Selling a home is always filled with trials and tribulations. Sometimes the stress is at the outset; divorce, death and separation can be a stressful time and often the decision to sell is mad for you. Sometimes people sell to due to expanding families, or cash flow. Whatever the reason, selling a home can be filled with anxiety … but it doesn’t have to be a perilous journey. There are 7 simple steps to take you from anxious to relieved, as quickly as possible.
1. Trust Your Realtor. Your real estate agent is there to help you sell as quickly and for the most money possible. Listen to what they have to say about pricing and comparable neighbourhood pricing – don’t let your ego do the talking on this one. Also, let him or her give the tours – don’t stick around for viewings or open houses. And be sure to take the agent’s advice when staging your furniture or making the best of your space – they are professionals after all and you don’t want hurt feelings to compromise the sale of your house. Above all –be honest about problems your house has had in the past; this will allow the agent to answer questions quickly, truthfully and with the best attitude possible.
2. “Spring Clean”, even if it’s September! Before one prospective buyer walks through that door, clean like you’ve never cleaned before – inside AND out. All of the yard work you would typically do in the spring, do it now. Prune, mow, sweep and weed. If there’s snow on the ground, shovel. Hose down the windows and the walk – the outside of your home makes a huge impression as to whether people will come in and stay or duck their heads and keep on going.

After clearing the outdoors, sanitize your space. Dust all of the areas you haven’t gotten to in a while, vacuum and scrub. Many buyers leave viewings simply because bathrooms look dirty or kitchens look less than appetizing. This is the time to make your house sparkle. A full cleaning should be done before every viewing, if possible
3. Depersonalize and Detach. Start your journey before the “SOLD” sign is up – emotionally detach from your current house and remove personalized items. Family photos can be packed, as can the “Bless this Mess” sign hanging in the hall. Remember that you have probably had sufficient time to customize your home – now is the time to de-customize so visitors can envision their own style taking over.
4. Freshen up. Every house could use a fresh coat of paint before newcomers venture in. Try to paint the walls a neutral colour and make things light and airy. If there are any little fixes that can be made (small holes in the wall, dripping faucets, stains in the carpet, etc.) try and do the best you can without spending too much dough. The new owners will probably change the things that need changing after the fact.
5. Store Your Clutter Off Site. Most people accumulate clutter at some point. Whether it’s in a closet, drawer (or three), or toy boxes, make sure to pack it up and ship it out before people start moseying through. De-cluttering will make your house look bigger and more streamlined.
6. Fur is Murder… For the Sale. Fido, Snowball and harry the Hamster may be members of your family – there’s no disputing that – but they are not good sales points for your realtor. Animals are stinky, they shed and, well, leave little “surprises” all over the yard and sometimes the house. While you may love their habits and quirks, it’s doubtful that anyone else will. Before any showings, remove any sign of your animal and de-scent the house. Litter boxes and pooper-scoopers can be can be hidden, the yard should be free of debris, and cages can be transported to a friend or relative’s house (or at least freshened and cleaned.) If your dog has to be in the home, make sure he or she is in his / her kennel as dogs can get nervous or overly excited when strangers come through.
7. Self-Promote! Your realtor may be a whiz, but with the market the way it is lately, it’s always a good idea to put the buzz out about your abode. Social Media sites like Facebook, Youtube and local listing sites like eBay and Kijiji are great places to post pictures, videos and details about your house. Most modern realtors will offer this service, but you can always use your friends and family to help you out as well. If you are taking your own photos, be sure to take them on a bright, sunny afternoon (after your big cleanup) so people can see the home in its best light.
Take a deep breath and get out the Mr. Clean… It’s time to sell a house – fast!

Author's Bio: 

Lilly Gordon is a freelance author and web publisher. She is currently researching how to sell a house in Edmonton, and the Canadian Real Estate Market.