It’s a seller’s market for sure these days, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do everything possible to attract the most buyers and the highest offers. Some things you can do to get your home ready to sell are discussed below.
If you’re like most of us, you may use the steps as a temporary holding spot for items that need to go upstairs, you may store seasonal decorations on the porch, you may keep groceries on the counters, and so on. We’re not judging! But when you’ve lived in a house for a long time, you get used to the clutter and you don’t really notice how it makes rooms look smaller, darker, and more closed-in.
Those aren’t qualities that really appeal to buyers. One of the quickest ways to make your house look lighter, brighter, and bigger is to empty everything out of the rooms that doesn’t absolutely have to be there. Let your buyers imagine their own stuff in the rooms instead of yours!
Rent a unit in a self-storage facility for all the stuff that you clear out of closets, corners, and counters. That will get it all out of the house, and it’ll be a head start for when you have to pack and move. Small units are fairly inexpensive and it will be money well spent.
Deep Clean Inside and Out
In addition to decluttering, you should deep clean your house (or arrange for a professional service to come in and do it). A deep clean makes any house look better and newer, which can only be a benefit when you list it for sale. Buyers will be able to imagine themselves moving in right away, and that can make the difference if they’re trying to decide which house they want to make an offer on.
This isn’t limited to the interior of your house, either. Power washing the exterior, including the deck and driveway, also significantly improves its appearance. You want your house to stand out from all others for sale, and this is one way to make it look fresh and well cared for.
Deep cleaning your house also helps you to become aware of any small repairs or fixes that you need to make. Now is the time to replace missing curtain hooks, touch up scuffs on window sills and doorways, or the like. These may feel as if they are insignificant, since you’ve likely lived with them for years, but your buyers want to see a house that looks as if it needs no work at all.
Also, when potential buyers walk into a house where they can see an accumulation of grime (again, we’re not judging) or fixes that need to be made, they’ll wonder what else is happening that they can’t see. No one wants to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a potential money pot, so if they have any reason to believe that they’ll be buying someone else’s problems, they’ll move on to another house.
Create Curb Appeal
You want the first impression to be positive! Spruce up the exterior and the yards to give your home as much curb appeal as possible. Bright flowers on the porch or lining the walkway is an excellent touch, and a fairly inexpensive one as well. Buy a brand-new doormat as well. You want your buyers to be wowed from the moment they pull up.
This also means power washing and patching the walkways and driveways. Just as with the inside of the house, the exterior should appear well maintained so that potential buyers know that the house has been well cared for.
The best way to sell a house is to invite buyers to imagine themselves and their things in the house. You’ve probably spent years making your house uniquely your own, but now it’s time to erase all that.
Paint the walls a warm neutral color. Take down the kids’ drawings and family photographs. Even consider changing out your bedding for something simple and neutral. In short, turn your family home into a blank canvas that potential buyers can decorate as they want.
Make the house look as if it is a model home that buyers can move into and make their own. They want to feel as if they can sign the papers one day and move in the next. This is not likely to happen if the house still feels as if there is a family living there, which is why you need to depersonalize it as much as possible.
Make it Smell Inviting
Every house has its own smell. We’re not saying that your house stinks, but even clean and well-kept homes have their own distinctive aromas (laundry detergent and other cleaning products, favorite meals, pets, and so on). As discussed above, you want to depersonalize the house as much as possible and this is another way to do it.
You can help your house smell of fresh bread or cookies if you know that the real estate agent is bringing buyers over. Keep a roll of premade cookie dough in the refrigerator, slice off a few, and bake them right before the showing. You can accomplish the same effect with an inexpensive breadmaker, which you can also set up the night before so that it cycles on a few hours before the showing and the aroma will be at its peak when the buyers are there.