This Old House,” says, “earth tones play well in natural settings such as wooded lots. The color also should take into account other features of the home.”

4. Declutter

The rule of thumb is to remove one-third of your belongings. And this doesn’t mean shoving things in the closets and attic. Potential buyers look in these places to make sure that there is enough storage space. Pay attention to other spaces such as the fridge, freezer, and cabinets. Throw away old items, put baking soda in the fridge to keep odors at bay, and clean the oven.

5. Photos

A study by Trulia shows that listings with more than six photos are twice as likely to be viewed by buyers as listings that have fewer than six photos. And since 94 percent of Millennials go online first to search for houses, professional-looking photos are a must.

The goal for sellers is to make a sale at the highest price point in the shortest amount of time.

By taking the time to do some simple fixes, your home can be in the best condition possible for a quick sale.




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