HGTV’s Home Selling Tips


Pricing Your Home 

Price it to Sell, Not to Sit

Don't alienate buyers by pricing your home to high. You run the risk of scaring off buyers and having your home sit on the market for far too long and becoming stale. You want to have a very small gap between the list price and the sales price. That's your goal. So when you get ready to price your house, it should be where you think it's going to sell.

Don’t, rationalize that a higher asking price means you will have more wiggle room. You could wind up sitting idle on the market with a house full of wiggle room.

Do, set your listing price by utilizing area comparables, not based upon what you need to buy that ostrich farm. 

Choosing an Agent

Don't just assume that the agent who sold you your house will be a good fit on the selling side. Interview more than one person to find out what each has to offer. 

Don't just go with the agent who tells you your house is worth the most. Conduct some research to verify the pricing, and consider looking at the competition. 

Play the agent field
Make sure you have a agent who’s totally informed. They must constantly monitor the multiple listing service (MLS), know what properties are going on the market and know the comps in your neighborhood. Find a broker who embraces technology a tech savvy one has many tools to get your house sold.
“Ask friends and relatives about agents that they’ve had good experiences with in the past, a good recommendation goes along way” Kathy Ortman 

Make sure your agent will have a strong online presence. The majority of house hunters begin their search on the Internet and then narrow down which ones to actually visit. “Sellers assume that if they are contracting with an agent to sell their home that the agent will be doing more then sticking a sign up in their front yard. Don’t assume...Ask for a marketing plan for your home or at least a list of where the agent advertises and take the time to search their website.” Kathy Ortman

Don't assume that your agent works full time. Many do not, so be sure to ask. “Ask the agent what hours they work, if a buyer calls on the sign in your front yard after business hours or on a Sunday afternoon (When most buyers are out looking for a home) will anyone be answering the phone?” Kathy Ortman 

Getting Your Home Ready to Sell

Opportunity Knocks

Make a good first impression with your front door. “Changing a worn door knob and tarnished or outdated outside lighting is inexpensive. Buyers walk into a home counting up all the repairs and changes they will have to make to the home and they may be scared off if they have to start adding it up before they even step inside.” Kathy Ortman 

Have Them at Hello

You have 10 seconds to make a first impression, so make it count.  What a seller needs to do is stand at the threshold of their front door, and it's really difficult, but sellers really need to be objective and really judge themselves as a buyer would. 

Clean Up

No one wants to buy a dirty house, so take care of things like grimy shower doors, mold and dead bugs in light fixtures. The cheapest thing you can do when getting your house ready for the market is to clean. It costs nothing, it's easy to do and it will make the difference as to whether or not you'll sell. 

Design to Smell

Nothing is worse than a smelly home, so make it fresh. "Before a showing, open up all of the windows and air the house out. Boil cinnamon, bake cookies, bake bread, do anything you can to have the air smelling fresh and clean. 

Light it up

Maximize the light in your home. After location, good light is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. Do what you have to do to make your house bright and cheery. 


People won't buy a house if they can't see the square footage, so clear it out and clean it up. Clutter gives the perception that there's not enough storage in the house. A basic rule of thumb to decide whether or not something is clutter is: If you can't sit on it, it's not decoration, and you can't eat it, it's clutter.  Organize closets to show off storage space. Buyers are looking for storage space, so they will look inside your closets. Clear out excess items, and organize the shelves to show off how much storage you really have. 

Fix It

Complete unfinished projects so you don’t scare off potential buyers. Deferred maintenance for example, large cracks in your sidewalks on the way up to the door send red flags to buyers. It costs you less to fix it than buyers might deduct from their asking price. 


Kitchen upgrades will bring you the biggest returns on your money. The kitchen is considered by many to be the heart of the home, so it can really make or break a sale. If you want to put money into your home before you sell, put it into the kitchen. If you want to sell your house, you can’t have grungy old kitchen countertops. (Buyers) want to move into the kitchen and chop food on the countertops. If your countertops are not food-chopping ready, you need to change them. You can't go wrong by installing updated kitchen appliances. “Always consult your agent before undergoing any remodeling. Trends change quickly and advise from a professional can save you a lot of money” Kathy Ortman 

Go Neutral

Bold wall colors reduce offers, so go with neutral paint colors instead. Painting your home has got to be up there on the chart rundown of tips because it’s something we can all do, is essentially money in a can. 

Furnish for Selling

Good furniture placement can help show off a room and makes a huge impact as a buyer walks through. To make a room look bigger, pull the furniture off the wall, this allows buyers to see the perimeter of the room and it creates the illusion of a larger space. “If there is not an actual dining room, make sure and define a dinning area, buyers will search for one. Also for large rooms  you may want to break them up into 2 or more sitting areas. Buyers will see themselves doing more them one thing in that room and it will make it feel like double the space”. Kathy Ortman  


Remove distracting, unnecessary furniture from the bedroom. Bedrooms need to send a signal of relaxation and comfort, not where you're doing your work or storing everything. If you have multiple purposes in one room, people are going to think there aren't enough rooms in the house for you and there won't be for them. When in doubt, take it out. Coordinating bedding and window treatments add instant style and class to a bedroom. 

Spare Rooms

A repurposed junk room turned into an office, can bring a huge payoff for homeowners. Square footage is at a premium when selling a home, so every room counts and every foot counts. Usable space is key. “Out here in the west we love our garages, the bigger the better. Cleaning the garage, putting everything in its place and adding shelving or cabinets is a big plus, you may even want to paint the floor.” Kathy Ortman 

Conceal the critters

You might think a cuddly dog would warm the hearts of potential buyers, but you’d be wrong. Not everybody is a dog or cat lover. Buyers don’t want to walk in to your home and see a bowl full of dog food, smell the kitty litter box or have tufts of pet hair stuck to their clothes. It will give buyers the impression that your house is not clean. “Taking your pet on a walk or for a ride when you know your house will be shown is a simple solution.” Kathy Ortman

Kathy Ortman

Kathy Ortman

(928) 530-5360
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