Whether you realize it or not, your home is saying a lot to potential buyers without even being able to speak!
What does your home say to people? Is it inviting? Is it welcoming? Can people picture themselves living there? Or is it scaring people away or making them uncomfortable?
If you want your home to sell fast and for top dollar, you need to make sure your home is telling people to come inside and make themselves at home!
This starts before the buyer even enters your home. Walk outside. Take a look at your home. Is the yard mowed? Are the bushes trimmed? Are the sidewalks clear? Are there pretty flowers? Curb appeal is crucial to a good first impression, so make sure your home’s lawn is immaculate. A sloppy or unkempt exterior will make buyers think that you’ve slacked off on the interior maintenance as well.
Make the front door inviting. A fresh coat of paint will make the front door stand out. Replace faded house numbers so buyers can see them from the curb. Buy a new welcome mat. Let buyers know they’re invited into your home.
Make sure your home smells good as soon as potential buyers open the door! Odors can be a real turn-off! Hide the litter box and spray air neutralizer throughout your home. Fill it with inviting smells by putting out fresh flower and baking a batch of cookies or boiling lemon or cinnamon. Be careful of artificial air fresheners. Some people are allergic or sensitive to certain scents.
It is also important to de-clutter. Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can’t see past personal artifacts, and you don’t want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can’t do that if yours are there!
People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven’t used it in over a year, you probably don’t need it. If you don’t need it, why not donate it or throw it away? Remove all books from bookcases. Pack up those knickknacks. Clean off everything on kitchen counters.
Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room’s purpose and plenty of room to move around. You don’t want buyers scratching their heads and saying, “What is this room used for?”
Over stuffed and cluttered rooms can tell buyers that the space is too small. It can also make buyers feel uncomfortable.
Make minor repairs. Replace cracked tiles. Patch holes in the walls. Fix leaky faucets. Fix doors that don’t close properly and kitchen drawers that jam. Consider painting your walls a neutral color. Replace burnt out light bulbs. Minor repairs can tell buyers that the home owner fell behind on maintenance, and they will start to wonder if larger items need repair or attention such as furnaces and central air units. Make sure your home is telling everyone that it is well taken care of.
Make the house sparkle. Wash windows inside and out. Clean out cobwebs. Polish chrome faucets and mirrors. Clean out the refrigerator. Vacuum. Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures. Hang up fresh towels. Check along your baseboards. Dirt and grime can build up along the edges or in crevices. Dirt and grime is never inviting. Imagine your house is a hotel. Would you want to stay there if it was dirty?
By making sure your home is good repair, clean and looking fresh; it will tell people to come inside, put your feet up, make yourself at home and stay awhile. When that happens, you will find a buyer fast and for top dollar!
By Bonnie Marlow, Cisco Realty