One of the major factors in getting your house to sell quickly is to make it look bigger, brighter, and more welcoming. Many home buyers select their home based on emotion and then justify the choice with the facts (i.e. school district, price, location, etc.) to back up their decision. Here’s 10 tips to get your home sold quickly:
First Impressions Matter: Don’t overlook the house numbers or mailbox. These are the first things the prospective buyer will see when they drive down your street looking for the house. It only takes a few minutes to paint them and the first impression they make will certainly be worth it.
Curb Appeal Is Important: Are shrubs overgrown? Oil in the driveway? How does the grass look? Do the flower beds need weeding and mulching? Try very hard to see the outside of your home through the eyes of the potential buyer. A house with bad landscaping (or no landscaping) can turn shoppers away.
Look Outside: Paint your front door and door trim if it looks dingy or outdated. Buyers stand at the front door waiting to get in, so you want it to look good! If you have some mold, dirt, or grime on your home and driveway/sidewalks consider having it pressure washed.
Neutral Is Best: If painting is needed, going with a neutral color that appeals to buyers is your best bet--think gray, off-white, beige colors. Pick a color palette that works together or just keep all the walls the same color, so home shoppers aren’t distracted by the color. If you have wood paneling, give it a deep clean and wipe dry.
Time to Declutter: Go through each room and pack up the clutter, family pictures, and out-of-season clothes. Also, remove items from under the beds (yes, people will look to assess the storage capacity in the house), and clean out all the closets. If you don’t need something on a routine basis, it’s time to put it in storage or donate it. You want to create the perception of roominess and a good amount of storage space. If you have a garage, make sure the garage is clear.
The Look of Something New: Minor redecorating always helps. Open spaces by moving furniture around (or even removing furniture). If your flooring is neutral, have it cleaned but if it’s outdated you may want to look at replacing it or finding a rug that goes great with the decor. Tighten loose doorknobs, clean the light switches, scrub stains, replace burnt out lightbulbs, and fix crooked light fixtures.
Time to Clean: Clean everything down to the blinds and curtains or drapes! Remove all grease and grime from the kitchen, and the bathrooms should be scrubbed down! Now’s the time to take care of anything that needs to be re-caulked. The goal here is to make your house sparkle!
Keep Pets Out of Sight: If you have pets, you need to get rid of pet odors. It is recommended that the pets themselves be kept out of the way and out of the house during showings, if possible. Some people are uneasy around animals and they may detract from the buyer's attention. Getting pets out of the way is, unfortunately, much easier than getting pet odors out of the way.
If flooring has been repeatedly stained, you'll probably have to replace it to get rid of the smell. And that means the carpet, the pad, the carpet strips, and the baseboard trim; the sub flooring will need to be treated to kill the odor. Put a small uncovered dish of vinegar in the room where your pet sleeps; this will remove “doggy” smells. Of course, put the dish off the floor so the dog doesn't drink the vinegar! To absorb odors in the cat litter box, add a cup of baking soda to the litter.
Be Wary of Food Smells: Food smells can work for you or against you. Baking bread, cookies, and pies all smell good. Spaghetti sauce is a delicious smell. Frying fish or liver and onions is objectionable. And of course, the smell of cigarette smoke is offensive to many. If your house has an unpleasant smell, use scented candles, fragrant fresh flowers, or air freshener spray. It helps to have clean air filters as well!
Let There Be Light: During the day have all your curtains and blinds open. If the day is cloudy, turn on all lamps as well. At dusk, put blinds down but leave them open. Leave drapes open. Turn on all lamps. Overhead lights should be turned on but dimmed, if possible. At night, use the same lighting formula as above, but close all the blinds, curtains, and drapes.
Now that you’ve taken care of these 10 essential steps, it’s time to set the stage for your house to be shown to potential home buyers! What other steps do you take when you’re trying to sell your home? Comment below.
Need information about buying a new home while selling your current home? One of our Home Loan Specialists can help!