PREPARING YOUR HOME FOR POTENTIAL BUYERS:
Your goal is to sell your house at the highest possible price. Selling your home is all about first impressions. You only have one chance at a first impression! Here are some tips on making that first impression stick in the buyer’s mind.
CURB APPEAL – Walk across the street and take a good look at your house. Ask yourself if anything could be done to make your house have better curb appeal. Does the grass need to be mowed? Do the shrubs need to be trimmed? Does the house need to be painted? Would any additional landscaping make the property more attractive? These are the first things a potential buyer will look at when they arrive at your house. Make sure the front of your house looks well manicured and that your house number is visible. Remember, first impressions mean everything when buying a house.
De-Personalize– Make your house marketable to all buyers. Start by removing all personal items such as: family pictures, trophies, souvenirs and knick- knacks. Do you have a plaque outside with your family name on it? Remove it. Taking these steps will help potential buyers picture themselves in their new home and not as a visitor in your home.
Clutter – Remove any clutter in your house! The main goal is to give the house a feeling of organization and showcase the utilization of storage areas. The kitchen cabinets and bedroom closets are a great place to start. Clean out your closets and kitchen cabinets. Many items that are not used on a regular basis should be stored in boxes. These areas should be neat and look as if there is additional room for other items. Make sure the kitchen counter is completely open. Place all small appliances into the cabinets, even the coffee maker.
Garage and Storage Areas – The garage and other storage areas should also be as de-cluttered as possible. I have previewed many houses where the garage area was full of junk. This gives the home buyer an impression that there is not enough storage room. Get rid of the items that you will not be taking with you to your next home. Consider renting a storage area or having a garage sale if needed.
Furnishings – Look at the furnishings in each room. You want all areas to have a feeling of openness. Does the furniture fit well in the room to give it an open feel? If not consider storing excess furniture. Most rooms show better with less furniture.
Repairs – If buyers walk through your house and spot a handful of items that need immediate repair, they’re going to wonder how well you’ve maintained the things they can’t see. If you’ve got a loose hand rail on the stairway, torn screens or jiggly door knobs…fix them. Clean your gutters, patch holes in your walls, replace dirty air filters and address dripping faucets. There is of course an alternative to the equity you will get from fix-up –but it carries a price. An ‘as is’ sale keeps you from doing all this work, but a buyer will assess about twice the price you would have paid for the repairs. Then, the buyer will deduct that amount from your asking price before making an offer.
Carpet – Unless your carpet is worn and/or terribly out of style, hiring a reputable carpet cleaning company to clean all of the carpet areas is usually sufficient.
Painting – Should I paint the inside of my home? Many times painting can be the best investment in preparing your home for sale. Paint is relatively inexpensive and you can do the job yourself. A fresh coat of paint can make your house feel fresh and clean. Always make sure that you paint with neutral colors that will attract buyers. Staying with lighter shades will make your house feel larger.
Clean – Your home should be sparkling clean when it is shown. Make sure your windows are clean and that bath towels are folded nicely on the rack. Get in the habit of making the beds every morning, vacuuming regularly and taking the trash out when you leave.
Lighting and Atmosphere– Make sure all lights are on and the blinds are open before an agent shows your property. Lights should be left on whether it is day or night. During the day the lighting will reduce long shadows in your home, giving it a softer feel. You should also ensure that the home smells good–baking always helps with that! Placing fresh flowers in the home and place settings at the dining room table are great touches.
Pets – If you have pets make sure that this is disclosed in your real estate listing. Make sure your pets are placed in an area that is out of the way and tell the agent where they are. Try to take your pets with you or keep them outside while your house is being shown.
If you need some help getting your home ready for showings, feel free to contact us! We’re always glad to help.