News 11 Special Report: Selling Your House

When you set out your plan to put your house on the market, you often think of pricey projects like giving your kitchen a face-lift.

Kitchens sell houses, but there is a simple five-point plan that won't cost you a lot of money -- just time and elbow grease. The payback can be pretty big.

News 11's Melissa Voetsch got the tips you need to get your house sold in this market.

This sign says it all about the housing market: Price Reduced.

Tip number 1, according to housing experts across the country, is to list at 2001 prices. Lance Tyo says, "If you really want to sell, today you have to be very competitive against that competition."

Step two is to turn on buyers by turning up your Internet presentation. The housing market is 24-7. Buyers demand around the clock availability to your sales pitch, so make it good. One experts says photos of your home is the number one thing they want to see. Make sure there are plenty of them. Lance Tyo explains, "That will determine whether they go the next step and even look at the house."

Once you've hooked them on the Internet, the next step is to get them in the door. One of the ways to do that is to increase your curb appeal. One homeowner, for example, cleaned everything up and put down new mulch. That made it appealing and clean. You don't have to put a lot of money into it.

If you're taking care of the outside, make sure the inside looks just as nice. You need to deliver on the customers first step inside.

Step 3 is clear it out. Ann Wise is a professional home stager. She says, "You want to make sure that as much "stuff" is gone as possible." Anything personal gets packed up and stored.

And then.... "clean," she says.

How clean?

"Like you're mother-in-law is coming with a white glove," says Wise.

Next is to neutralize. Tear down wall paper before it tears into your price. Lance Tyo says, "We've had buyers walk in the house, look at a lot of wall paper and not even continue the tour."

Then paint. "Paint is the cheapest decorating tool we have," Wise says. Tyo adds, "Go with neutral colors...go with warm colors."

Doing the work for the buyer will help your bottom line and get you an offer.

Final tip... Be ready and be flexible. Have your home ready to show on a moments notice. If you get an offer, back up the moving van. "We live in a microwave generation. People want things now."

Posted by LS