So you have decided to sell. In today’s real estate market you need all the help you can get in preparing to sell your home. Most agents will tell you, the first impression is a lasting one. Here are 5 “must do’s” to help you get the best first impression.
Ever drive by a house and think to yourself,” look at that mess? What are they thinking”? The point is, they are not thinking. Curb appeal is the first impression left with a prospective buyer when you are trying to sell your home. Thus, the first place to start is with the outside of your home. Cut and edge the grass, trim the trees, pull the weeds, plant flowers and paint the outside if necessary. None of this will cost a great deal of money. But if left undone, it may cost you the sale of your home.
Get Rid of Clutter
When preparing your home for sale, walk through the front door and take a good hard look around. Look with an eye of Mr. Buyer. What do you see? Is the house neat and clutter free? Or do you see items everywhere. If it is a clutter zone, clear it out. You are going move anyway, so start backing. Clean, clear surfaces provide the prospective buyer with the opportunity to see her things in the space. It will also tell the buyer the home has plenty of storage. Get rid of the junk when you are preparing to sell. Don’t forget the closets, cupboards and garage. There is nothing off limits to the buyer when she is reviewing your house. She will look at everything.
The Nose Knows
There is nothing that will kill the interest of a prospective buyer faster than a smelly dirty house. Nasty smells mean an unclean home. If your home does not pass the smell test, you need to fix the reason why. Clean up the dirt. The two most important areas to have pristine clean are the bathroom and the kitchen. If you are not good at cleaning, then hire a maid. It will be money well spent.
Assuming your home is clean but has the essence of last night’s fish fry, try burning a nice scented candle in the area that isn’t fresh. Or you can bake cookies, brownies or some other yummy treat that will leave a pleasant lingering aroma. Bottom line is the nose does not lie. Take a deep breath and deal with what you find.
Now is the time to get all those “fix it” projects done. A home with deferred maintenance screams “there are bigger problems”. If a seller doesn’t fix the little items then the buyer assumes the major things are going to be his responsibility after the sale. What sale-he will not make an offer and you have just lost a potential buyer for your home. If you are not a handy person, hire a handyman. Just get the list completed before you put your home on the market.
Preparing a home or staging a home is the process of determining the best way to show off the assets of the home. And, yes, downplaying the flaws. The way you live in your house is different than the way you live in a home which is for sale. Each room of your home needs to tell the buyer what its purpose is. If you are not good at figuring out how to place furniture, what to keep and what to get rid of or you have an area in your home which is difficult figure out, get help. You may have a friend who can give you advice. If not, then the very best place to find help is to ask your Realtor.
Once you have completed all five of the steps above, you are ready to put your home on the market. Good luck and remember, keep it clean.