House Selling Tips
Selling your home involves a lot more than just planting a ‘For Sale’ sign on your front lawn and expecting hoards of buyers to automatically flock to your property with high offers. It’s a strategic and labor-intensive process that involves a great deal of behind-the-scenes work. But while your agent is working diligently to market your property and find the right buyer who will offer you what you want, there is plenty that you can do to get your home ready for the market.
Consider the following tips before you list your home for sale.
First Impressions Are Critical
You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and when it comes to impressing buyers, first impressions are critical. As such, you need to make sure your home is in tip-top shape before you even start marketing it for sale.
Whether buyers are seeing your home through photos on the internet, or are visiting in person, you need to capitalize on these opportunities to impress buyers the first time they lay eyes on your home. Buyers usually make a decision about how they feel about a home within 6 seconds, so it's important that you use this short window of opportunity to its maximum.
Keep Your Curb Appeal in Check
Before buyers even step foot inside your home, they’ll be greeted with the front lawn first. If your property is full of weeds, overgrown grass, dead bushes, and piles of leaves near the front entryway, they’ll instantly be turned off and may already have formulated an opinion about the interior before even entering through the front door.
Curb appeal says a lot about a home, so make sure you get rid of the weeds, mow the lawn, plant some fresh flowers, trim the bushes, clear the entryway, and spruce up your front door before buyers start showing up for a visit.
De-Clutter Your Home
One of the cardinal rules in the world of home staging is de-cluttering. Any dirty dishes piled up in the sink, magazines stacked in the corner, laundry on the bedroom floor, and toys scattered about must be put away in their proper places before your first visitor shows up.
Don't allow buyers to miss the beauty and potential of your home’s interior. Clutter will do nothing more than get in the way of that. Before you start properly decorating and arranging your furniture to appeal to buyers, get rid of the clutter first.
A Fresh Coat of Paint Goes a Long Way
You’d be amazed at what a fresh coat of paint can do to liven up a space. If your walls are tired-looking, scuffed up, or dingy, freshening up with a quick and easy paint job can do the trick to make the interior appear newer and better kept. Not only that, but the color matters to buyers. Professional home stagers recommend that home sellers use neutral colors on their walls to appease to the masses of buyers.
The colors that prospective buyers see when they walk through your home should be neutral in order to prevent them from being distracted by your quirky style. Ideally, buyers want to see the walls as a blank canvas on which they can project their own styles and preferences. If your walls are currently covered in bright colors like purple, orange or pink, you may want to swap the color with something more neutral, such as beige, tan or light gray.
Keep Pets at Bay
Not everyone is a pet lover. And even those who are don’t necessarily want to be surrounded by pet-related things, such as fur, cat litter, or pet doors. If you’ve got a pet or two, the easiest and best thing to do would be to have them stay with a friend, neighbor or family member while your home is on the market. That way, it’ll be much easier to keep your home free of pet hair and foul smells.
If this isn’t possible, you’ve got to be as diligent as ever at keeping your home clean and free of pet remnants. That means hiding the cat litter, vacuuming a couple of times a day, and lighting scented candles to mask any smells of your furry friends.
Get Rid of Unpleasant Smells
Foul doors don’t necessarily come solely from animals. They can also stem from last night’s dinner or cigarette smoke. Whatever the source is, it’s important to eliminate these unpleasant smells before any buyer steps foot inside your home.
Bad smells can turn people off just as much as unpleasant sights, so you’d be well advised to mask these odors as soon as possible. Stop smoking in the house, keep your pets at bay, don’t cook anything with a potent smell (such as fish), open the windows, light some candles, and spray a deodorizer about to keep the air in your home smelling fresh.
Maximize Your Natural Light
Natural light has an amazing ability to brighten up a space, and make it appear larger and more spacious than it really is. Capitalize on every window in your home by dressing them with sheer, light-colored drapery that allows that light to flow in. You may even want to hang mirrors opposite the windows to reflect this natural light and really boost its effect in your home.
Modernize Before You Sell
These days, buyers want to see homes that are updated and modernized. If your kitchen cabinets are dated, for instance, you may want to consider refacing them before listing your home for sale. Millennials make up a large portion of the market these days, and they are prone to be more attracted to homes with a modern touch. Have a look around your home and identify any components that could use a facelift. The money you spend on making such updates could increase the value of your home, and bring more money to the table.
Don’t Crowd Buyers
If possible, try not to be present when buyers show up with their agents to tour your home. Some sellers decide to be there at all showings thinking that buyers will want to know every detail about the home.
Don’t crowd your prospective buyers like this. They will likely just want to be free to investigate your home without knowing that the seller is there breathing down their necks. If you insist on offering all the pertinent details of your home, you can always provide an information sheet that describes all the items that you believe should be communicated.