When you sell your house, you have two main things you can negotiate with. The price and the contingencies. The more contingencies you’re willing to concede, the more money you can make.

When you work with a realtor to sell your house, they are usually forced to use specific contracts that make it harder or even impossible to do specific deals.

Below are the 7 steps I would take to get the most money for any property.

Let’s dive in.

Step 1: Determine What Your Property Is Worth

Step 2:

1. Seller Financing

The Power of Being the Bank

Seller financing is a powerful method to fetch a higher price for your house. When you opt for seller financing, you essentially become the bank, allowing the buyer to make payments over time directly to you. The significant advantage? You not only receive the entire purchase price of the house, but you also earn interest on the amount financed. This model can be particularly appealing to buyers who may not qualify for traditional bank loans, thereby expanding your potential buyer pool.

The Win-Win of Seller Financing

It’s not just about money. Seller financing can be a win-win, offering flexibility for both the buyer and the seller. This strategy can lead to quicker closings and potentially higher sale prices.

2. Rent to Own

A Different Approach to Selling

A rent-to-own strategy, also known as a lease option, allows a potential buyer to lease your property with the option to purchase it later. This method keeps the property in your name until the full purchase price is paid. While you might not make interest like in seller financing, you do get a committed tenant who has a vested interest in the property.

Benefits for the Seller

From ensuring regular maintenance to potentially higher monthly rents, sellers can reap several benefits from this strategy. If the potential buyer chooses not to purchase the property, you retain the property and any upfront option money or extra rent they’ve paid.

3. Selling Subject-to the Current Mortgage

A Unique Selling Proposition

“Selling Subject-to” means selling your house while allowing the buyer to take over your current mortgage. Especially in an environment where interest rates are rising, if your mortgage has a lower rate, it becomes an attractive proposition for potential buyers.

Unlocking Equity

By adopting this strategy, you can unlock and be paid for the equity you’ve built in the property, all while providing a valuable solution to a potential buyer.

4. Update the Kitchen

The Heart of the Home

Often touted as the heart of the home, the kitchen can significantly influence a buyer’s decision. A well-updated kitchen not only adds to the aesthetic appeal but can offer a substantial return on investment. In fact, minor kitchen remodels can return up to 77.6% of the cost upon resale.

Strategic Upgrades

Instead of a complete overhaul, consider focusing on specific upgrades. Fresh paint, modern fixtures, or even updated appliances can make a big difference without breaking the bank.

5. Update the Bathrooms

Bathrooms: The Unsung Heroes

Bathrooms, while not always the first thing buyers notice, can significantly influence their overall impression of a home. A clean, modern bathroom suggests a well-maintained property. Remodeling Magazine even suggests that bathroom remodels can recoup about 60% of the cost in the resale value.

Key Upgrades to Consider

Consider replacing outdated fixtures, re-caulking around tubs and sinks, or adding efficient lighting. If budget permits, underfloor heating or modernized showers can also elevate the overall appeal of your bathroom.

6. Landscaping

First Impressions Matter

Landscaping plays a pivotal role in curb appeal. A well-maintained lawn, fresh flowers, and pruned trees can make your property stand out. According to a study by the National Association of Realtors, landscaping can deliver a return on investment as high as 267%.

Practical Landscaping Tips

Mulching, planting native species, and ensuring a green lawn can enhance your property’s attractiveness. Remember, it’s not about being extravagant, but rather emphasizing cleanliness and care.

7. Finishing the Basement

Unlocking Hidden Value

A finished basement can serve as a significant bonus for potential buyers, offering them versatile space that can be used for entertainment, a home office, or even an additional bedroom. By finishing your basement, you could see an ROI of up to 70%3.

What Buyers Look For

When finishing a basement, consider adding a bathroom, ample lighting, and possibly a separate entrance. These enhancements not only add value but also increase the space’s utility for potential buyers.

8. Setting the Right Asking Price

Pricing: A Delicate Balance

Set the price too high, and you risk alienating potential buyers. Set it too low, and you might leave money on the table. The right price is a delicate balance and is crucial for attracting the right buyers. Research by Zillow shows that homes priced correctly from the start sell faster and for more money.

Tools at Your Disposal

Consider using online estimation tools, comparative market analyses, and professional appraisers to help set a competitive yet profitable price.

9. Getting Professional Photos & Video

The Digital First Impression

In today’s digital age, potential buyers are likely to see your property online before they visit in person. High-quality photos and videos can make a world of difference in capturing their interest. A Redfin study found that homes with professional photographs sold for between $3,400 and $11,200 more than those without.

