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What Do I Need To Do To Get Top Dollar For My House In Salem, Oregon?

$100 bills representing the top offer that sellrs may look for
How much of your time is a “top dollar offer” worth?

You want to sell your house in Salem, Dallas, or anywhere in the Willamette Valley, and naturally you want to get the highest offer possible. Who wouldn’t?

So what do I need to do to get a great offer in Salem?

Here are some tips on how to get your home ready to sell if you’re looking for top dollar that the market will bear:

*NOTE: These instructions are if you’re looking to get full retail value for your house sale.  However, if you don’t want to do the things below… or don’t have the time or money to do the things below… you can still sell your Salem house fast for a fair value in a win-win sale that’ll save you time and expense.

1) Clean, clean and then clean some more. Even vacant houses get dusty and dirty, so keep it up! Nothing short of gleaming perfection will impress buyers. If you’re not a total clean freak, hire someone who is to help you out until you sell. According to, housekeeping will cost you between $75-$125 (at the time of this post) each time someone comes over to clean. Of course that’s before any added services that the housekeeper tries to sell you on.

If you’re a slob, consider finding somewhere else to live while you show your house. On AirBNB a single bedroom with a private bath will cost over $1000 a month. That may seem like a lot, but how many extra mortgage payments do you want to pay while waiting for a buyer? It really is that important to keep everything clean and organized when strangers are coming into your house thinking about buying it. The cleaner you keep it, the more likely it is you’ll impress a buyer. A couple dust bunnies or a pair of underwear that didn’t quite make it into the hamper can cost you thosands.

2) Pick a neutral style. But not too neutral. You don’t have to paint everything off-white. In fact, some subtle colors can really help change the perception of spaces – for example, a soft yellow will help brighten up a dark kitchen, while a deep dark blue or green will help a bright bedroom to feel like a calm place to sleep.  But on the other hand, dark colors will also make rooms feel small. And different buyers will naturally have different tastes. So what color are you choosing? And are you going to spend a weekend doing it yourself? Or spend a couple thousand dollars to hire it out?

If you’re serious about getting that highest possible offer, spend the money to get high-quality paint and professional help. Subconsciously people will pay more money for a property with just the right colors and very neat lines – it makes the home feel better built, even though it’s just paint.

Optical illusions are real, and psychologists study this stuff. Don’t believe me?

Look it up. And don’t neglect the outside and just do the inside, or anything else that’s unbalanced.

3) Fix or replace anything that’s broken. When a buyer goes through a house they’re making a mental list of everything that needs to be fixed or changed. Every appliance that’s a little outdated, every spot in the carpet that’s noticeably worn…. they see it. And mentally they start reducing their offer, before they’ve even made it. Sure, it might feel like a waste of money to spend an extra couple hundred bucks on a dishwasher that someone else might just pull out and replace again. But when a potential buyer gets a home inspection that’s not perfect (and they’re never perfect), they’ll use the opportunity to negotiate the price down. As the seller, you’ll often end up paying more if you try to hide neglected maintenance from the purchaser.

It’s often a good use of money to hire a home inspector to come through before you put the property on the market. According to, local home inspectors charge between $276 to $386 for a 2000 square foot house (at the time of this post). If you ask in advance, they’ll often charge you a tiny rate to come back after you’ve done a bunch of minor repairs and deliver you a clean bill of health. Prospective buyers love to see an independent report on the condition of the house – it makes them feel very comfortable with the purchase.

4) Make only necessary improvements. The biggest mistake people make when getting their house ready to sell is over-improving. They often spend too much money on customized frills that can’t be recovered in the sale.

Paint is about the only safe investment – it’s easy to overspend on almost everything else, and it’s easy to get ripped off by unscrupulous contractors. Nearly any improvement will add value to your house, but it can be really hard to know if the value added is the same or higher as what you spend on it. And keep in mind, the more value you add, the bigger your agent’s commission will be. 

5) Get expert opinions. You should definitely find at least a few decent real estate brokers who will help you price your property, but be honest with them. If you’re going to market the property on your own, don’t make enemies by lying about your intentions. Great brokers are rare, but they make more money for their clients than they earn.

6) You’ll need a really great marketing plan. Great brokers earn their value by doing this work and spreading the advertising expenses across many clients. It’s pretty expensive and time-consuming to start from scratch on your own, so to get the highest possible offer you’ll need to find the best broker in the Salem area.

So What Do You Think? Are You Ready to Put the Time and Money Into Getting the Best Possible Offer?

Maybe There’s a Better Way

What’s more important to you? The amount of money in the offer, or the amount of money that goes into your wallet? And what’s the value of your time? The steps I listed above can get pretty expensive, and they can also add a lot of time and stress to your home selling experience.

If you have the funds to do these things... AND you can wait the 3-9 months it takes to sell a house to a traditional buyer… then you’ll be better off financially to do those things and list it on the MLS (the main property listing service that real estate agents use).

If you don’t have the funds to do these things...or your time is worth more than the extra money you might make…. or you don’t have months to wait to sell your house… then you may be a perfect fit for our local Salem house buying service. You’ll submit basic info about your house over here on our website, we’ll evaluate your house, we’ll make you a fair all-cash offer on your house, and you can decide if it’s a fit for you.

I’ll tell you upfront that the offer will be less than an offer from a traditional buyer. At first glance it might look like a lot less. But the offer you get from Willamette Home Buyers won’t require you to pay a 6% commission to a real estate agent. It won’t require you to pay any closing costs or other fees. It won’t require you to spend time money to make repairs to your house, and you won’t be need to make additional mortgage payments, insurance payments, and property tax payments while you wait for the repairs to be completed and the right traditional buyer to come along.

You might find that the lower offer you get today is actually really competitive with the “top dollar” offer you get six months from now. And there will definitely be less stress in selling to Willamette Home Buyers than selling with an agent.

We can close FAST (often times within 7-14 days) if you need us to. And we’ll adjust the closing date to your schedule.

Take a look at what we’ll pay you not to do anything versus the time, expense and hassle involved with doing everything on your own.

So if you’re still asking “what do I need to do to sell my house in Salem“… now you have two solid options.


  1. Fix the property up and get it all nice and ready with the steps above to sell it at top dollar….
  2. Or let us do all of the work and we’ll make you a cash offer on your house in AS-IS condition. This saves you time, money, and gets the hassle off of your hands.

If you need to sell a property near Salem, we can help you.

We buy properties like yours from people who need to sell fast, or just don’t want the hassle of making their house perfect before they sell it.

We’d like to make you a fair offer on your Salem house

Give us a call anytime at 503-383-1686 or
fill out the form on this website today!

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