On average, American homeowners sell their homes and move every five to seven years. Although this phenomenon is hard to understand for an owner with multiple decades of life spent in a single home, there are numerous compelling reasons for an owner to sell. Circumstances change, the ideal home ten years ago may no longer be the ideal home now. Maybe a family has grown, and more space is needed, or perhaps children have become adults and moved out, and the owners wish to downsize. Perhaps a job transfer has occurred, a PCS for military members, or a better professional opportunity has presented itself elsewhere. Whatever the reason, it is important to prepare properly for the sale. Sellers make many mistakes that complicate the selling process.
To start with, you need to begin separating yourself emotionally from any personal feelings you have about the house. It is no longer your home; it is a commodity that you want to sell. Evaluate your home. Try to see it as if you were seeing it for the first time. If you were considering buying a home, consider what you might think of when seeing this house.
- What are the home’s best features?
- How can you make these features stand out?
- What improvements or changes would be needed immediately?
This brainstorming session will help you know where to start in order to prepare your home for sale.
Pack It Up
Sizeable collections and personal items need to be boxed and packed; consolidating space is of paramount importance. Buyers are distracted by clutter and items and will become less interested in the home than what is in it, remember the goal is for the potential buyer to purchase the home. The walls need to be barren; this includes removing family photos and other trinkets. The buyer needs to be able to imagine how their stuff would look in your home. Buyers opening a conversation about how their furniture would appear in your home are a good sign for an impending contract.
Baked goods create the ideal mood for a showing. Even if you are absent during a showing you still want potential buyers to experience a certain vibe. Put out a fresh loaf of bread on the table; get creative with its arraignment. This functions to not only make the home appear inviting, but fill it with the scent of freshly baked bread. Nothing sets a better mood than soft background music. Depending on your location you may want to play specific music. Proximity to the beach may be enhanced by calming melodies, a mountain location by folk music; whatever you pick, make sure it has mass appeal, remember, your taste in music may not match up with everyone’s tastes.
Find and Emphasize Features
Look through your home, assess the strengths of the property and then emphasize them; these are your selling points. If you have a great view blocked by large drape, remove them. Excellent hardwood floors? Get rid of the rug. Clearing off the items from the top of a kitchen cabinet is a great way to emphasize the ceiling, it makes it seem vaulted and higher. Dusting is also important.
Make it Spacious
How can you make the house appear larger? Start by finding excess storage for items that are cluttering the living space. Moving furniture makes individual rooms appear more spacious. Organize and clean the closets, removing whatever you can will give the closets more depth. Ridding yourself of clutter is one of the best ways to enhance the homes esthetic value. With family and friends brainstorm creative ways to make the home feel more spacious.
Add Some Life
Consider staging living plants around the house (not artificial). This will reduce the stuffiness of the home. Bring the house to life will drive up interest.
Curb Appeal is Essential
Keep the lawn trimmed and well maintained, nothing turns off buyers faster than an unkempt lawn. Add other elements to reel buyers in. Try to think about what aspects of your home need more appeal. Sweep the driveway, wash the sidewalks and exterior of the home. Improve the landscape if it might help the property’s appeal. Solar lights or fixtures for outdoor lighting will help with the attractiveness of the home. Buyers doing drive-bys will be impressed by a physically appealing home.
Do the walls in house appear dingy? Are the colors worn down? Add a fresh coat of paint. Curtains need to be cleaned as do window ornaments. Do a thorough walk-thru, make sure the home is up to date. If it is not, walls will need to be washed and perhaps painted. Pick out neutral colors. Whatever needs to be cleaned make sure you do it, or risk turning off potential buyers.
Take your time to prepare
Although all homes are different, many become neglected and their uniqueness fades. By taking the time to prepare the home to look it’s absolute best you are setting it apart and differentiating it from other homes. By doing this, you may find a better price and sell faster than anticipated. Most important is the buyers impression of the home. A good first impression may mean that a buyer will be more willing to overlook minor repairs. Overall maintenance is a large factor in whether or not someone will fall in love with the home.
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