The real estate market is fiercely competitive. I work very closely with each and every one of my clients to ensure the success of their listings and top dollar earned. There are a few steps you can take before you list with me to make your home stand out from day one. It’s imperative that you do all you can to appeal to your potential buyers — presenting a clean and bright home might seem enough, but in my experience, it’s always advantageous for you to go the extra mile to make your home open house ready.
Consider your home as a product. You’re looking to make your property marketable and attractive to a large range of potential home owners. Hiring someone to actually stage your house tends to be pricey, so follow my below DIY steps to make your home look like it was done by professionals!
1. Declutter… Less is Best!
Clutter naturally collects after years and years of living in the same house. Because of this, homeowners can be unaware of the problem and become desensitized to it. Cleaning your space is a key step to allowing potential buyers to imagine the property as their own. A blank canvas, void of clutter and personal items, is a fantastic way to allow buyers to focus on the integral structure of the house.
Although selling a home is exciting, parting from clutter can be the hardest part for sellers. Emotional attachment can make it tricky to fully commit to selling your home. However, it’s vital that you set aside your sentimental feelings toward your home in the interest of a very successful sale. Decluttering is also a helpful, necessary step to get started on packing up for your move. It’s in your best interest to pack up 90% of your home and store your items in either a garage or storage unit. That way, you’re one step closer to a successful and easy move!
2. Repair & Repaint
Preparing to list your home is all about showcasing its best features and letting the natural beauty of your property glow. Don’t worry, though — this process doesn’t necessarily call for a slew of large renovation projects. There are minor improvements that take little effort and a low budget that will reap great benefits later on. These small fixes can include patching up damages like nail holes in walls, finishing up any repairs like leaky faucets or chipped paint as well as cleaning up your home where it may appear a bit rough around the edges. This can range from a blown out lightbulb, a broken window or a loose handle pull on a cabinet. Fixing these minuscule problems makes a great overall impact.
One of the most cost-effective ways to spruce up your home is to repaint the interior. A fresh coat of paint brightens up any room in a way that looks fresh and new. When considering paint colors, favor towards neutrals and avoid too bright or shades that are an acquired taste. Neutral colors like a shade of a cream or a classic light blueish hue are much more pleasant to the eye than a bright magenta or neon orange. It’s important to remember that even though you might love a certain color, most buyers aren’t positively receptive to colors that are too ‘out there.’ Plain, white walls can also feel cold, so don’t be afraid to warm it up a bit with a neutral grey or light blue.
3. Landscaping for Curb Appeal
The front and backyards of a home might not lie within the interior, but they're just as important of a part of the property for potential buyers. For buyers, a beautiful landscape is a beautiful investment. Don’t neglect the exterior of your listing. It’s the buyers’ first impression of the property and could very well be a strong selling point if presented correctly. On that note, your lawn must be green and mowed, plants should be well maintained, and all weeds must be removed. If need be, this is where to hire a professional.
In addition, direct your energy towards other fixtures outside of your home. Ensure that you’ve replaced your old and worn welcome mat with a fresh new one. Clear your sidewalk and driveway from any untidiness. You might go so far as to pressure-clean your home’s exterior. And most importantly, be sure that your address number can be clearly seen and read.
4. Pack Away Your Personal Items
It's in your best interest to remove items that could impair your listing in any way. For example, if your house is staged with your gorgeous dining room chandelier, potential buyers could consider it included with the home. Ultimately, if the buyer finds out you are taking those items with you, it could devalue your listing and potentially cause complications with the sale.
Therefore, it’s crucial that you remove any permanent fixtures you intend to keep. Take a look at your drapes or other light fixtures and consider whether or not they’re worth keeping. If they are, pack them up and keep them out of sight during the open house. You don’t want buyers to view these fixtures in the listing as part of a package deal.
Also, for the safety of you and your loved ones, remove all important personal items from the premises. Remember to remove all valuables such as, jewelry, passports, cash, credit cards, small electronics like iPods, iPads, and even computers and head phones. Make sure any collectible pieces, as well as all prescriptive medications are also locked up in a safe or removed from the property.
5. Make the Home Shine
There’s nothing that turns buyers off more than a dirty, unsanitary home. It goes without saying to make sure your home is presented smelling fresh and sparkling clean. Think about hiring a cleaning crew to get the job done really well — and quickly! Professionals can take care of cloudy glass doors, fingerprinted windows, dust bunnies and grime behind crevices. Don’t forget to make all beds, clear all dirty dishes from the sink and have your dishwasher turned off as well as your washer and dryer off. Clear all papers, mail and bills from the countertops and put them away.
Following these inexpensive steps is a necessity — with a bit of grunt work and elbow grease, you can set your property up to be any potential buyer’s dream home.
If you have any questions or are interested in selling your home, call me!
-- Melanie Hane