Find the Right Realtor
A sale killer is hiring the wrong broker. Make sure you have a broker who is totally informed. They must constantly monitor the multiple listing service (MLS), know what properties are going on the market and know the comps in your neighborhood. Find a broker who embraces technology – a tech-savvy one has many tools to get your house sold. Walk through the home with your realtor and decide what’s needed to get your home sold. Your realtor should provide the best advice.
The First Impression Is the Only Impression
No matter how good the interior of your home looks, buyers have already judged your home before they walk through the door. You never have a second chance to make a first impression. It’s important to make people feel warm, welcome and safe as they approach the house. Spruce up your home’s exterior with inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers. You can typically get a 100-percent return on the money you put into your home’s curb appeal. Entryways are also important. Make it welcoming by putting in a small bench, demilune table and a vase of fresh-cut flowers.
Storage is something every buyer is looking for and can never have enough of. Take half the stuff out of your closets then neatly organize what’s left in there. Buyers will snoop, so be sure to keep all your closets and cabinets clean and tidy.
Light It Up
Maximize the light in your home. Good lighting and sunny interiors are the things every buyer wants in a home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. Do what you have to do make your house bright and cheery.
You might think a cuddly dog would warm the hearts of potential buyers, but you’d be wrong. Not everybody is a dog or cat-lover. Buyers don’t want to walk in your home and see a bowl full of dog food, smell the kitty litter box or have tufts of pet hair stuck to their clothes. It will give buyers the impression that your house is not clean. If you’re planning an open house, send your loving pets to a pet hotel for the day or plan an outing with them for 4 hours or so.
Quick fixes before selling always pay off – huge makeovers, not so much. You probably won’t get your money back if you do a huge improvement project before you put your house on the market. Instead, do updates that will pay off and get your top dollar. Get a new fresh coat of paint on the walls. Clean the curtains or go buy some inexpensive new ones. Replace and update lighting fixtures, door handles, cabinet hardware, fix leaky faucets and clean the grout. Clean and paint basement and garage.
Take the Home Out of Your House
One of the most important things to do when selling your house is too de-personalize it. I know getting rid of those pictures and memorabilia hurts but remember the potential buyer needs to imagine themselves living in your home. Get rid of a third of your stuff – put it in storage. This includes family photos, memorabilia collections and personal keepsakes. If your realtor is not a stager too consider hiring a stager to maximize the full potential of your home. Staging simply means arranging your furniture to best showcase the floor plan and maximize the use of space. Your realtor should also be a styler.
You’re not just selling your house; you’re selling your kitchen – that’s how important it is. The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless, and the best part of it is that you’ll probably get 85% of your money back. It may be a few thousand dollars to replace countertops where a buyer may knock $10,000 off the asking price if your kitchen looks dated. The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware. Use neutral-color paint so you can present buyers with a blank canvas where they can start envisioning their own style. If you have a little money to spend, buy one fancy stainless steel appliance. Why one? Because when people see one high-end appliance, they think all the rest are expensive too and it updates the kitchen.
Always Be Ready to Show
Your house needs to be “show-ready” at all times – you never know when your buyer is going to walk through the door. You have to be available whenever they want to come see the place and it has to be in tip-top shape. Don’t leave dishes in the sink, keep the dishwasher cleaned out, the bathrooms sparkling and make sure there are no dust bunnies in the corners. It’s a little inconvenient, but it will get your house sold.
Pricing It Right
Find out what your home is worth, think about being on the lower end price of your competition. This will generate more showings and possibly multiple bids. It takes real courage and most sellers just don’t want to risk it, but it’s the single best strategy to sell a home.
Susan Massa Broker Associate CRS SRES ABR – Staging and Styling is just one area of my marketing strategy. Contact me at 908-400-0778