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You only get “one” chance for a first impression – so make sure you do it right!
Yes, even in this crazy market, it is still important for sellers to get their house “show ready” to achieve the best outcome when looking at their bottom-line sales price. I have to say, that I have a new-found respect for sellers when it comes to preparing their home for the market having experienced this not only from my perspective as a Realtor, but having experienced this first-hand. It can be a grueling and overwhelming task, but if you get organized and break it down it doesn’t have to be.
Below are some helpful tips that will help you through this process and make your home one the buyers will keep on their “A” list.
First, walk through your home with “Buyer’s Eyes”, take note of any items that need to be cleaned, repaired, or replaced.
Make a checklist. Prioritize your tasks. Be sure to keep your list in plain sight so you can check off each item as you go – delegating tasks where you can. Seeing your progress can help you feel less overwhelmed.
First impressions matter. A fresh coat of paint on the door and trim, (if warranted), a seasonal wreath and a potted plant at the front door is very welcoming to the buyer. Tend to the landscape of the property, ensuring bushes are trimmed back and grass cut short. Pull weeds from flower beds and mulch as needed. A good first impression only happens once, and it needs to start the moment the buyer drives by your home, as many will do prior to scheduling a showing. Keep in mind, if the property is tired looking, it may not even make their show list.
Cut the Clutter. Living in your home for a period of time, you can accumulate a lot. You don’t realize how much, until you start “uncluttering the clutter”. Now is the time to sort through your belongings – box up what you plan to bring to your new home, the rest should either be tossed or given to Goodwill or charity. There are many great social media sites that allow you to either sell or “gift” those items to someone who may repurpose or treasure them as you did. The goal is to allow buyers to imagine their belongings in the home.
If it’s broken – fix it. Repair anything that is broken or in poor condition. Inexpensive things like, a leaky faucet, loose doorknob, or the like. Make sure all light bulbs work, and the plumbing fixtures are in good shape. Check to make sure mechanicals & small appliances are in good working order. If you are not able to fix or replace the item, then it can be listed “as is.”
Paint can go a long way – Putting a fresh coat of paint on walls and trim can change a room dramatically. Paint in neutral colors. This at a minimal cost, but money well spent.
Clean, clean, clean – Clean top to bottom and inside out!
Floors – Steam clean or shampoo carpets, and polish laminate, tile or wood floors.
Be mindful to the sense of smell – The sense of smell strongly affects emotions. Unpleasant aromas can overwhelm an otherwise perfect presentation.
Wash windows – Windows let light and warmth inside and improves the view from any room. Clean every window thoroughly and don’t forget the sills, sashes and any blinds, curtains, or other accents.
Inspect Driveways – Seal any cracks. Pull weeds in or near these areas and trim grass along all edges.
Paint or clean exterior of the home – If time allows, a new coat of exterior paint, especially on window trim and accents can do wonders for your homes “curb appeal”.
Having said that, addressing these things prior to placing your home on the market (if needed), shows the buyer how the home was well cared for, thus not putting any doubt of “what else” could be wrong. These little items can save you a lot more money in the end.
Staged & Show Ready!
During showings, open all window treatments to maximize natural light, and if the weather permits, open a window for fresh air. Turn on all interior lights, including those in bathrooms, hallways, and closets.
Following these tips, along with your Realtors pricing strategy, will put you a step ahead of your competition … getting your home sold for the most amount of money with the most favorable terms, in the shortest amount of time… Getting you where you need to go on time!