Top 10 things to do to your home when selling:
I commonly get asked by home sellers what they should do to their homes to get them ready to put on the market. Now that I am blogging, here is my chance to share my Top 10 items with the world!
In no particular order, here we go:
1. Curb Appeal - It is said that a buyer will decide within the first 10 seconds if there is a chance they will buy the home. It is just a feeling buyers get that tells them "this could be the one!" and I can tell you, you want to make a buyer feel that way about your own home.
Start on the exterior and get to scrubbing! Rake the yard, mow the lawn, prune the shrubs, wash the windows, pick up loose debris. In short, you want your home to look like a postcard.
2. The Front Door - After the first impression, comes the front door. Often clients stand with me as I open the front door so they can see when I am having trouble putting the key in the lock or turning a dead bolt. When your front door is in need of repair, it sends a message to the buyer that says "well there is one thing we need to fix, what's next?"
Buy a new door if need be, I think it is worth it.
3. NO SMOKING! - Yes, it is your home and you are free to smoke in it or allow others to, but do so at your own peril. I have sold homes since 2005 and have been inside many that were clearly smoked in. I have NEVER had a buyer choose a smoked in home.
They say things about being able to get rid of the smell with new carpet and paint, but when push comes to shove, they choose the home that does not need the work done.
If you must smoke, do it outside. If you have smoked already, spend the extra money and get the smell removed. The value of your home will go up and you will be on the market fewer days.
4. WOW! What color was that? - This is common when it comes to kid rooms. The crazy hues that are fun for kids are distracting for buyers.
After I have shown a number of homes in a day and I am recapping them with clients, I will ask if they liked a certain house. It is bad when they say "Was that the one with the Purple room?"
You do NOT want your house to stick out because of an obnoxious color. That is leaving buyers with the wrong impression. Since you are selling, you should no longer care about YOUR colors. Paint those rooms a comfortable neutral color and you will win in the end.
5. Pictures! - This one is a hot topic and probably the one item I cover the most. In my opinion people go a little crazy with thinking they have to take down ALL of their family photos. I do not think that is the case.
The thing to avoid here is bulk. I am reminded of my grandparent's home where they had every grandchild (20+) on one wall. That is too much.
There is nothing wrong with family photos if they look great and do not overwhelm a wall or table. Stick to small groupings of photos with nice frames and you should be fine.
6. Become Mr. or Mrs. Fix It - Every home has those small annoying issues we ignore over time. Things like broken light switch covers, loose railings, running toilets, chipped paint, scratched floors, torn carpet and on and on it goes.
My best advice is to eliminate those things. When it comes to homes we tend to think differently than we should.
If you went to the store to buy a shirt, would you buy it if it had a hole in it or a big stain on the front? Probably not, because you expect it to be perfect. Or, you might buy it but ask for a large discount at the counter.
Selling a home should be thought of in the same way. You do not want your buyer thinking discount when it comes time for them to write the offer.
Take care of the things that bother you about your home because more than likely they will bother the buyer too.
7. Let there be Light - This one has to do with when your home is on the market as well as getting ready to be put on the market. When it comes to real estate, lighter is better.
Dark rooms make spaces look small. Burnt out lights give a bad impression of the homeowner not caring about the house. Drawn shades are never a good thing.
When your house is going to be shown, turn on all the lights and open up all the curtains and shades.
Before your house is listed, make sure every light is working, and if you can safely increase the brightness of a room by going with a different light bulb, do it.