Selling Your Home?
Things to do and Where to Begin
By Doug Marsh, Manageing Director; Real Estate and Property Investment Counselor
The Buyers First Impressions Are Lasting Ones
Ahhh! Remember what first attracted you to your house when you bought it? What excited you about it the most? When deciding how to best present your home for sale, it is really helpful to try to get back into that buyer’s frame of mind.
A spruced-up house makes a great first impression on all potential buyers. An attractive property grabs their attention and makes them excited about finding a house that looks and feels well cared for. Because, when buyers believe they’ll encounter fewer problems if they buy it, your house becomes more appealing and stands out from all the competition. So if you prepare your home correctly, you’ll save time selling it when it’s on the market.
A good first impression makes an impact on a number of levels. It’s not just the way your house looks to potential buyers, but how it feels and smells to them, how their friends and family will react, or how they imagine it would be to live there.
With simple and not too expensive improvements throughout your house, you can grab the attention of potential buyers and help them see why your house is right for them.
Create a plan to enhance your property. Keep a notebook, and as you stroll through your home and garden, make a list of what needs to be done. Consider what your property looks like to people driving by or walking through your door. What will they like or dislike? What needs fixing, painting, cleaning? What can you improve? Whether you paint your house or fix up the garden, your efforts don’t need to be costly; even inexpensive improvements and minor repairs go very far towards attracting serious buyers. But remember, those seemingly insignificant problems you’ve learned to live with over the years, can actually discourage potential buyers.
Here are some great ideas for increasing your home’s "Buying Appeal" in order to sell it quicker and at the best price:
The Interior of your Home
Buyers expect a spotless house, inside and out, so clean everything, especially your windows, screens and window sills. Scrub walls and floors, tile and ceilings, cupboards and drawers, kitchen and bathrooms. Wash scuff marks from doors and entryways, clean light fixtures. Don’t forget the laundry room. And put away your clothes.
Cut the Clutter:
People are turned off by rooms that look and feel cluttered. Remember, potential buyers are buying your house, not your furniture, so help them picture themselves and their possessions in your home by making your rooms feel large, light, neutral, and airy. As you clean, pack away your personal items, such as pictures, valuables, and collectibles, and store or get rid of surplus books, magazines, DVD’s, extra furniture, rugs, blankets, etc.
Consider having a Garage or Yard Sale to get rid of a lot of the items and make some extra money at the same time.
Yes, it’s hard to get rid of your possessions, but cleaning and clearing out the clutter can really pay off in the end. Packing away your clutter also gets you started packing for your next move. Make your garage and/or basement as tidy as the rest of your house. Simple little tasks such as storing your tools and neatly rolling up your garden hose suggest that you take good care of your house. Don’t let anything detract from making a best first impression.
Clean out the Closets:
They’re an important consideration to many buyers. By clearing out clothing you won’t use soon, you’ll make the closets look more spacious.
A new coat of paint not only cleans up your interior living spaces, but makes it all look bright and new. To make rooms look larger, choose light, neutral colors that will appeal to the most people possible, such as beige or an off white.
Minor Repairs vs. Renovations:
It’s best to avoid making major renovations just to sell the house since you’re unlikely to recoup those costs in your selling price. Make minor repairs to items such as leaky faucets, slow drains, torn screens, damaged gutters, loose doorknobs, and broken windows. Make sure repairs are well done; buyers won’t take you seriously if your home improvement efforts look messy, shoddy, or amateurish.
The Exterior of your Home
The "WOW" factor — that first visual, high-impact impression your home makes on potential buyers — can turn a looker into a buyer. To determine your property’s curb appeal, drive through your neighborhood and note other properties; then approach your own house as if you were a potential buyer. How does it look? Does it "WOW" you? Will its curb appeal to and attract buyers? Note what needs improving, such as trimming trees, planting shrubs, or painting gutters. Little things convey that you’ve cared for your home, and this is your opportunity to sell that important message to buyers who are shopping from the street, simply cruising neighborhoods looking for houses for sale. To get them through your door, do what you can to make your property look like someone’s dream home.
If its peeling or blistering and you can’t remember the last time you painted it, your house needs some attention. That also goes for staining and varnish that is significantly faded. A newly painted or stained exterior and fence or wall will help sell your house faster, and whether you do it yourself or hire someone, you’ll also increase your home’s value and appeal.
In the Garden:
Grab people’s attention by enhancing your garden and landscaping. If your house looks inviting and well-maintained from the street, people will imagine that it’s attractive on the inside, too.
- Prune bushes and hedges; trim trees.
- Keeping your lawn looking healthy and green by cutting it often, fertilizing it, and keeping it edged and trimmed.
- Clean up and dispose of pet mess.
- Weed your gardens; add fertilizer and mulch and plant colorful flowers.
- Clean out birdbaths, repair and paint fences and gates.
A Cleaning and Maintenance Checklist:
Windows, sills, and screens
Walls and floor
Tiles & grout
Cupboards and drawers
Dust furniture, TV and computer screens
Pack personal items
Leaky faucets and plumbing
Slow or clogged drains
Loose or broken doorknobs
Water stain damage
Damaged walls and ceilings
Worn or broken floor tiles
Damaged sidewalks and steps
Stain or paint deck
Store tools and toys
Roll up garden hose
Paint or stain exterior
Prune bushes and hedges
Cut the lawn, fertilize, edge, and trim the walkways
Weed gardens, plant flowers
Clean out birdbaths and the Grotto
Silicone caulk around windows and doors
Repair and paint fences, perimeter wall and gates
Patch the driveway cracks and holes
Make sure doors close properly and hinges are oiled
Enhance the entryway if you can
Replace or buy a new “Welcome Mat”
These "To Do" elements are no secret – selling anything is about presenting it as favorably as possible, and a home is no exception. With the right Broker to advise you and the right presentation, you may find that selling your home is a painless, quick, profitable process!
Clean it, Paint it, Store it, Fix it, Cut & Trim it, then you'll sell it quicker.....