Tips to Make Your Home Shine in Any Market

Selling your home can be stressful, whether it’s a Buyer’s market or a Seller’s market. Here are tips to make your home shine in any market.

The truth is: not every house sells. There are always homes coming on the market and so your competition is always going to be out there. You’ve got to figure out what can make your house stand out and keep the buyers from eliminating your home from their short list.

Let’s pretend your REALTOR has run the numbers for your specific neighborhood and possibly even analyzed the market and it’s trends. You know what your home should be selling for. You know how fast it should be selling. You know the absorption rates. You know the odds of selling your home in your neighborhood.

So what’s wrong? You know the buyers are out there. Why aren’t they coming to see your home? Why aren’t they making an offer on your home?

First, stop whining to your REALTOR that your house isn’t getting any showings. That’s because prospective buyers have already eliminated it online. It could be out of their price range or it’s too outdated, or it’s too cluttered, or it’s too dirty and it makes them tired just thinking about moving in. Or it might be invisible online because the marketing isn’t there.

Face it, people shop on the internet. If they are interested in seeing your home, they will check it out online before calling a REALTOR.

Second, stop requesting open houses. You don’t need them. If the house is clean and properly staged, then your REALTOR can have a photographer take photos with a 3D camera so your home is showcased on the internet. A house must be impeccable before bringing in the 3D camera, because it sees under every chair and outside every window. It will see the cobwebs on the chandeliers and will look out the windows to see the holes the dog dug in the back yard.

If buyers like what they see online, then they’ll come to your home and then try to figure out what they don’t like about it when they get there. It’s a process of elimination.

There are only two things a Seller can control: price and condition.

You cannot change the location of your home or your floor plan. If you have your home priced right and it is in good condition for homes in your area with your floor plan, then be patient. It will sell.

Let’s pretend you have priced your home competitively. What more can you do?

Pretend you are in a beauty contest.

Clean it. Scrub it. Make it sparkle. Then keep it that way.

Wash your windows. If you cannot wash your windows, then hire someone else to do it. Don’t just use Windex and paper towels. Get in there and scrub them with Bon Ami and make them sparkle with vinegar and newspaper. Deep clean all the nooks, crannies, and crevices. Wash the screens.

Ditch the scented candles. Even if they don’t cover up foul orders, prospective buyers wonder if you are trying to mask something.

Get rid of odors. Buy or rent an ozone generator and run it occasionally, especially if you have pets or love to cook with lots of onions, garlic, or anything else that gives your food flavor.

Clear out your clutter.

Box it up and move it out. You can sell it, give it away, or store it somewhere else.

Pretend you don’t live in your house anymore. Get everything out you don’t absolutely have to have.

Imagine you just arrived at a hotel and it looks fabulous. Then you open up two little suit cases and within ten minutes the place is trashed. That’s what you want to avoid. Your home should be like a hotel room where everything is empty and uncluttered.

Dress it up with a fresh coat of good paint.

Speaking of paint, use, semi-gloss or satin paint that is washable. You can wash it more easily in the future and the buyers know it. Only builders use flat paint, because it’s cheap. Flat paint looks good when it is fresh, but that freshness does not last long, and it’s impossible to clean.

Go online and google “color trends” to find out the most up-to-date colors. The trends change quickly, at least four times each year. Have fun with this. Then go to and scroll through photos to see if you can live with the newest color trends. Get a good feel for what you like. Then make a decision to go on down to the local paint store and invest in the best paint you can afford.

Make your entrance impeccable

Curb appeal is huge, but so is the view from the porch while the REALTOR is unlocking the front door. Go outside and stand there. Look at your house. Fix everything that you see. Wash everything. Make it shine. Make it really, really, sparkle. Paint it if necessary. Plant yellow flowers or buy a pot of yellow flowers. Make your entrance inviting. Oh, and….. make sure your doorbell works.

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Debbie Solano is an Accredited Land Consultant and Certified Residential Specialist with a Broker-Associate license which hangs at the Midtown Tulsa office of Coldwell Banker Select REALTORS®. She would enjoy your feedback or questions. She can be reached at 918-724-8201 or

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