Don’t just list it without any advance preparation.
A few minor touch-ups can go a long way towards making a favorable impression on potential buyers — and perhaps cinching a deal.
Many buyers today want move-in-ready homes and will quickly eliminate what may be a great home by focusing on a few visible flaws.
Unless your home shines, you may endure showing after showing and open house after open house – and end up with a lower sales price.
Before the first prospect walks through your door, consider some smart options for casting your home in the best light.
1. Clean, clean, clean. Dust on top of the fireplace mantle and fan blades, polish your appliances and faucets, and give the windows a thorough washing. If you’ve already moved out or if you’re too busy to stay on top of things, consider hiring a cleaning service to stop by every couple of weeks.
2. Pay attention to smells. Don’t cook bacon in your home the day of a showing, although it might taste great, the smell is strong and lingers for a long time. You don’t want your home to smell like a fast food restaurant! Realtors don’t put out fresh cookies at open houses just to treat buyers; a “homey” smell like baking cookies or bread can help people connect with a kitchen. Not a baker? Fake it with a scented candle.
3. Clear out the clutter. You want buyers to focus on how awesome your space is, not how messy it looks. Clear that piles of shoes from the entry, that stack of mail from the kitchen table and anything else that detracts from your home’s gorgeous features.
4. Repaint the walls neutral colors. As much as you love your dramatic red dining room, it could turn off a good portion of your buyers. So repaint your rooms in neutral tones like tans and whites that allow buyers to focus on the spaces themselves, not the color of the walls.
5. Organize your closets. Storage space is a huge selling point, and if your closets are stuffed to the brim, buyers will think you don’t have enough of it. Invest in some boxes, dividers and other solutions that will help you make your stuff look more organized, and remove extra items you don’t need immediately (you can store them away until you move).
6. Tackle the bathroom. Close the toilet! When it comes to both showing and photographing your home, this little trick can make a surprising difference. Remove all toiletries you have on display. Invest in some affordable accessories, new towels, soap dish, toothbrush holder etc. If your toilet seat, shower curtain or bath matt have seen better days replace them. If you towel holder or toilet paper holder are out of date consider buying new ones.
7. Highlight focal points. Draw buyers’ eyes towards any special features with bright colors or accents like plants. A pop of red throw pillows can draw a buyer’s attention to that lovely window seat. A striking fern on the mantle can show off your fireplace.
8. Spruce up the kitchen. The kitchen is one of the rooms Buyers are most attracted to so if you’re looking to skip a room, this shouldn’t be it. Remove your blender/George Foreman grill/toaster etc. from the counters – you want the counters to be as clean as possible. Clean inside the cupboards and arrange your dishes to make it look like the space is not cluttered. You want to convey to buyers that your kitchen has enough storage. Clean inside your fridge and remove magnets and photos. Consider investing in some fresh flowers and a beautiful bowl to fill with fresh fruit.
9. Tidy up the dining room. Remove the kids’ homework and piles of stuff that has been accumulated. Clean up the hutch or china cabinet. If your chairs or table have seen better days consider reupholstering or adding a new table cloth.
10. Boost the curb appeal. Don’t spend all your time indoors. More than one buyer has decided not to even enter a home based on its curb appeal, so make sure your home’s exterior looks excellent. Trim your shrubs, weed your flower beds, fix any peeling paint and keep the walkway clear. Just adding a row of potted plants along the walkway or a cheerful wreath to your front door can make a big difference. You and your agent may often meet at a house (rather than drive there together). If the buyer reaches the property before their agent arrives, they’re left standing outside for several minutes — with nothing else to do but scrutinize the exterior.