A recent CNN report states that “The lack of available homes has driven up prices, leading to bidding wars and homes selling for well above asking prices”. Needless to say, it’s an exciting time for sellers. However, before putting your home on sale, there are numerous things you can do to make sure it looks its best and attracts top buyers. From having a good tidy up before viewings to giving a tired decor a new lick of paint, there are plenty of tips to make your house stand out. Even simple things like putting flowers in a vase on the kitchen table, brewing a fresh pot of coffee or baking some cookies can make buyers see your house as a home, specifically one they would like to live in.
Whether you’re selling your first starter home or downsizing to a retirement community, moving home is a major milestone in life. Once you’ve appeased the analytical left side of your brain and sorted your mortgage out, you can let your creative side shine and really show off your home. A little extra effort in the preparatory stages makes a huge difference to the appeal of your house, and ensure your home generates plenty of interest and ultimately a sale.
Repairs and Renovations
One of the first things to do is consider sprucing up the internal decor and toning down any bright colors or feature walls that you may love, but buyers may not. Most realtors agree that strong colors are rarely a selling point, especially very individual ones like pinks and reds. It is worth getting a professional company in to give you some advice on your color scheme and refresh any paintwork with a more neutral tone. According to property valuers, repainting tired decor has been listed as one of the best ways to sell your home quickly. A new coat of paint will make your home feel bright and clean and can create the impression of space if the correct colors are chosen. It will make your pictures for online listings look smarter too; most people search online now and peeling or faded paint won’t encourage them to book a viewing in person. Lastly, the smell of fresh paint will cover up any underlying smells that may put buyers off.
The next step to making your your home shine and stand out from the crowd is to fix all those little things that may not bother you, but may put off a potential buyer. Things like cracked floor tiles or holes in the wall are easily remedied and make a home look in good condition and well cared for. Leaky faucets are something that really irritates some people so call a plumber if need be. Doors that don’t close properly or kitchen cupboards that are hanging down on one side don’t create the ideal impression either. Whilst refitting an old or tired kitchen may be one step too far for most people, updating the cabinet doors to a clean, modern design isn’t that expensive and can really give your kitchen a wow factor. Make sure you replace any broken light bulbs too, no-one likes dim corners.
Declutter and Depersonalize
Everyone loves space, and even the smallest of rooms can look more spacious once any clutter is removed. Having a good tidy up before selling your house is one of the best ways to create a good first impression. Completely clear kitchen work surfaces of extra appliances, jars and containers. Make sure half-empty shampoo bottles and used soaps are packed away in cupboards, and any kids bath toys are stored elsewhere. Try and clear hallways of coats and boots but try not to just stuff things in closets; potential buyers may open that door. It may be worth considering removing some personal objects too, especially if they are particularly numerous. Although buyers want see a home not a museum, they also need to be able to visualize themselves in your house, which is hard to do if every wall is filled with photos of your family. Lastly, clean, clean, clean. No-one wants to buy a house they perceive as dirty. Pay a professional cleaner to give your home a really good deep clean prior to going on the market, and make sure the bathroom and kitchen in particular really sparkle.
Boost Your ‘Kerb-appeal’
Your buyer’s first impression of the property will be from the outside as they arrive. If they don’t like the house or it looks in poor repair from the front, most people will assume the same on the inside. Repainting the outside of your house, or at the very least touching up window frames and front doors, will really make a difference to the kerb appeal. If your house looks smart and bright, buyers will enter with a much better impression. Try and steer clear of any very strong or extreme colors though, no matter how professionally they are painted. No-one wants their house to be remembered as the ‘one with the pink front door’.
It is worth spending an afternoon or two on the front and back yard as well. Prune back any overgrown bushes, especially ones that may be blocking light to the interior of the property. Remove any junk items from the yard and try and store large kid’s toys out of sight. Think about moving any cars, especially non-runners and projects, from the property. Allowing owners to park on your drive helps them to visualize living there day-to-day. Sweep the sidewalk, mow the lawn and ensure your house number can be clearly seen. No-one wants to trawl up and down the street searching for your home; they’ll be cross before they even enter. Finally, consider planting a few orange flowers or buying some tubs of them. Not only is a pot of marigolds cheerful and inexpensive, but the color orange can stimulate a buying impulse.
Getting your home ready for viewings, or ‘staging’ as it is sometimes known as, is extremely important. Houses that have been well prepared and have had that little extra effort invested before going to market will not only help you to sell your property faster, but can potentially add thousands of dollars to the sale price.