The most important factors in selling a house are pleasant curb appeal, neatness, an updated kitchen and the ability of the buyer to imagine living in the home. All the doors, appliances and cabinets must be in working order and the house should be well-lit. Use a knowledgeable broker who is in touch with the local market at all times and has the connections to get the house sold.
Pricing a home correctly is a critical early step in the sales process. Many agents recommend pricing the home 10 to 20 percent below its value. This sometimes results in multiple buyers placing bids on the house. The bid competition can drive the price up above the home's actual value, allowing the seller to make more money than if he had listed the home at its value and had to negotiate a lower price with one interested buyer.
Making the home appealing to buyers is best done through small, inexpensive improvements such as fresh paint, new curtains and new cabinet hardware. Small repairs such as replacing doors on their tracks and fixing leaky faucets make it seem that the house has been cared for. Large upgrades do not generally pay off for the seller.
Having the home ready to show at all times is also critical. Buyers can arrive to look at the house at any time and dirty bathrooms, dishes in the sink and a dirty dishwasher are turn-offs that can spoil a sale.