You want to sell your home in the shortest possible time for the highest possible price, right? Of course you do! That is every seller’s goal and as your Realtor, it would be my goal as well. So here’s what you need to do to make that happen:
1. Clear your surfaces!
Look at every flat surface in your house (this means your kitchen, bathrooms, desktops, dressers, bookshelves, etc.) and take at least 50% of the items away. (If you can remove 90%, even better.) Do you use the coffeemaker every day? Doesn’t matter. For now, keep it out of sight in the cupboard and get it out only when you need it, and then put it back right away.
2. Check your closets.
If stuff tumbles to the floor every time you open a closet or a cupboard, you won’t impress any buyers. An overstuffed closet tells a buyer that you don’t have enough storage space, and for some buyers, this fact could be hard to overlook. So get out the packing boxes, pretend you’re moving next week, and streamline every space. The buyer needs to know there’s plenty of room for his (or her) stuff. Bonus tip: Now’s a great time to donate those items or clothes you haven’t used in a year!
3. Don’t get personal.
When a buyer walks through your front door you want him or her imagine 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. While sweet and endearing to you, the new buyer won’t feel the same about your kids’ artwork. Add these items to your packing list. Let the buyer see a clean slate. This is a must!
4. Brighten up.
Walk through your home after dark or 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 (soft yellow light is better than white light). Make sure there are no burned out bulbs anywhere. (Don’t forget to check the porch lights, too!)
5. Show me the money.
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. (Message me for the latest “in” colors.) Add some drawer pulls to kitchen and bathroom cupboards. Replace faucets with brushed nickel or bronze. New stainless steel appliances in the kitchen will give it a real “wow” factor.
6. Interior Facelift.
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 instead (again, reach out for the latest “in” colors.) Stark white walls are cold. Even if your home is very contemporary, you still want to reflect a degree of warmth and coziness.
7. Check for hidden problems.
Often it’s the things you can’t see that will trip you up. Keep a vigilant eye out for problems that aren’t immediately obvious. Does the storage space under your stairs smell musty? Air it out or repaint! Are there signs of mold or mildew anywhere in your home? Get that resolved prior to listing your home! Also look around the baseboards and the outside of your home for signs of termites or other pests. Make sure there are no dripping faucets or leaks under the sink. Check to see that your smoke detectors are working.
8. Add the unexpected touch.
When you’re ready for that first day of showings or 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 or plug ins, which sometimes run the risk of turning buyers off. (They think, “what are these sellers trying to hide?”) 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 fresh bread or chocolate chip cookies and leave them on the counter. Oh, and make sure your dirty dishes from last night’s fish dinner are clean and put away!
Want to go all-out in prepping your home for sale? Here’s 7 Additional Quick Fixes To Make A Great First Impression When Selling A Home.
Homes do not sell themselves. It takes planning and effort on your part. Don’t want to do it alone? I don’t blame you. Here are 7 Reasons You Need A Realtor to Sell Your Home. We’ll help you turn your property into the place where a prospective buyer’s face says, “I want this one!”