When it comes to getting the best price for your house, there might be no higher-profile experts than Drew and Jonathan Scott, the personable hosts of several HGTV series including the long-running "Property Brothers."
The 38-year-old twins started their real-estate ways while still in college, first leasing out a building to fellow students and then flipping a house for a $50,000 profit a short time later. They've put the lessons they've gleaned from nearly 20 years of buying, renovating and selling homes into their first book, "Dream Home: The Property Brothers' Ultimate Guide to Finding & Fixing Your Perfect House."
"Everybody always thinks that their house is nicer than the one that just sold for more money," said Drew, a licensed Realtor. (Jonathan is a licensed contractor.) "But the fact of the matter is, most homeowners are blind about the flaws in their home. Which is why you have to value using professionals who will step back and give you an honest opinion."
Here are the Scotts' five top tips for getting your home ready to sell:
1. DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY
"Take the emotion out of it and make any improvement decisions based on what buyers are looking for in your area," Drew said. "Never make them based on your personal tastes."
2. SPREAD THE RENOVATION LOVE
"You're better off doing a light makeover everywhere with a little extra focus on the kitchen and baths, rather than spending all of your budget on, say, just the kitchen," Jonathan said. "Leaving shag carpet and paneling in the bedrooms is not good."
3. LESS REALLY IS MORE
"Decluttering and depersonalizing allows buyers to picture themselves in the space, which they can't do if you have a bunch of your photos and kids' art everywhere," Drew said. "And lose any bulky furniture and present an organized space."
4, YOUR HOME IS A STAGE
"It's a lot easier for somebody to fall in love with a home that's beautifully styled than it is for them to try and picture what it could look like if it wasn't an empty box," Jonathan said. "Work with a home stager or designer who can make the most of your existing furniture or bring in pieces to fill the space."
5. SOAP IS YOUR SALVATION
"Roll up your sleeves and clean!" Drew said. "Most of the nasty houses we tour on 'Property Brothers' would get thousands of dollars more if they just cleaned them. Nobody wants to picture themselves in a filthy house."