Secrets of Successful Home Sellers


By Janet Lawless Christ

When sellers put their home on the market, they hope that two things will happen: it will sell for a great price and it will sell quickly. Some San Diego sellers put up a “For Sale” sign (unless the property is in the Covenant), cross their fingers, and wish for the best.


recommend being a lot more proactive. Of course, how quickly and for how much a home sells depends on various factors, but there are certainly measures that sellers can take—some tricks of the trade, if you will—that will increase a seller’s success in any market.

First of all, it’s key to find the right agent. In a luxury housing market like the Covenant, it’s necessary to have an agent with thorough knowledge of the local housing market who understands the nuances of how to price custom homes in order for you to get the best price for your home. Your agent must also go above and beyond with marketing—relying on fliers just doesn’t cut it anymore!

Next, make this your mantra: “The first impression is the only impression!” Accordingly, it’s imperative to enhance and maintain your home’s curb appeal. This might mean adding shrubs and colorful flowers and re-sodding. It certainly means keeping all existing shrubbery and trees trimmed, lawns mowed, and walkways and driveways free of debris. Potential buyers should feel warm, welcome and delighted the moment they lay eyes your home.

You also want to invest in the right upgrades, and by this, I mean the ones that will give you a return on investment. So I have three words for you: kitchen, kitchen, kitchen! It may cost you a few thousand dollars to replace outdated countertops, but an outdated kitchen might knock more than three times that amount off the selling price. It’s also always a good idea to get a fresh coat of paint on the walls and replace old door handles and cabinet hardware. And because lighting is so important to buyers, wash your windows, increase the wattage of your light bulbs, and look for opportunities to trim trees and bushes to let more natural light in.

A home for sale should look like a model home, a home where buyers can envision themselves building a life. In other words, not


home! This means packing up all the family photos, trophies, and tchotchkes and rearranging or storing furniture to make your home look as spacious as possible. An experienced real estate agent can help you stage your home to best showcase its assets.

Lastly, you should always be ready to show. No more waiting until tomorrow to do the dishes or kicking your shoes off and leaving them in the hallway! No more shoving clothes in the closet (buyers are nosy; they will look)! In other words, your home should sparkle at all times!

My slogan is “Be the Best. Do the Most,” which is certainly how I approach selling every home I list. If you are interested in buying or selling in the Rancho Santa Fe community and need a real estate agent, please don’t hesitate to give me a call at 858.759.6567 or visit