You want to sell your home in the shortest possible time for the highest possible price, right? Of course that is every seller’s goal and it’s our goal as well. Checkout our checklist for savvy home sellers, like yourself!
- Follow the 50% rule. Look at every flat surface in your house and take at least 50% of the items away. This goes for kitchen and bathroom counters, desktops, bookshelves and dressers. Maybe you do use that blender/toaster/coffeemaker/radio every day, but for now, keep it out of sight and get it out only when you need it.
- Clean those closets. Storage is a key feature for home buyers. An overstuffed closet tells a buyer that you don’t have enough storage space. Pack away about 50% of the items in the closet, might as well get started, you are moving! The buyer needs to know there’s plenty of room for his (or her) stuff.
- Depersonalize. When buyers walk through your front door, you want them to imagine themselves living in your home. This won’t happen if the walls are covered with family pictures and the refrigerator door is decorated with childlike Picassos. Add these items to your packing list. Let the buyer see a clean slate, ready to add their own personal touches.
- Brighten up. Walk through your home after dark and on a cloudy day. Does it look bright, cheerful, and welcoming? Start by getting some brighter light bulbs to shed some light on those dark corners. Make sure there are no burned out bulbs anywhere. Check the porch lights and outdoor lighting as well.
- Upgrade me. Realtors and builders alike will tell you that you’ll get the most bang for your buck by investing money in your kitchen and bathrooms. So whatever you have to spend on a pre-sale facelift, that’s where your money should go. If your bathroom vanities look shabby and dated, a couple coats of semi-gloss enamel in one of today’s “in” colors is a great place to start. Add some new hardware to kitchen and bathroom cupboards. Replace faucets with brushed nickel, black or bronze. New stainless steel appliances in the kitchen will give it a real “wow” factor.
- Painting. As part of your facelift plan, painting the interior walls is a great investment. Ceilings should be white because it makes the rooms seem larger. But keep white paint off your walls and go with a warm neutral (pale yellow, rosy beige or taupe) instead. Stark white walls are cold. Even if your home is very contemporary, you still want to reflect a degree of warmth and coziness.
- Inspect. Often it’s the things you can’t see that will trip you up. So keep an eye out for problems that aren’t immediately obvious. Look around the baseboards and the outside of your home as well for signs of termites or other pests. Make sure there are no dripping faucets or leaks under the sink. And check to see that your smoke detectors are working. You can also opt for a pre-sale inspection. They are not mandatory, but will let you know the real current condition of your house. This report will come in handy since you can forward copies to prospective buyers. You can also keep one copy in the house, which will be readily available during the time of the open house.
- Something unexpected. When you’re ready for that first open house, make sure you appeal to ALL the buyer’s senses. Put out some fresh flowers or plants. (Hint: orchids are not expensive and they last a long time.) Avoid candles, which could create a fire hazard. Instead, use essential oils with scents that create a mood. Lavender is relaxing, rosemary is stimulating, and jasmine elevates the mood. Citrus scents are always fresh and clean. Of course if you want to pull out all the stops, bake some chocolate chip cookies and leave them on the counter. But please, no onions or fish smells left over from last night’s dinner.
Homes do not sell themselves. It takes planning and effort on your part, to turn your property into a showplace. The payoff is the look on that prospective buyer’s face that says, “I want this one!”