Getting your home ready to list on the housing market is a chore that no one looks forward to. However, by using these tips, you can save time and money and catch the right buyer’s attention.
Select The Right Broker – A seasoned broker will know what is going to turn off a potential buyer as soon as they walk into your home. Skip the niceties and select a broker that is upfront and honest. You may not want to hear that your home is too cluttered or that the bathroom reeks of mold, but paying attention to their advice will give you a starting point for getting your home ready to sell.
Hide Any Traces of Pets – Your pets may be part of your family, but not a buyer’s. Some lookers are turned off by the fact that pets inhabit your home. Remove any traces of pet food and water bowls, kitty litter boxes, and sweep up as much pet hair as possible. People that do not own pets often have a negative outlook on homes that harbor animals. To them, they see unclean conditions and an issue with bugs. Always take your pets with you when a showing is scheduled.
A First Impression Is The Only Impression – What potential buyers see when entering your home will form a lasting opinion. If your house smells of last night’s dinner, their eyes see dirt and clutter. Always have a fresh-smelling aroma flowing throughout the house and remove any clutter, including personal knickknacks. Never leave dirty dishes in the sink and keep bathrooms sparkling clean.
Don’t Hide The Obvious – If there is a problem that needs to be repaired, don’t think that throwing a blanket over the area will keep potential buyers from looking. This only makes an issue stand out more. Take the time to fix that hole in the wall that has been made by a doorknob or patch the roof where a stubborn leak occurs. Trying to hide imperfections will only make a buyer dig deeper into other issues.
Kitchens Are A Number One Selling Point – If your kitchen is dated and shows scars of use, the rest of the house is unimportant to potential buyers. The kitchen can be up to 85% of the sale. This doesn’t mean that a total remodel has to be done, but little things like painting, new cabinet hardware and bringing in lots of light can turn your kitchen into a more sellable room.
The Half-Empty Rule – Potential buyers are looking for storage space. If your cabinets and closets are stuffed to the gills, they appear much smaller than when they were empty. Remove half of the items and store in a garage or storage unit to give the impression of unused space. The buyer will see more space than actually exists and be pleased with so much storage.
Light Points To Cheery – A house that offers little light makes space appear small and depressing. Always open your drapes and place creative lighting in dark corners. Clean off the light bulbs in lamps or replace with a higher wattage. Make sure the windows are clean and replace dark draperies with window treatments that accent natural light.
Don’t Go Overboard With Upgrades – Sellers often overcompensate with upgrades in order to attract the attention of potential buyers. This can leave your wallet empty and have very little effect on selling. For instance, you may feel that new interior doors can jazz up the hallways, but only to you. Buyers are looking for space, light, feel and cleanliness.
Be Realistic With The Listing Price – Many houses stay on the market until the price is reduced to reflect the actual value. It is fine to start out with a higher price, say $5,000 to $10,000 over what you hope to get, but overpricing a home is never a good idea. The longer a home remains on the market, the more questions it can raise to potential buyers.
Work On Curb Appeal – Pulling up to a home for sale often tells a lot about the interior. If the paint on trim is peeling, grass needs mowed, or toys are scattered about, a lazy homeowner is seen. The potential home buyer will already have an impression set in their mind as to what the inside holds. On the other hand, a well-maintained exterior and neat yard is welcoming and points to a well-kept home.
Offer Incentives – Convincing a buyer that seems on the fence can be as simple as offering a great incentive. Leaving the window treatments, throwing in appliances, or offering to install a new tub are ways that can tip a potential buyer’s decision in your direction. Mention your willingness to your broker in advance so he/she can present the incentive at the right time.
Remember The Goal And Stay Prepared – Listing your home takes effort on your part. Flying around the house in cleaning mode when a potential buyer is scheduled will look just like that. Keep appearances up and ready for that last minute phone call from your broker. Use this opportunity to get organized and remember your ultimate goal.
Preparing your home for sale requires the right attitude and a bit of work. However, by thinking ahead, making the right moves and using these tips, your chances of moving your house increases significantly.