Crafting the Visual Experience

Engage a professional photographer who has experience in real estate. They’ll understand the angles, lighting, and techniques to make your property shine. Consider adding a virtual tour or drone footage, especially for larger properties or those with significant land.

10. Pre-listing Inspections

Stay Ahead of Surprises

A pre-listing inspection can uncover potential issues that might deter buyers or affect your asking price. By addressing these issues upfront, you can present a home that’s in top condition, which can instill confidence in potential buyers.

Transparency Pays Off

Having an inspection report available for potential buyers showcases transparency, indicating that you’re upfront about the property’s condition, which can expedite the sales process.

11. Staging Correctly

The Art of Presentation

Staging is all about showcasing your property’s potential. It helps buyers visualize themselves in the space, making it more appealing. A report from the National Association of Realtors indicates that 49% of buyers’ agents believe staging affects most buyers’ view of the home.

Staging Tips

Less is often more. Declutter spaces, opt for neutral colors and ensure ample lighting. For vacant properties, consider hiring a professional stager to bring in furniture and decor that accentuate the home’s features.

12. Getting New Doors and Hardware (Best ROI)

Small Changes, Big Impact

While often overlooked, doors and hardware can significantly impact a property’s appeal. According to Remodeling Magazine, replacing your front door can yield an ROI of up to 74.9%.

Making the Right Choices

Opt for doors that complement your property’s architecture. Upgrading hardware, like knobs and handles, to modern designs can also provide a fresh, updated look without a significant outlay.

13. Being Flexible with Terms

The Power of Negotiation

While everyone has an ideal scenario in mind when selling, flexibility can often be a significant advantage. By being open to different terms – be it in closing dates, contingencies, or included items – you can appeal to a broader set of buyers and potentially secure a better deal.

Balancing Flexibility and Needs

While it’s beneficial to be flexible, ensure that any agreed-upon terms align with your needs and priorities. This can be a balance, but remember, negotiation is a two-way street, and there’s often a solution that satisfies both parties.

14. Gathering Home History & Maintenance Information

Documentation Matters

Having a comprehensive record of your home’s history, maintenance, and any renovations can be a powerful selling point. It gives potential buyers confidence in the property’s upkeep and can preemptively answer many of their questions.

Preparing Your Property’s Portfolio

Keep receipts, warranties, permits, and any other relevant documentation in an organized folder or digital format. This not only offers transparency but can also expedite the sales process when potential buyers have the information they need upfront.

15. Installing Smart Home Technology

Modernizing Your Home

Smart home features, from thermostats and security systems to integrated speakers, can give your property an edge in today’s tech-driven market. According to a Coldwell Banker survey, homes with smart features sell faster than homes without.

Choose Wisely

Invest in universally appealing and easy-to-use technologies. Energy-saving features, security systems, and smart thermostats tend to be the most appealing to potential buyers.

16. Paint

Freshen Up with Color

A fresh coat of paint can transform a space, making it feel cleaner, larger, and more modern. Neutral colors tend to appeal to the widest audience, providing a blank canvas for potential buyers to envision their belongings.

The ROI of Paint

Painting is one of the most cost-effective home improvements with a significant ROI. It’s a small investment that can lead to faster sales and potentially higher offers.

17. Ceiling Fans

Enhancing Comfort and Efficiency

Ceiling fans offer more than just aesthetic appeal – they can also contribute to the home’s overall energy efficiency. By circulating air, fans can reduce the need for heating in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. A study by ENERGY STAR found that using an energy-efficient ceiling fan can cut down on energy costs by up to 60%.

Making the Right Choice

When selecting a ceiling fan, consider both its efficiency and how it fits with the overall decor of the room. Modern designs not only serve a functional purpose but also enhance the room’s visual appeal.

18. Lighting

Illuminating Your Space

Proper lighting can make a dramatic difference in how a space feels. Well-lit rooms feel larger, more inviting, and more modern. The American Lighting Association emphasizes the importance of layering light sources for maximum effect.

Tips for Optimal Lighting

Incorporate a mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting. Consider energy-efficient LED bulbs for longevity and cost savings. Remember to ensure that each room has appropriate lighting for its primary function.

19. Repair Minor Issues

Addressing the Small Details

Minor issues, such as leaky faucets, creaky floors, or chipped paint, can give potential buyers the impression that the home has not been well-maintained. Addressing these small problems can make a significant difference in the overall perception of your property.

The Cost-Benefit Analysis

While some minor repairs may seem trivial, their collective impact can be substantial. Investing a little time and money to address these issues can lead to faster sales and higher offers.

