Buyers, just like people on a first date, made decisions on first impression. If you’re hosting a party at your house, you’d want to get your home all spruced up and shown in the best light possible to make the greatest impression when your guests show up. Why should selling your home be any different? Consider the following quick tips that may get your home sold faster and for the best possible.
1) PROPERTY TOURS
Every single potential buyer will see your house from the outside before they go inside. A well-kept, neatly landscaped property will help impress and lure the potential buyer to see your home. Garbage containers and recycle bins should be out view and in their proper location and the lawn neatly trimmed. Adding grass seed and fertilizer a few weeks before you start listing your home helps your lawn look lush and green. All woodwork on your home should be free of chips and cracking paint. Repaint as necessary. When planting flowers around the outside of the house do so in the early spring, that will give your home an extra boost of color and eye-appeal.
2) MAKE A GREAT FIRST IMPRESSION
Buyers will literally go through the front door, so the front door should be clean or freshly painted and simply look immaculate. The brass or metal knobs should be polished and scuff-free. Nothing beats the cost-to-benefit ratio of replacing all the knobs and hinges in the house as this is a low-cost and extremely effective way to help make a home look more sharp and presentable. This is never more important than the front door! Also consider adding a planter or to a fresh flowers and accented with an appropriate new doormat.
3) MINOR REPAIRS CAN HELP TREMENDOUSLY
Repair (or replace) all loose door knobs, hinges, cabinet hinges, dripping faucets, stained sinks, loose or missing caulking, sticking doors and windows, and damaged or missing window screens.
4) CLUTTER IS SIMPLY UNATTRACTIVE
While empty clean rooms make them look larger than they are, having furniture in your home while showing it to potential buyers, be neat. Neatness can make your room look a little bit larger. Ask yourself: do we have too much furniture in the room? Is there too much artwork hanging on the walls? Consider storing artwork and furniture that is unnecessary to show your home before you move. Are your shelves in closet overcrowded? Begin to create more open space and room by packing unnecessary belongings into moving boxes. Your results will likely be a far less cluttered home.
5) CLEAN YOUR HOME THOROUGHLY
Buyers will react worse to dirt then they would to clutter. Buyers will assume if you’ve let the cleaning go, it is possible that you’ve let other, more serious, maintenance issues go as well. Consider hiring a service that will give your home a thorough cleaning from top to bottom… At least to get you started, especially in areas that you have no motivation to clean on your own or simply do not wish to touch.
6) BATHROOMS SHOULD SPARKLE AND SHINE
Check every inch of each bathroom. Remove stains from sinks, toilets and bathtubs, including the removal of hard water spots on the shower enclosure doors. If the drains run slowly, unclog them. Thoroughly. Consider hanging fresh clean towels on all towel racks. Also, include new rolls of toilet paper and facial tissue. Make the bathroom look as if it is prepared to be used. Try to not have a bathroom look like it has been abandoned.
7) GOOD LIGHTING CAN WORK WONDERS AND MAGIC
Drapes, curtains, and mini-blinds should be opened to allow plenty of light in your home. An open, airy feeling can generate comfort and welcomes the potential buyer into your home. Turn on all lights throughout the entire house when showing your home. If necessary, consider using brighter bulbs within the safety guidelines of each socket. Also review the temperature of the lights and consider using bulbs that are as close to daylight as possible.
8) CLOSET SPACE
Neat, well-organized closets appear larger and more pleasing to the eye. Larger closet’s often help sell homes. Review and consider quality and professional space saving modules designed for closets to make best use of space.
9) COUNTER TOPS SHOULD BE CLEARED
Completely clear off all countertops in the kitchen, baths, office desk, the tables next to your beds, coffee tables in the living room, and the dining room table. Only leave a few decorative pieces, and even then preferably something that does not reflect any religion or ethnicity. When I’m doubt have neutral decorative pieces. Less is more.
10) KITCHENS MUST BE CLEAN AND ORGANIZED
The more empty the kitchen is, the larger it will appear. If you leave anything in the kitchen, it is best to leave only the essentials: a paper towel holder, a coffee maker, and toaster oven for example. No dirty dishes in the sink. Countertop appliances should be clean and put in an appropriate place to optimize the organization of the kitchen. Make sure the hood over the stove is absolutely clean and if appropriate, replace the filter.
11) TAKE A SNIFF… DO YOU SMELL THAT?
Are there any unpleasant odors in your home? If you have any doubts at all, ask a friend or neighbor to come over and walk into each room and closet and take a good smell. You’d be surprise how you become so accustomed to your own odors in your home that you don’t detect them anymore. A fresh new nose, like a friend or neighbor, it’s just a trick you need to identify if you have any smells to deal with. Track all of them down and eliminate them.
12) KEEP PETS SECURELY OUT OF THE WAY
While you love your pets, you never know what buyers think or feel about pets. So why leave it to chance? Get you pet out of the house when your home is scheduled for showing to buyers. Some buyers are allergic, have phobia/fears about some pets, and in some instances pets can create undesirably smells that can instantly turn off buyers (see #11).
1/2) AVOID HAVING TOO MANY PEOPLE PRESENT
Try to leave you home during showing by allowing the Realtor show your home to potential buyers. Buyers may feel uncomfortable or pressured and hurry through your house if too many people are present during the showing. IMPORTANT: securely hide and lock anything of value in your home as you do NOT want to allow anyone (including the agent) an opportunity to steal valuable. You never know how people behave when temptation presents itself, and, better safe than sorry! Having many buyers walking through your home at one time not only may turn off buyers, but it may make the rooms seem to small. See if your agent and arrange some appointments and, if possible, have them bring an assistant with them to help handle showing if you have a highly desirable property that may bring many people to see it, especially when it’s just listed in the MLS system!