June 15, 2018 at 2:00 pm EDT | by John Coplen
Five must-do’s to sell your home

This living room was dark and cluttered before and bright and clean after.

If you’ve been thinking about listing your property, stop what you’re doing and grab a coffee — you’ll want to read this article right away. I’m going to share the five crucial steps you MUST take when you list your property for sale.

Selecting the Right Agent For You

Selecting the right agent may be the most financially important part of your home sales process. Pick an agent that isn’t just a sales person, but also has some specific knowledge about homes, design, or specialty from which that can draw experience of contextualize your home. Interview three agents in person. Are they presentable and respectful? Knowledgeable about the market, and equipped with a plan to sell your home? But, don’t be deceived by statistics; numbers can say a lot of different things. Above all, your agent must be likable because in the end, a friendly and professional agent will close your deal faster and in your favor. After all, your agent is your representation. Best to put your best face forward. Lastly, do they have references? If so, call a few. Remember, this is big money, so treat your investment with the level of importance it needs.

Being Less Than Perfectly Clean Can Cost You Big Money

I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a CLEAN house. Seriously — cleaner than you have ever seen it. A buyer’s perception of a dirty house translates to it being worth less. Consider that you’re selling a new life to someone, not your old messy home. Most importantly, kitchens and bathrooms must look unused; clean enough to eat off of the floor. This includes smells, it has to smell good. Don’t forget inside your fridge because you better believe buyers will open it.

Details Count For Staging and Curb Appeal

Curb appeal and staging are things everyone knows they should do, but folks can get overwhelmed at this important step. Make sure your agent is well versed in this, and have them help. An agent with an eye for design is helpful! First, stand curbside and analyze your home. Pick five small improvements that will help attract the eye, like painting the front door, mulching, or power washing the sidewalks. Paint colors need to be be neutral and bright. I like Benjamin Moore “Barren Plain” for interior walls. Second, every room must have a clear purpose and be set up to explain that purpose instantly. Arrange furniture or add staging to inform this purpose. Storage areas and closets must be clear, organized, and look like you have more space than you need. And finally, please take down personal items (yes, all of them)! Again, you’re selling a new life, not your life.

A First Impression is the Only One That Counts

Most buyers will decide in 60 seconds if they’ll bid on your home or walk away. SIXTY SECONDS. The first impression is everything. Take a 60-second walk around the inside of your home. See what they will see, touch what they will touch. Is it perfect? If not, it needs to be. Think about driving a luxury car vs. the car you might have driven in college. How quickly do you note the difference? So, don’t leave that loose door knob, replace it with something high end and solid.

Digital Marketing is Where it’s At!

This is where homes get sold. At the outset, make sure that your agent offers services that are inline with the way today’s buyers view homes. It’s important that the property have its own web page, which includes professional photos of the space. A 3D tour is also a useful tool that many buyers look for, along with rendered floor plans. Finally, get the listing and those amazing photos on Instagram and Facebook Ads that link to the property webpage.

I hope the five Must-Do’s have given you a lot to think about if you’re planning to sell your home. And of course, I’d be happy to talk to you about them when the time is right.


John Coplen is an award-winning and top-producing Realtor with Long and Foster Christie’s International Real Estate. John began his real estate career in 2011, when he recognized a need for real estate professionals with a design-adds-value approach, and began representing sellers who want to maximize their sale by correctly preparing their properties for market and discerning buyers who want to customize their new home to their own specific needs and taste. John’s diverse experience includes designing custom homes and international urban planning. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the School of Architecture and Planning at Catholic University of America. Reach him via christiesrealestate.com, Instagram, 410-591-0911 or john.coplen@longandfoster.com.

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