1. Clean! Clean! Clean!
The outside of the property needs to look great. So does the inside of the property. I cannot emphasize the importance of this, even in a fast real estate market. A clean property sells faster (and for more money) than one that is less-than-tidy.
Now, this may seem like a no-brainer bit of advice, but I am constantly astonished by the utterly disgusting manner in which people live. You will be leaps and bounds ahead of the pack if you just have a clean home, free of clutter, and dust, and items that should be disposed of in the trash.
2. Find A Great Agent
Ok, I know this one is very self-serving, but a great agent is going to make the sales process go that much smoother and with less hassle. Find and agent who will not only listen to your needs and your desired terms of the sale, but who will also give you straight and honest advice regardless of what you want to hear.
Good agents know the market conditions in which your house is being sold and can help guide you accordingly.
3. Gather Up Your Paperwork
Go through your records and gather up anything pertinent to the property, from repair receipts and warranties to tenant screening information, rent records, and security deposits (if you are selling a rental property). The more information you have readily available to any potential buyer the smoother the transaction will go and the more goodwill you will gain when it comes to negotiating repairs.
4. Don't Skimp On The Pictures
These days especially, with listings on sites like Zillow, the pictures you have taken of your home will be first impression a potential buyers has. You’d be amazed at how many sellers still try to get away with photographing the home with a cell phone or who only provide a few snapshots of the property.
Sometimes, if a property is in an extremely desirable neighborhood or the market is incredibly skewed toward sellers you can get away with this, but chances are your home will get higher and better offers with quality pictures helping to make a good first impression.
5. Make Necessary Repairs In Advance
Unless you are determined to sell your home “as is” then it can’t hurt to make a few repairs around the home in advance of putting the property on the market. Chances are, a prospective buyer is going to have the home inspected anyway and will ask for repairs to be done anyway. Homes that require less work on behalf of the buyer typically will command higher offers and give the seller more negotiating power.