Category Archives: Tips for Sellers

Set a Spell, Take Your Shoes Off

I love the Beverly Hillibilies theme song. I really do. I especially love the hospitality those kin folks showed on the show.

When you are having an open house, should you make buyers take their shoes off? I think it’s ok. As a first-time buyer, I may kind of stare at the agent at first when I’m asked to take my shoes off. I wonder, do my feet stink? Do I have holes in my socks?

After the initial anxiety, I appreciate the fact that they want me to. Shows me that the seller cares about their house. However, if I truck through your house and see a bunch of stains on the carpet or something else out of order, then I’m going to think your anal behavior was just for show.

On the other hand, I could look at it another way. Maybe the seller isn’t sure they really want to sell so they don’t want us dirtying up their house. I guess it goes both ways. Taking off my shoes won’t make me make an offer any faster. But I don’t think buyers will be offended.

(This one was 200 words…more proof that I talk too much)

Bah Humbug

Not looking forward to a slow Christmas season for real estate? Us neither. Trying to get someone to move during one of the busiest times of the year sucks big time.

Here’s a suggestion: light it up!  Our suggestion is a bit unconventional, but so is selling your house during the holidays.

When you put up your Christmas lights this year, make your For Sale sign sparkle. Buy a Santa and put him on top of a moving truck.  If you do it up really nice, you may even get your house featured on your local news. They love cheesy stuff like that for their Christmas lights feature.

Ho ho ho!


How to Get the Right Appraisal for Your House

I spoke to an agent in southern California a couple of months ago. Asked him how he was able to get such a high asking price for a house I was researching. It was far above about 20 comps or so.

He said that he met the appraiser for the appointment and did the little things that mattered. He was polite, offered him something to drink. The most important thing that he did was point out all of the renovations, but also pointed out where the house was positioned.

It wasn’t positioned near apartment buildings, it wasn’t near any major streets. He simply spoke to the appraiser on a rational level and got the $589 per sq. ft. appraisal he wanted for the sale.

3 Tips for Listing Your House During the Holidays

Ramp up for a slower selling season by focusing on the positives.  Here’s some things you can do to increase your chances of selling your house.

1. Be as tech-friendly as you can.  During this busy and extremely cold season, buyers won’t be too geared up to travel to multiple listings. Register your listing with every open house mobile app, keep sending messages to friends through social media, and list with websites that are all over the search engines, like Craig’s List.

2. Highlight your strengths. If you have the ability to move out quickly, before the end of the year, feature that in your listing. Let your agent know that you are willing to distinguish yourself in every way possible.

3. Don’t forget about international coverage. Find investor-related real estate sites and post your listing there. Foreigners don’t have the same buying habits as we do.  China had a large volume of sales during their holiday season. Remember, international investors buy at all times of the year.

This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things!

This is like the best line ever. I watched a rerun of Everybody Loves Raymond the other night. I love that show.

Anyhow, I love when the mother (forget her name at the moment) yelled at Frank and the boys. “This is why we can’t have nice things!” They were fighting in the house or doing some other kind of nonsense. As a mother, I can relate. Kids really tear your stuff up. So if you are selling your house, and your rugrats are still pre-school, consider staging your house.

They call it staging for a reason. You don’t want people to know how you really live do you? Seriously, if you have kool-aid stains on your sofa, or there are holes in your rugs, do yourself (and your realtor) a favor and spend about $2,000 staging the most important areas of your house. You shall reap if you sow.

White vs Beige Walls

If you have decided to paint your walls because company’s coming over (a.k.a open house), then think about the current buyer. Today’s buyers may be coming with high expectations. Maybe they rented for a long time and had nothing but white walls and popcorn ceilings. Maybe they came from an old house with wood everywhere. Maybe they came from grandma’s house with wallpaper.

If you ever toured a high-end luxury apartment complex, you will notice beige-ish walls. I trust that they have done their research. I’m sure study after study told them that beige walls would rent faster than white walls. White feels impersonal and like a hospital.

If you can, go with a splash of color…neutral of course.

Take Your Dog and Cat With You

As a first-time buyer, I’m pretty picky. I mean, buying a house is a HUGE commitment. A 30 year one to be exact. Not to mention it’s a huge commitment of money. So, I’m a little picky.

When going to your open house, make it a little easier on me please. Take your dog or cat with you when you visit grandma. Those adorable little creatures are easy on the eyes, but as a future homeowner, it makes me wonder how messed up your carpet is.

So if you want to save a little money on the negotiations (so I don’t ask you to pay for new carpet), take your pet with you while your agent shows your house. I don’t want to feel like I have to live with the aftermath of a pet I never owned.

Low vs. High Asking Price

It’s safe to say that homeowners love their houses. You lived in it, you decorated it and now you’re selling it. How should you price it?


As always, it’s best to get your agent’s advice but here’s a little tidbit from a current home shopper. I always, always compare the price per square footage before even clicking on the listing. If it has the highest price in the list, then it should have an updated kitchen, nice bathrooms and clean walls.


Remember that every shopper doesn’t have an agent yet. Some first-timers like me are investigating the market to see if anything catches my eye. If you want to get a little more traffic through your doors on open house Sunday, be realistic about the price. Low asking price is better than a high one. Even if your house competes well with the others, you always want to take the humble approach.


After all, pretty pictures only tell half the story. To get me to drive to your house, tell me a story about the price. By the way, I’m a huge fan of the HDR photos. They really make the pictures pop!

5 Tips for ‘For Sale By Owners’

CNN just had a great article about the success one buyer had selling her house. If you think you want to try it, here’s some tips to help you sell fast.

1.  Pay for a MLS listing

2. Download the standard real estate contract from your state.

3. Place a local ad in your newspaper and in some community papers.

4. Hold at least 2 open houses and purchase signs for the corners of busy streets and cross streets.

5. List on Zillow or other large sites.

Plum Genius is able to help you screen buyers if you receive a lot of interest. Be sure to visit our website for more info.