Ready to Sell? There’s no doubt that selling your home is a big decision… but what better time than Spring to sell? Since many people want to be in their new home in time for the new school year in the fall or simply just don’t want to move in the Winter, having your home ready for your prospective buyer is very important. Let’s talk about how to make your home stand out from the competition.
Curb appeal. You only have one chance to make a good first impression. Take a look at the front of your home from the street: First ensure that your grass is well-kept, and there are no obstacles (real or visual) that take away from your home’s appeal. Then, take a close look at your home’s front entrance. While the buyer’s agent is unlocking the door, the buyer will be noticing your front steps, porch, and doorway. Be sure there is no peeling paint on the door or trim molding, no cobwebs in the corners, and consider adding an attractive planter full of vibrant flowers or a seasonal wreath on the door.
Clean-out time. One of the first tasks is to declutter your home. This is a bigger task for some people than others, but it’s also a good opportunity to get the help of your friends and family. Separate things into keep, sell, giveaway, and trash categories.
Make it shine! Once you have taken care of the excess clutter in your home, it’s time for a top-to-bottom cleaning. Wipe down all surfaces including counters, sinks and tubs, baseboards, and floors. If you have a smoker or pets in the home, or if you often fry foods or use pungent spices, you also will want to address any possible odor issues. Having your carpets professionally shampooed can help remove odors or lingering unpleasant smells. Painting the walls may even be needed, and can also help in eliminate strong odors.
Make repairs. It’s time to finally take on that honey-do list! Again, your REALTOR® can offer advice on specific cosmetic repairs that might need to be made. You also will want to be sure that all of your home’s appliances and major systems (heating/cooling, water heater, etc.) are in good working order. Once you have an offer and are under contract, problems with these things will turn up on an inspection report. You don’t want to scare a buyer away, so you might as well repair known issues in advance.
Neutralize your color. Beauty is different in everyone's eyes. You may love your cherry red kitchen and the floral wallpaper in your bedroom, but a prospective buyer could find them to be a huge turn-off…even a deal-breaker. That’s why you may want to tone down your house’s color, painting walls with a neutral paint tone like a cream, light gray, or beige. With a fresh coat of paint a room can instantly be brighter, and feel bigger.
Ask your REALTOR®! Again, a REALTOR® can help you look at your home objectively to determine which of the tasks above you need to do before listing your home.
Lesson learned! I remember taking buyers to view a listing some time back. When we arrived, there were car parts, bikes and toys in the front. Let’s just say the curb appeal pretty rough. We really had to watch our step just to get inside. Almost immediately, we noticed an awful smell. Things were piled everywhere inside; we couldn’t even see the countertops in the kitchen! Then we peeked in the garage and found the source of the smell: garbage bags filled with trash and tossed in there. The buyers closed the door and looked no further, going straight to the front door and outside for fresh air. They said they’d have considered the home for purchase but were afraid they’d find further problems since owners of a home for sale that didn’t keep it tidy and clean most likely weren’t maintaining it. Keep this in mind if you want the quickest sale at the highest price!