Selling a house is one of the most stressful life events a person can experience, according to a Zillow survey -- second only to a relationship break-up. In fact, more than a third of survey respondents said they cried during the process.
Fortunately, you can avoid some of the most stressful parts of selling a house by following a few tips, according to Dana Carmel, founder of the Dana Carmel Group and Represent Realty.
Make sure the price is right
Pricing your home requires understanding the local real estate market and house value fluctuations.
"With rising interest rates and a softening real estate market, homeowners should clearly understand the current market value of their home," Carmel said. "Pricing is the number one most important aspect of selling a home today. Definitely research comparable properties by looking at recent sales of similar homes in your neighborhood to determine a competitive and realistic listing price."
Real estate agents familiar with the local market are an invaluable resource when it comes to pricing your house, according to Carmel, because they can use sales trends and current economic factors to determine a fair market value.
Declutter and deep clean
Nothing puts off a potential buyer faster than clutter, which is why decluttering is so important.
"Prep your home for sale by decluttering and depersonalizing," Carmel said. "Remove personal items, excess furniture and clear countertops. This helps potential buyers envision themselves living in the space."
While decluttering, Carmel suggests catching up on cleaning and routine maintenance projects.
"Check carpets, windows and appliances for cleanliness," Carmel said. "Address any necessary repairs, such as leaky faucets, broken tiles or peeling paint. Also, look outside at your home's curb appeal. Plant flowers and mulch to make your home as inviting as possible. A well-maintained home commands a higher price."
Stage to perfection
Professional staging can make even a small or outdated house feel welcoming and attractive, an important consideration for buyers who may judge a house before even entering it.
"If it's in the budget, have a professional stage your home, and then hire a professional photographer to take high quality photos," Carmel said. "Most buyers are scouring the internet and deciding if they like a home based on the online photos and listing details."
Between 2020 and 2022, 47% of buyers made an offer on a house, sight unseen, according to a LendingTree survey. However, for the buyers who want to see a house before making an offer, it's important to be prepared to show it anytime.
"Once your home is well marketed, make sure it's easily accessible to show at a moment's notice," Carmel said. "Be flexible to accommodate potential buyers' schedules."
Give the kitchen some love
The Bay Area's real estate market has seen less buyer demand since 2022, especially for luxury homes, Carmel said. In fact, prices are down in San Mateo County by as much as 20% in some parts of San Mateo County. To help your house stand out from a crowd, Carmel recommends giving the kitchen a facelift.
"If you are going to invest in upgrading one area, make it the kitchen," Carmel said. "The kitchen is the heart of the home, where people spend the most time and want upgrades like newer stainless steel appliances, modern cabinetry and quartz countertops."
Dana Carmel Group is Silicon Valley's go-to real estate agency. Carmel, who is ranked in the top 1.5% of Realtors in the nation, and her team have in-depth knowledge of the local market, high-level negotiating skills and marketing expertise to give their clients, both buyers and sellers, a competitive edge.