Currently the biggest challenge in the real estate market is the lack of inventory. Having said that … the biggest advantage to sellers in the real estate market is the lack of inventory. Now let that set in a minute! So, what are you waiting for? If you are currently on the fence – it may be high time to think about getting off the fence, and spring into the market. Perhaps you have a few unanswered questions that cause you to pause – getting those questions answered, will only help you to move forward.
While we may be seeing the market shift a little bit to be a more “balanced market” it is still weighing in favor of sellers, due to the lack of inventory – but regardless it is not any less important for sellers to get their home “show ready” as best as they can. This exercise allows seller to achieve the best outcome when looking at their bottom-line sales price. For some, this can be a grueling and overwhelming task, but if you get organized and break it down it doesn’t have to be, and will very well be worth your while.
Below are some helpful tips and tricks that will help you through this process and make your home one the buyers will keep at the TOP of their A list.
First, walk through your home with a “buyer’s eye”, taking 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 – and they start right at the front door. A fresh coat of paint on the door and trim, (if needed,) a seasonal wreath and a potted plant at the front door is a special touch, and one that will give the buyer that “welcoming feeling” of home. Tend to the landscape of the property, ensuring bushes are trimmed back and grass is manicured nicely. Pull weeds from flower beds and mulch as needed. A good first impression only happens once. So while buyers do their “drive by” of your home, as many will do prior to scheduling a showing – if the property looks tired and unkept, the home may not even make it to their show list.
Cut the Clutter – I can’t stress this enough! We are all guilty of accumulating a lot of “stuff” through the years – some good stuff, some “I don’t need anymore” stuff. You don’t realize how much stuff you have, 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 sent to Goodwill or left in the home for staging purposes. There are so many great social media sites that allow you to either sell or “gift” those items you no longer don’t need or want 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 or replace it. Repair or replace anything that is broken or in poor condition. Tend to inexpensive things like, a leaky faucet, loose doorknob, or the like. Make sure all light bulbs are working, and 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, where appropriate it can be listed “as is.”
You want the buyer to feel that the home was well cared for, so as to not put any doubt in their mind of “what else” could be wrong with the home. These little items can save you a lot more money in the end.
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 from 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 – smells 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 cracks where possible. 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”.
So your work is now complete and you have a good pricing strategy in place – Next step … Let the “Show” begin!
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 some of these small tips, along with a good pricing strategy from a real estate professional, will help make your house shine, and put you a step ahead of your competition – getting you home SOLD, for the most value, is always my goal, along with the most favorable terms, and getting you where you want to be on your time!
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Helping buyers and sellers achieve their real estate goals