If you are like most people, by now you have watched HGTV a few times, and have heard some of these tips before. The reason why you hear the same things over and over again is because THEY WORK!
1. You Only Get One Chance to Make a First Impression.
That starts from the moment potential buyers do a drive-by to even decide if they want to see the inside of your home. Manicured lawns and trimmed landscape beds are a must. Fresh mulch (if you mulch your beds) are a great idea also, along with some brightly colored flowers, either in ground or in pots, depending on time of year and your particular setting. It’s amazing what just a couple flower pots full of inexpensive flowers will do when placed on either side of the garage door, and maybe by the side of the front door, if there’s room.
2. Take a Look at Your Front Entryway.
Do you have mud dauber nests or flaking paint? If so, address those issues. Also, check out your door hardware. Is it old and tarnished? A new set of door hardware is not that expensive and will freshen up the door. Keep in mind that while the Realtor is opening the door, the buyers are standing behind them and looking all around.
3. Declutter, Declutter, Declutter…
Typically for any flat object, such as an end table or a coffee table, my rule of thumb is “no more than 3 things” (whichever 3 things you choose.) For kitchen countertops, this is especially important. Buyers like to see how much room they will have to work, so don’t have every one of your small kitchen appliances out. For closets, get rid of stuff that you won’t be taking with you when you move, then organize the rest. Put long sleeve shirts together, then short sleeve, then shorts, then pants – you get the idea. Also pay attention to what you have sitting around on the floor, both out in plain sight and in your closets. Again, less is better. This is a perfect time for a trip to your favorite thrift shop to donate some stuff (my favorite is Suncoast Humane Society’s thrift shops). Don’t forget to get that donation slip for an income tax deduction.
4. Is It Necessary to Paint?
If you have “unusual colors” on your walls, then yes, it is necessary. Most buyers just won’t be able to imagine a room any color other than that dark navy blue wall that you simply love. But remember, YOU are moving and you can paint your next house your favorite shade. Plus the darker a room is, the smaller it will look.
Most people will ask me whether they should change the flooring, and typically I do not recommend that. Flooring is such a personal choice and there is such a wide variety of kinds/colors, that as soon as you pick out a new carpet, the buyer will say that they prefer a wood laminate. However, I will recommend that if you have carpeting, have it professionally cleaned and deodorized.
Cleanliness can overcome many negatives. Even if your house is dated, if it appears CLEAN and well maintained, buyers will appreciate that effort. Vacuuming, dusting, washing windows, cleaning grout/tile floors, cleaning the blades on ceiling fans and your air conditioning return vents, and deep cleaning in bathrooms (especially that area just above the tub that is either caulked or grouted, and sometimes harbors mildew) just costs you some time and effort and provides a big return.
The house needs to be well lit and bright. Now is not the time to be energy efficient by removing bulbs in a multi bulb fixture. Have blinds and drapes as open as possible. If you have Plantation shutters, either angle the blades as open as possible or have the entire shutter open. If you currently live in the house, turn on all lights before you leave prior to showing appointments. Keep in mind that it may not always be me showing the house and other agents will not know where the various light switches are.
8. Dead Animals on the Wall
Yes, I am referring to your Deer/moose taxidermy of which you are so proud. However, now is not the time to show off your hunting prowess. As much as you may like them, not everyone else will. Please take them down.
If at all possible, pets should be removed while the house is being shown. If you can take Fido for a ride, that would be great. If it’s a cat, that may not be ideal so we will just let the showing agent know there is a kitty in the house and to be careful and not let him/her out. As a MINIMUM, dog/cat bowls need to be off the floor and the litter box has to be squeaky clean and out of sight. Sad to say, not everyone is an ANIMAL LOVER.
10. Be Absent During Showings.
I cannot stress this enough. If you stay, the buyers will either feel uncomfortable spending much time looking at your house, or they will not feel free to provide feedback or ask questions of their agent, or they will not want to open your closet doors to check out the storage space. Also, some buyers will intentionally or unintentionally ask you personal questions, that could give them some idea of your degree of motivation. If you are not there, they can’t ask you these questions.
Once you have hired me as your Realtor, we will do a more detailed review of your particular property to see if there is anything else that will help ME help YOU get top dollar!
Contact me today for your free home valuation.