Get Your Home Sell Ready
A home that “sparkles” on the surface will sell faster than it’s shabby neighbor, even though both are structurally well-maintained.
A few key items you need to consider when you are getting your home ready to sell:
De-Personalize your Home
Put away family photographs, collectible items, knick-knacks, and your children’s trophies. The reason you need to “de-personalize” your home is because you want potential buyers to view this house as their home.
When a potential homebuyer is looking around trying to envision their future home, their vision is temporarily startled when they scan the room and see your family photographs hanging on the wall.
The best thing to do is remove these items from your house completely. Put them in an offsite storage unit. After all, you do not want the attic, basement, garage or closets to look smaller because they are filled with your stuff.
Remove Kitchen & Bathroom Clutter
Kitchens and bathrooms are key selling features to homes and therefore you will want to make them seem as large as possible. The best way to achieve this is to remove all non-essential items from these rooms.
Be sure to remove everything from the countertops, and as many items from the cabinets as possible. Put the items that you use often (coffee makers, toasters, blow dryers, etc.) into a cabinet, and take them out when you need them. Although it will be frustrating to do this every day, it will help you sell your home faster.
Make sure that you also free up as much cabinet and pantry space as possible. The items that you rarely use may need to be stored in an offsite storage unit until you sell your home. Potential homebuyers will be opening cabinets, especially in the kitchen and bathrooms to make sure that they will have enough room for their items.
Remove Closet Clutter
Closets are the place where most people put things, just to get them out of the way. They are great for accumulating clutter. Remove extra clothes and shoes. This will give the illusion of a larger closet.
If potential homebuyers see your closets packed full of items, they will only see clutter, and not the potential your house has to offer.
Remove Furniture Clutter
Many times people have a lot of furniture in certain rooms. This can impair the illusion of a large spacious room. If you have a guest room, consider only keeping a bed in the room, while the house is being shown.
By removing non-essential furniture, you will allow the potential buyers to see more space, which will give the illusion of large rooms. If you look at model homes in subdivisions you will see that they use minimal furnishings so as not to crowd a room.
Storage Area Clutter
Don’t forget the storage areas. Garages, attics and tool sheds should be as empty as possible so that potential buyers can see how much storage space your house has to offer. Remove anything that is not essential and take it to an offsite storage unit.
When selling your home today, the competition is extremely competitive. Taking the time to “de-personalize” your home will help your home “sparkle” amongst the competition.
Curb Appeal is Essential
A mowed, trimmed lawn and weeded garden create a good first impression. Inspect the exterior of your property: Shutters, windows, front door and steps. If the house needs painting, buyers will notice and may consider it a major objection to purchase
Scrub each room thoroughly. Give special attention to the entryway, kitchen and bathrooms. Shampoo the carpet if necessary. If carpet is worn or old, consider replacing or removing it – if hardwood floors are underneath. Don’t forget to clean the cobwebs in the corners.
If It Is Broken, Fix It
Easily fixable items such as loose doorknobs, a broken dishwasher, a dripping faucet, and squeaky doors all detract from your property’s value. An afternoon spent making needed repairs now can eliminate a buyer’s objection later.
Small Changes Can Make A Big Impression
New towels can freshen up a tired kitchen or bath. Fresh flowers add warmth to any room. Even a fresh coat of paint doesn’t cost much.
Don’t Forget About Aromatherapy
Make sure your home passes the scent test. Right before an open house, bake some cookies or bread, simmer a pot of apple cider and cinnamon on the stove, or light a few scented candles. Strong odors could send potential lookers running out the front door.
When Showing Your Home
You want to make sure that your house is available to be shown at a time when potential buyers can view it. Many times this means that your home may be shown when you are at home.
A lockbox will make it easy for other agents to show your home to potential buyers. Agents will call the showing service to schedule their appointments, usually a few hours before they show your property. If you choose to not use a lockbox and agents have to call and schedule an appointment for you to allow them in, they are more likely to “avoid” showing your home, in order to avoid any “inconvenience” to their clients.
Make Sure You Are Out
It will be easier for potential buyers to view your home if you are not there. If you are home, they might rush through your home. Most showings last between 30-45 minutes. This will give you enough time to scoot out for a moment.
Keep Your Pets Safe
If you have pets, make sure your listing agent puts a notice of such in the MLS as well as with the Showing Instructions. Try to keep indoor cats in a specific room, or a kennel which is comfortable to them, yet secure and out of the way. It is best to keep dogs in a fenced off area in the back yard, or in a kennel. Be sure to keep the litter box fresh and the yard debris removed.