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How to Get Top Dollar Selling Your Home


Are you thinking of selling your home? There’s a lot that goes into the decision, from preparation to pricing. Today we’re going to give you tips for selling your home so you can sell it fast and for top dollar. Read on to learn more.

Preparing to Sell Your Home

Just like with any project – including getting a mortgage – the more prepared and organized you are, the more success you will have. That’s especially true when selling your home. If you’ve viewed listings on Zillow, Redfin, and Trulia, you’ve probably seen some homes that needed a little TLC before any pictures were put on the internet.

Keep those less than perfect homes in mind when you’re tired at the end of the day from cleaning, painting, and packing. It’s all worth it – especially if you have a plan.

And even if you’re not going to be selling your home for 6 o 12 months – now is the time to get started getting any little deferred maintenance projects done. That includes fixing any holes in the drywall, caulking around the tub and sinks, and cleaning out clogged gutters.

Start Decluttering – It’s Never Too Early

One of the biggest things you can do to make your home look more spacious is to declutter and depersonalize. Go through and pack away knick-knacks, personal pictures, and extra decorations. Store the boxes in your attic, garage, or rent a storage unit if you need to. Then once you move, you can personalize your new home. Decluttering is especially important if you’re downsizing.

Pack away any clothes you won’t be needing to make your closets look larger. Get rid of anything you don’t need. Just remember, the more you get rid of, the less you have to move.

Get Your Own Home Inspection

Here’s an important tip on how to get your home ready to sell. Be proactive and order your own home inspection. That might sound scary because who knows what the inspector will find, but it’s better to do one before any buyers start ordering inspections. It’s always better to know as much as possible going into something as important as selling your home. It’s just like knowing what your credit score is before you apply for a mortgage. Nobody wants to be caught off guard with a low score.

Common issues found during home inspections include:

  • Loose insulation under the house and in the attic
  • Toilets that need to be bolted down
  • Hot water heater needing strapping
  • Under sink leaks
  • Roof leaks
  • Water damage
  • Termites & pests
  • Dry rot

Whereas you don’t have to fix everything, there are certain things that you will want to have repaired before you put it on the market, so a lender will be willing to lend on the property. There are a few of the top items that can stall a sale.

  • An older roof – although it may not need to be replaced, there could be some spots that need repairing, especially around the vents and any areas that show shingle damage or loose flashing.
  • Dry rot – will need to be repaired in most cases.
  • Broken windows or insecure doors – these are especially important in the case of government loans like VA and FHA.
  • Unsafe decking or decks with dry rot will need to be repaired or replaced.

Painting Makes a Big Difference

One way to freshen your home inside and out is with paint. Here’s a good rule to go by. If it looks old, dingy, or faded – paint it. That includes:

  • Exterior doors - choose a complementary color in high-gloss paint. Pinterest has lots of great images for inspiration.
  • Exterior trim & gutters – giving the trim and gutters a quick coat can make a big difference, especially if they’re discolored.
  • Exterior siding – if your siding is cracked and weathered, have it painted. Some products help fill the cracks. Use a neutral color like grey or tan.
  • Interior walls – if your walls have seen better days, have them painted. Also, if you have any bold or dark colors – repaint them to a neutral white or light tan. You’ll want your rooms to look as light and bright as possible.
  • Interior woodwork – nothing looks better than clean white woodwork. Paint the door jams, baseboards a bright white gloss.
  • Interior cabinets – you may not want to paint your kitchen cabinets, but if you have older vanities in the bathroom, consider painting them.

Find an Excellent Real Estate Agent 

Interview at least two or three agents and find the one that fits your needs the best. Ask them to come to your home and suggest what needs to be done before putting the home on the market. Have them split the list into what must be done and what would be nice to do. If your kitchen or bathrooms haven’t been updated in 15 years, consider updating them. Even a little can make a big difference.

If the agent suggests any major renovations like new windows, a new roof, new HVAC system, ask them how much those renovations will affect the pricing. You may not have the time or energy to do everything on the list but do the most important things.

When interviewing, make sure to ask how they will be marketing your home. Make sure whichever real estate agent you choose uses a professional photographer and videographer ­– even if you have to help pay for it. That’s because the online presentation is the most important thing to get interested buyers into your home.

Staging Your Home to Sell

One of the best tips on how to sell your home fast is to invest in staging. It’s money well spent. Professional stagers can make a drab room into something interesting, and a cramped space look open and inviting.

Along with staging, brighten your home in any way you can. If you have dark curtains, replace them with lighter ones if possible. Open the blinds and shades and let the sunshine in. Wash your windows inside and out. Doing those things will make a big difference.

Focus on Curb Appeal

And before you start showing your home, make sure it has pizzaz and curb appeal. The buyer’s first impression is the most important, so make it a good one. Here are the top things to focus on. Tidy up your landscaping. Trim bushes, cut grass, lay down new wood chips or mulch. Rent a pressure washer and get rid of any mildew or dirt off the house, driveway, and walkways. Get a new welcome mat, plant some flowers, and add some flowering potted plants on the porch; paint the mailbox and front door if needed.

We hope we’ve given you some good tips for getting your home ready to sell. Best of luck!

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Apply before becoming a member.

After your application, we’ll help you:

1. Discover you’re eligible to become a PenFed member

2. Open a Savings/Share Account and deposit at least $5


1Rates are updated daily at 10:15am EST. The advertised rates and points are subject to change. The information provided is based on discount point, which equals percent of the loan amount, and assumes the purpose of the loan is to purchase a property with a 30-year, conforming, fixed-rate loan. Loan amount of $400,000; loan-to-value ratio of 75%; credit score of 760; and DTI of 18% or less. The property is an existing single-family home and will be used as a primary residence. The advertised rates are based on certain assumptions and loan scenarios, and the rate you may receive will depend on your individual circumstances, including your credit history, loan amount, down payment, and our internal credit criteria. Other rates, points, and terms may be available. All loans are subject to credit and property approval.