A Seller's Guide To Success

Prepare Your Home And Increase It’s Value For The Least Amount Of Money!  You’ve decided you want to list your home as for sale by owner.  Great! Now it’s time to prepare your property to sell.  Let’s take a deeper dive into the preparation involved in getting your home show-ready to impress buyers!

Tasteful Staging: First impressions matter. Make prospective buyers fall in love with your home
the minute they set eyes on it with the following subtle changes: 

Obviously this is high level but it will resonate throughout the remainder of this article.  Let us look at the specific areas of the home as well as the exterior and curb appeal we want to achieve.    

Paint And Carpet: Spruce Up!  First impressions are all-important. Paint touch-ups and professional carpet cleaning will help your home sell. Buyers want to picture themselves in a home. This may be the time to address your bright red wall. Neutral colors are best for selling, as they have the most universal appeal. Even though carpet is relatively inexpensive for buyers to replace themselves, flooring that appears soiled or stained flooring may be a turn off. Have friends or family give you honest feedback about what they would freshen up to improve your home.

Energy: Make It Efficient.  Entire neighborhoods are now being built with energy efficiency in mind. Many buyers want to know the average utility bills as they consider the affordability of a new home. There are a few ways to make your home more energy efficient that cost very little money. These include things like replacing incandescent bulbs, sealing cracks and adding insulation. All of these improvements can be featured on your listing, showcasing your home as environmentally conscious.

Kitchen: Chef-Ready.  You don’t have to launch a full remodel to get your kitchen ready to sell. Even
minor improvements will vastly improve a buyer’s opinion of your space.  You can do things like: getting your kitchen professionally cleaned (they will scrub walls and deep clean appliances); clear off the countertops and keep them that way (this is a staging tactic that makes your kitchen look bigger); install cabinet lighting (this is very cheap to do and makes your kitchen look bright and modern). 

  • Get rid of or store old or worn down appliances
  • Declutter your kitchen, cleaning the counters and cabinets out as much as possible
  • Deep-clean and regrout
  • Use special cleaners to shine granite or stainless steel surfaces
  • Remove personal items such as monogrammed towels or photos
  • Keep the kitchen fresh smelling (don’t cook strong-smelling food before a showing)
  • Place fresh flowers on the countertops or table
  • Set hthe table with placemats, napkins, plates, cups, and a centerpiece

Bathrooms: Sparkle & Shine.  Even small bathrooms can be improved to seem efficient and elegant. There are several small steps you can take to update your bathrooms.  First, as always, get them sparkling clean. Touch up paint as needed. Update paint color if it isn’t neutral. Look at all of your fixtures: are they bright and shiny? Fixtures and cabinet pulls/knobs are an affordable point of improvement that can transform the impression your bathroom makes on buyers.

  • Remove personal belongings and toiletries (at least from sight)
  • Add storage that looks luxurious, like woven basketsor brightstainless steel holders
  • Think about spa feeling, with beautifully wrapped toiletries, fresh towels, and calming scents
  • Replace dingy shower curtains
  • Recaulk if necessary
  • Clean the grout on all tile
  • Clean all the fixtures so they shine
  • Get fresh mats

Clean Lines: Sort & De-Clutter.  It’s becoming popular to adopt a minimalist approach to home storage and organization. While you don’t have to chuck 70% of your belongings, you should go room to room as you prepare to sell your home.  This means making decisions about things that get thrown away, replaced or put into storage. Again, this may be a good opportunity to enlist the help of friends and families, as it’s hard to objectively see something you’re so familiar with.


  • Take collages or personal photos of the walls
  • Paint or at least touch-up the paint
  • De-clutter
  • Get fresh bedspreads, if needed, and make all beds with attractive covers and pillows
  • Clear off all surfaces, reducing the number accessories
  • Deal with dirty flooring, either by getting it professionally cleaned or replaced
  • Open all curtains and blinds, letting in as much natural light as possible
  • Moveout any oversized or excessive furniture

Living Areas:

  • De-clutter: clean off all surfaces and remove excessive or bulky furniture
  • Add soft, bright lighting in any dark corner or spaces
  • Redesign or rearrangefurniture so there are conversational spaces and plenty of open areas
  • Use mirrors and modern wall hangings
  • Add home plants
  • Choose rugs that accent the furniture
  • Open all curtains and blinds to let natural light in
  • Dust top to bottom
  • Make all lightbulbs uniform, so they are the same color
  • Create small “activity” spaces that represent the intended or possible use of the space

Curb Appeal: The Wow Factor.  Buyers start forming an opinion the moment they pull up to the curb. Help them form a good opinion by fixing up the outside of your home. Clean your gutters. Get your home and driveway pressure-washed. Take care of landscaping and the lawn. You will be amazed at the monumental difference these small changes can make, with minimal investment.

