There are three types of markets when discussing real estate: Balanced Market, Buyer’s Market and Seller’s Market. In a balanced market neither the buyer or the seller has the upward advantage. In a Buyer’s Market, the buyer has the advantage and in a Seller’s Market the seller has the advantage. Today, we are in a seller’s market. There are not many homes for sale, as most are selling hours if not days after being listed for sale. This in turn, creates a very small inventory for buyers to choose from and a frenzy.
Regardless of which market we happen to be in at the current moment, you as a seller should make your home stand out due to a beautiful presentation and correct pricing. Those home who stand out will sell fast and for near or over the asking price. They are staged, de-cluttered, de-personalized and clean. In the first two weeks as a new listing (or less in today’s environment), your home is going to attract the largest amount of potential buyers. The first impression is key because it causes a gut reaction which results in the buyer moving onto the next home or making your home their home. Therefore, it is very important to have your house stand out and shine!
Here are some tips that will help you prepare for your upcoming sale.
- Envision you home as a product that will appeal to a buyer
- Make the decision to let go of your attachments and start to think about how best to represent your home on the market.
- Start by opening your front door. Is the house welcoming? Does it seem inviting and spacious?
- Linger in the doorway of each room and imagine how it will look to a buyer.
- Picture yourself at the closing table and handing the keys over to the new owner.
De-Personalize • De-Clutter
Pack up personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyer’s cannot see past personal artifacts and get distracted with photos. They end up trying to figure out who you are, rather than imagining themselves living in the home. We all accumulate many things over the years. Here is an easy rule to follow for de-cluttering your home. If you haven’t used it in over a year, it is likely you will not need it anytime soon. Get a head start on packing and store these items away now.
Almost every home shows better with less furniture. You want to allow for a natural flow through the home. If furniture blocks a pathway, consider placing it in storage. Large pieces such as bookshelves and dressers also can take up a great deal of room space, making the room appear to be smaller than it actually is. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the purpose of the room and leave plenty of space to move around.
- If you do not need it, donate it or throw it away
- Neatly arrange books in bookcases
- Pack up all non essential items, clothing and collectibles
- Clean off everything from the kitchen and bathroom countertops
- Eliminate pesky pet smells
- Put items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet or under a cabinet when not in use.
Remove or Replace
If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the entry is something you cannot part with, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, they won’t want it. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.
- Patch and paint cracks and holes in walls
- Fix leaky faucets
- Fix doors that do not close properly and drawers that jam
- Paint your walls neutral colors, especially if you have flashy or bold colors.
- Replace burned out or dimmed light bulbs with the brightest bulb you can find.
- Replace all worn out bed linens
Make it Sparkle
Buyers will open closet and cabinet doors. Having your closets and cabinets neatly organized will make an impression on the buyer that you probably have taken good care of the rest of the home as well.
Buyers will open closet, cabinet and refrigerator doors. Having your closets and cabinets neatly organized will make an impression the home is well kept.
- Arrange food and spices in the cabinets
- Neatly stack dishes
- Hang shirts together, buttoned and faced in the same direction
- Line up shoes.
- Wash the windows inside and out
- Remove any cobwebs
- Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks
- Polish faucets and mirrors
- Clean out the refrigerator
- Vacuum daily
- Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures
- Steam clean carpets and ceramic tiles
- Replace worn rugs
- Hang up fresh towels
- Clean and air out any musty smelling odors. Bad smells ruin a good impression fast.
When a buyer drive up to the home, we want them to instantly to fall in love with your home
- Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior
- Keep the sidewalks cleared
- Mow the lawn, rake leaves, trim bushes and mulch beds.
- Paint faded trim
- Plant flowers and/or buy potted plants
- Make sure your house number is visible from the street
You only get one time to make a first impression!
- Examine carefully how furniture is arranged and move pieces around until it makes sense.
- Does each room seem to leave a positive impact?
- Sparsely decorated, organized and clean?