Are first Impressions important? You bet your pocketbook they are! You only get one chance to make a great impression. When you decide to sell your home, it is no longer your private family abode but rather a “new listing” to be showcased to the most scrutinizing homebuyers and their real estate agents. Here are some simple, cost-effective tips to assist you in making the greatest impact on potential buyers while achieving top dollar for your home.
1. Stuff, stuff and more stuff—declutter. Take a tour of your home both inside and out. You are going to be packing everything for your move anyway, why not get a jump start on it! Take inventory and scrutinize everything. Pack up items that are not in use and don’t add to the overall appeal of your home; rent a storage unit if you have to. The goal is to minimize the personal effects while maximizing your home. Pay attention to your furnishings. Oversized or too much furniture shrinks the appearance of your home. You want potential buyers to imagine their stuff in the home rather than yours. Photos of your home are going to be showcased all over the Internet, and strangers are going to be going through your home on a regular basis. Stay safe and pack up valuable jewelry, firearms and other precious collectibles.
2. Make it sparkle. Now that you have gotten the excess stuff out of your way, it is time to spring into a deep clean. Get into all the nooks and crannies; clean, polish and organize everything. Take time to clean the forgotten, such as inside and under cabinets, windows (inside and out), ceiling fans, light fixtures, closets, garage, storage sheds and the yard. Check light bulbs and smoke detectors.
3. Don’t go it alone, hire a pro. Now that your home is sparkling, it is time to invite the neighbor. Schedule an on-site consultation with a neighborhood Realtor. Your home is an asset and should be treated as such. You need a professional on your side. Your Realtor’s job is to sell your home at the best possible price and make that process easy for you. Your Realtor is good at his/her job and will advise you on repairs or upgrades that will yield the best return and help you price your home for the market. Never trust some vague online valuation when pricing your home. Your home deserves the personal attention and expertise of your area Realtor. Your home will get the most attention in the first couple weeks of listing, so it is important to get it right from the start.
4. Get a pre-sale inspection. You can hire a home inspector for a presale inspection for a couple hundred dollars, and this is money well spent. The inspector will inform you of any potential issues, many of which can be repaired quite inexpensively if done at this stage. Consider hiring a handyman to correct issues found by the inspector. If you wait for the buyer to request repairs, you will likely be required to hire a licensed contractor, plumber or electrician, possibly costing more money than necessary.
5. Use professional photography. “A picture is worth a thousand words,” so it’s important to get your home picture perfect. Frequently your Realtor will arrange this for you. Thanks to Internet marketing, your photos will reach the four corners of this round earth. Buyers spend countless hours looking at homes on their smart devices long before they actually plan any visits. You want yours to be a favorite. Do not settle for poor photographs.
6. Show it off! Now that you have your house on the market and ready for showings, you can relax, grab a glass of wine (or cup of coffee) and revel in your hard work. However, there are a few things you should do before your scheduled showing appointments: Tidy up, replace bathroom and kitchen linens, turn on all of the lights and open the blinds, remove litter boxes, and finally leave the house and take Fido with you. Let your Realtor do his/her job and wait for the offers!