Dated: 10/31/2014

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With buyers seeking perfection, here is what sellers can do to ensure their home looks good and is priced right
1. Sellers should understand the “HGTV effect” — buyers are looking for perfection. Lowering the price and selling the house “as is” as may not be the best bet. “The problem is buyers will . . . ask the sellers to pay for the work on top of selling at a lower price,” says Robyn Burdett, an associate broker with Re/Max Allegiance in Fairfax. “It’s much smarter to do to the work first. In the long run, it will cost you less than the price reduction.”
2. Walk through the house pretending you’re a buyer. What problem areas stick out to you? “I tell sellers to put themselves in buyers’ shoes and think about what a buyer would want to see,” says Burdett.
3. Check your curb appeal. Paint your door or add some flowers to brighten it up.
4. Make sure your property has multiple professional photos that show it off in the best possible light. Make sure your real estate agent is marketing your property across as many Web sites as possible. “The homes that look great and have lots of great photos are the ones that sell,” says Burdett.
5. Be sure your home is readily available to prospective buyers — if they can’t see it, they won’t buy it.
6. Look at the price if your house is in good condition but still not selling. Consider lowering it, especially if your competition is priced below your home.
7. Declutter. Pare back the furniture and clear out closets. You don’t want the house to look too small. “Don’t have closets packed full,” said Jill Chodorov, an agent at Long & Foster Real Estate in Bethesda. “It tells buyers it’s too small for this family so, of course, it’s going to be too small for us.”
8. Try to have at least one room that’s over the top — an upgraded kitchen or a bathroom with high-tech features. If your budget won’t allow that, simply focus on the flooring. “If you want to maximize sales price, rip out carpet and expose wood floors,” Chodorov says. “The house should have a wow factor. People should walk in and say, ‘I want to live here.’ ”
9. Stage it to make it look like a model home, especially if the house is vacant or the decor is outdated.

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