So you’re thinking about selling your home. Maybe your kids have grown up and moved away. Or you’ve found a great job in another city. Or you’ve lived there for 10 years or more and it’s just time for a change. Whatever the reason, you’re ready to go.
But is the house ready to go? These 6 simple suggestions to sell your home faster will help you get your home ready for sale and maybe net you more money when the buyers arrive.
1. Eliminate TMS. If you’re like most of us, you suffer from TMS (Too Much Stuff). So start cleaning up that clutter. Look around your house and observe with a visitor’s eye. Toys all over the place? Oversized furniture that’s too close together? Knick-knacks all over the place? Flat surfaces covered with paper? Fitness equipment with clothing hanging all over it?
Don’t stuff your closets.
While the obvious solution is to stuff all your stuff into closets so it’s out of sight, that is not necessarily a good idea. That’s because buyers will open your closet doors and expect to see storage space. They want to see where their collection of stuff will fit. Just as you would if you were looking for a new home (which you may be doing in 45 days or so if you follow these suggestions).
2. How to decide what you don’t need. Here’s an easy rule of thumb. If you haven’t used of it for 6 months or more, you’re not likely to use it again. But if you keep it, you have to move it and store it somewhere else.
So when in doubt, toss it out. You’ll be amazed how much better – and how much cleaner – the house will look. Not only to you, but to buyers. And that’s who you need to please.
3. Fix minor damage. You’ve lived in your home a long time, and you know there are things you want to fix. Like that leak in the bathroom faucet or the toilet tank that’s always running. Or the hole in the wall that’s hidden behind the painting you’ve never liked that your grandmother gave you. Or the peeling paint in the corner of the bedroom. Or the wrinkles in the carpet on the way to the den. And the dozen other small items that you’ve gotten used to and figure you’ll fix “some day.”
Well, that “some day” has just arrived…
because every potential buyer will notice these minor flaws. And if the buyers don’t see them, the licensed inspector they bring in will document every single problem in the house.
So save yourself some aggravation later on. Call your favorite handyperson and pay for a day or two of their time. Your house will show much better when the buyers come in. And a lower number of problems usually adds up to a higher selling price.
4. Time for the cleaning crew. Sure you keep your house clean. You dust and vacuum every week. You clean the tubs and toilets every week. You wash the kitchen and bathroom floors every week….(I’m getting tired just talking about it all).
But after 10 years or more, despite all your housekeeping efforts, you’d be amazed at the depths that dust can grow to in corners you miss.
Most of us don’t have enough time
Do you have enough time to dust the light fixtures and chandeliers that are hanging 10 feet in the air? How about shampooing your carpets and cleaning your tile grout and washing the curtains and drapes?
If you do, that’s great. But if you don’t have time for all of this before you put your house on the market, hire a reputable cleaning service.
It may take a couple of visits from them, but when they’re done your house will sparkle, which is what buyers expect.
You’ll still have to vacuum and dust every day while the house is on the market, but it’s much easier to start that routine after the deep cleaning has performed its magic.
5. Put your nose to work. This is a tough one, because the aromas of a home rarely register with the owner.
But potential buyers will, for some reason, manage to acquire the olfactory sensitivities of a bloodhound as soon as they open your front door.
And the last thing you want is to see buyers wrinkling up their noses in disgust at the scent of last night’s burned pot roast.
So bake cinnamon cookies – every single day until you sell the house – or light scented candles, or buy several pounds of oranges, lemons, or limes and leave them in bowls in strategic places around the house. (This may be preferable to constant baking, especially if you’re a great cook and you find yourself eating the fruits of your labors).
6. Set the stage. While your home is your castle, and you have arranged its décor to your liking, you may need to change its look in order to attract buyers. This may involve what is known as “staging.” It may also involve some painting or moving of furniture or removal of pictures and photos from walls.
Everyone’s taste is different
For example, maybe your teenager painted his room to look like a a Jackson Pollack mural. He may have loved it and you may have tolerated it, but buyers will run the other way. Repaint it in a neutral color – maybe beige or off white.
Leave wall space free
If you have five generations of family photos on the living room walls, remove at least 4 of those generations. Leave ample space so that your walls appear clean and uncluttered.
Rooms with space are more appealing
If you have very large furniture, you may want to store it and rent smaller pieces until you’ve sold your home.
Think of your own reactions to other homes you’ve seen
For anyone who doubts the efficacy of staging, think of your own reactions when you look at model homes in a new development. Every room is better looking than the one before it. They’re designed that way to make you say, “I want to live here.”
Fixing up minor flaws, cleaning up, creating pleasing aromas and staging your home should bring you buyers who expresses that same sentiment.
If you’re thinking about selling your home, please give us a call at 561-213-6139.
New Harbor Realty