Tips For Home Sellers
Maximizing Interior Appeal
Kitchen & Bathrooms
Of all the rooms inside your home, pay special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms. They should look as clean, bright, and fresh as possible. Clean the refrigerator and remove any pictures, artwork, and magnets from it. Make sure your oven and microwave are clean because some buyers will open them when viewing your home. Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink and have any leaky faucets fixed. Take the garbage out regularly, especially before showings, to keep your kitchen and bathrooms odor free. Hang your best towels in the bathrooms and keep toilets, bathtubs, and showers spotless.
Clear out as much unneeded furniture as you can. Put it in storage, donate it, or have a garage sale. You want to open up the house so that it looks spacious and so that people can picture their own stuff in it.
Remove Personal Items
You want to allow buyers to visualize themselves in your home. The last thing you want prospective buyers to think when viewing your home is that they may be intruding in someone else’s life. Avoid having a lot of personal photos around your home. A couple of personal photos may be okay, but if you have several personal photos around your home, it is recommended you take them down and box them up. Also, keep in mind that people don’t always share your passions and interest. If you have a large doll collection or maybe a room full of your favorite sports memorabilia, it is best to just box those types of personal items up.
Countertops & Cabinets
Go through your house and clear off all the horizontal surfaces. Organize your drawers and cabinets because many buyers will look inside. If you have a lot of little knickknacks sitting on counters and miscellaneous pieces of furniture around your home, box them up.
Follow Your Nose
A home should smell good. That means no noticeable odor - no pet scent, no stale cooking smells, and no cigarette smoke. Many people who smoke or have pets become so accustomed to the smell that they don't even notice it anymore. So, have a friend whose judgment you trust give your home the real sniff test. Going through your house with Lysol before a showing isn’t good enough. Instead, get rid of scent problems at the source. Scrub the house, replace smelly carpeting, and start smoking outside. If you can’t fully get the smell out yourself, hire a company to professionally remove the odor.
Let There Be Light
People buy space and light. Add lights in rooms that are dark. Replace all burned out or weak light bulbs. Keep blinds and draperies open and your windows clean to let as much natural light in as possible. Turn on all the lights before showings when possible.
Use Natural Colors
When it comes to walls, color is popular. The problem is that the next buyer might not like the same colors as you. Paint is a relatively inexpensive way to make a house look clean and fresh, and if you're going to repaint prior to selling, stick with neutrals. Despite the fact that neutral colors are rather boring, it's still an easier sale, and keep in mind that lighter colors reflect the light best and make rooms look their largest.
Take a Close Look at Your Flooring
Get the carpet shampooed to get out any stains or smells. If that doesn't work, replace it. Get rid of carpet that looks dirty, soiled or stained, and consider, if you can, wood or laminate flooring as an alternative. It can make your house look larger, and people love seeing gleaming wood floors. If you have tile floors, clean and bleach the grout if it is dirty.
If you have a deer head on the wall, you might want to take it down. It will be a big turnoff to some buyers. Play it safe with the books and magazines displayed in your home as well. Anything provocative could turn off a potential buyer.
Clean Your Closets
Partially empty closets look roomy and space sells. Remove as much clutter as you can from your closets and keep your closets well organized. You should keep items off the floor in closets as much as possible.
Set Your House Apart
A real estate study was recently conducted in which potential buyers were shown many different houses in similar neighborhoods, all with similar features and amenities. The one that stood out? A home that had yellow roses on the dining room table. People not only remembered the detail, but they rated the home higher as a result. Another great way to stand out is to play some nice soft background music for showings.
Dust everything in sight and never leave dead insects in the windowsills and light fixtures.
Maximizing Exterior Appeal
Some basic landscaping doesn’t cost much but can sure help to improve your home’s curb appeal. Plant some colorful flowers and put some fresh mulch around the plants in the yard. Weed flowerbeds and trim trees and shrubs. Uproot dead flowers, plants, and shrubs and remove dead tree branches. Repair any broken sprinkler heads. Keep your lawn mowed and edged regularly.
Want to make the house look great without painting the whole thing? Just paint the trim and the front door or maybe the shutters. Since the porch frames the front door and is the first part of the house buyers will actually visit, make sure it looks freshly painted. If you have a porch that doesn't look fresh, you'll notice that more than the siding. If your whole house really needs to be repainted though, don't be stingy. Paint the whole house. The cost will be well worth the money if you get a clean looking home that sells fast.
If the exterior is just dirty, consider getting it pressure washed. This is also a great way to clean walkways and give them a clean, fresh look.
Make sure that the front door is free of debris, dirt, and cobwebs, and be sure to fix the doorbell if it is broken. Put a seasonal wreath on the front door if your home is listed during a particular holiday. You want the wreath to say to prospective buyers, 'Yes, you're welcome here, please come on in.”
Sweep all sidewalks, patios, and porches. Don’t leave toys, bikes, skateboards, etc. in the yard. Clean the roof and gutters. Repair a broken or sagging fence. Make sure that the fence gate opens and closes without having to use excess force. Keep outdoor lights on in the evening and in good working order to better to show off your house 24-7.
Keep pets out of the way during showings. If you let your animals just roam free in the backyard during showings, some buyers will be hesitant to go outside and that could cost you a sell. When possible, bring your pets with you when your home is being showed. Even pets left in kennels that bark or make other noises during a showing can be a distraction to potential buyers.