Other than price and condition, the curb appeal of your home can make or break its potential to sell. Depending on how the market is right now, there might be some minor (or major) changes required to appeal to more buyers in your area. 

Understanding current conditions can help you determine what amount of curb appeal you need to improve. For example, you may need to target property investors at this time or it might be wiser to sell to new buyers.  Another tip: curb appeal is essential for positive first impressions, especially on internet listings! Homes with a neglected, lackluster appearance can repel eager buyers. To get clicks and offers, you need to spruce up your home’s looks.

Marketing: Market Your Home The Right Way!  Having an effective marketing strategy upfront will get the most views on your home in the shortest amount of time. A market-expert real estate agent
can do this for you, ensuring your home is seen, shown, and sold.  However, if you are selling on your own, be sure you follow these essential methods:

  • Listings and Descriptions.  Most people will find your home online. How it’s described is a huge make it or break it for keeping their attention and encouraging them to stop scrolling. Crafting the
    right copy can alert buyers to the desirable facts and features about your home.
  • Photographs Sell Properties!  Don’t underestimate the power of professional photographs.  Buyers make a decision to view your home based on what they see online – and pictures are a huge part of that.  Up until this point, you have spent considerable time getting your home ready to sell – don’t use sub-par photos to capture your home!  Work with a professional photographer to shoot and edit images.  Include at least 25 photos of your home in the listing, featuring every room, as well as all outdoor space that is part of your property.  Bonus: if you’re working with a realtor, they’ll often be the ones paying for the photographer – you won’t have to spend a dime.  If you would like to take advantage of our hassle-free  photography services you can order here!
  • Word of mouth. Let your social network know you’re selling. Tell your family and friends, and post about it on social media. You’d be surprised how many people buy homes from those they know!
  • Online listings. Create listings on multiple websites where people actively browse new homes. Facebook, Craigslist, YouTube, property listing sites like DFW-fsbo, Zillow or Houzeo are great ways to advertise your FSBO.
  • Professional seller tools. There are inclusive marketing solutions for FSBO listings like yours. These exist to help you through the listing and marketing process so you can have greater chances of selling your home fast.  The following advertising avenues should be used when selling your home.  Invest time into developing each and tailor your advertising as needed.
    • Google
      • Google ads can be an extremely successful marketing tool
    • Single property websites
      • There are several platforms that allow you to easily build a webiste to showcase your home for sale.  You can include your photos, 3D tours, and videos all in one location and then create a QR code for the website to share with prospective buyers.  This has become extremely popular as you can tell so much more of your home without limitations of number of photos and information.  Bonus: When you order any of the photo packages from DFW-fsbo, you get aa free, custom property website! Order here!
    • Sign riders with text code
      • Create a sign rider with custom message to go above your for sale sign.  Include a text or QR code to your advertising media or custom property website! 
    • YouTube videos & virtual tours
      • Upload your videos to youTube and share the link in your advertising and social media channels.  Virtual videos are also a great way of ‘walking’ a buyer through your home while you provide information about the property.  
    • Short-form videos
      • Short video blurbs are usually under 60 seconds and are used to capture a high level overview of your home.  They can be sort of a teaser to get buyers to click further into the decription or look at longer videos.  They are also a good way to highlight unique items of the property that separate it out from the competition!
    • Social media
      • It goes without saying that social media is a large part of our lives today.  Take advantage of this and share with family and friends – a good majority of homes are sld based on word of mouth.  This is a quick and easy avenue to begin advertising so get it out there right away!
    • Email marketing
      •  Many successful realtors rely on email marketing to sell and keep in touch with their clients and potential customers.  Why would you not do the same?  There exists a wide array of companies that will find the demographic, help craft the email, and even share statistics so you can see the results. 
    • Direct Mail 
      • Another tool used by realtors, this is a good way to reach out to your neighborhood and announce you are listed for sale! There is a good chance they know someone that would want to move into the neighborhood!

Many homeowners underestimate the amount of marketing that goes into selling. And in a changing market, this step takes priority!  The more your listing is visible to others, the more likely it’ll sell. Getting the right prospects for your home is all about effective marketing, it’s just a matter of consistently doing the work!


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