20. Selling the Neighborhood

Beyond the Property Lines

Potential buyers aren’t just investing in a house – they’re investing in a community. Highlighting the perks of your neighborhood, from schools and parks to local businesses and community events, can enhance the appeal of your property.

Crafting the Perfect Pitch

Gather information about local amenities, school ratings, and upcoming community events. Consider creating a one-pager or brochure that highlights the best your neighborhood has to offer.

21. Showings

Create Desirability & Urgency

Timing can significantly impact how potential buyers perceive your property. Instead of scheduling individual showings sporadically, consider blocking showings until a set date and time. This approach can create a sense of urgency and increase perceived demand, potentially leading to multiple offers.

Maximize Impact

Ensure the house is impeccably clean, decluttered, and staged for the showing. The goal is to have potential buyers envision themselves in the home and see its full potential. Moreover, providing refreshments or detailed property brochures can leave a lasting impression.

22. Selling at the Right Time

Timing the Market

While it’s impossible to predict the real estate market with complete accuracy, certain times of the year are historically more favorable for sellers. Typically, spring and early summer see a surge in buyer demand. However, local factors and broader economic conditions can influence the best time to list your property.

Staying Informed

Keep a close eye on local real estate trends, interest rates, and inventory levels. Engaging with a knowledgeable real estate agent can provide insights into the best timing for your specific market.

23. Finding a Top Agent

The Value of Expertise

A seasoned real estate agent can be instrumental in navigating the complexities of the selling process. They bring market insights, negotiation skills, and a network of potential buyers and professionals to the table.

Selecting the Right Fit

Look for an agent with a proven track record in your specific type of property and neighborhood. Personal referrals, online reviews, and interviews can help determine if an agent aligns with your goals and expectations.

24. Sell to an Investor

Quick & Convenient

For those looking for a swift sale without the usual showings and negotiations, selling to an investor can be an ideal route. Investors typically offer cash deals and can close quickly.

Considerations

While selling to an investor can expedite the process, the trade-off might be a lower sales price compared to the traditional market. It’s essential to weigh the benefits of speed and convenience against potential profit.

25. Pricing Strategies

The Art of Pricing

Setting the right price from the onset is crucial. Too high, and you risk alienating potential buyers; too low, and you might leave money on the table. Research shows that homes priced correctly when first listed sell faster and often at a higher price than those that start too high and then have to adjust.

Utilizing Market Data

Engage in a thorough comparative market analysis, considering recent sales of similar properties in your area, current market conditions, and unique features of your home. A well-informed pricing strategy can optimize your returns while minimizing time on the market.

26. Enhance Curb Appeal

First Impressions Matter

The exterior of your home is the first thing potential buyers see. A well-maintained landscape, fresh paint, and even a new mailbox can make a positive initial impression.

Modern Updates

Replace outdated features like old garage doors, rusting railings, or worn-out roofs. Such improvements not only enhance aesthetics but also signal to buyers that the house has been cared for.

27. Maximize Floor Space

Declutter

Remove unnecessary items from rooms, closets, and hallways. Spacious-looking homes tend to attract higher offers. Consider renting a storage unit if necessary.

Rearrange Furniture

Optimally positioning furniture can make rooms appear larger and more inviting. Sometimes, less is more.

28. Offer a Home Warranty

Buyer’s Assurance

A home warranty can provide potential buyers with peace of mind, knowing that if anything breaks down soon after the purchase, it may be covered at a reduced cost.

29. Green and Energy-Efficient Upgrades

Environmentally Friendly Home

Install energy-efficient appliances, windows, or even solar panels. Green homes can be more attractive to today’s environmentally-conscious buyers and can often command a higher price.

30. Highlight Unique Features

Stand Out from the Crowd

Does your home have a historical background? A unique architectural design? An artist’s studio in the back? Emphasize these distinctive features in your listing.

31. Incorporate Technology in Tours

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) Tours

Offering VR or AR tours can attract remote buyers or those who want a more in-depth look before an actual visit.

32. Address Potential Buyer Concerns Proactively

Transparency

If there are known issues with the house, consider addressing them upfront and offering solutions. This can build trust with potential buyers.

33. Improve Indoor Air Quality

Fresh and Clean Air

Invest in quality air purifiers, ensure proper ventilation, and perhaps even introduce indoor plants. A home with good air quality can be particularly appealing.

34. Enhance the Backyard

Outdoor Living Spaces

Consider adding features like a deck, patio, fire pit, or even a simple seating area. An appealing backyard can serve as an extended living space and add significant value to the property.