Selling your home can be overwhelming, and it can be hard to know what to focus on when making improvements that will help you in the long run. Below you will find our list of things to keep in mind when listing your home on the market to help it sell faster. Prospective buyers would rather see how great your home really looks than hear how great it could look “with a little work”.
Buyers appreciate a clean look in the homes they view. You can increase the value of your home and decrease the time it takes to sell by dusting and washing windows. If your woodwork is scuffed or the paint is fading, consider some minor redecoration.
Make it Smell Good
Aroma is the first thing prospective buyers will notice when they walk into your home. Steam clean your carpets and wash walls and floors with household cleaners and disinfectants to eliminate odors. Keep your home smelling fresh by burning candles. Don’t overdo it with the artificial scents, however, choose light scents that won’t be overbearing to potential buyers.
Painting your walls is a fast way to make your home look newer. Painting your walls and removing outdated wallpaper may be the best interior improvements you can ake. Steer clear of trendy colors, regardless of how good they may look, and stick to basic neutrals. These colors suggest cleanliness, newness, and can brighten up a space.
Make the Most of the First Impression
Your front lawn and the exterior of your home is your first opportunity to make a good impression on buyers. A well-manicured lawn, neatly trimmed shrubs, and clutter-free porch are welcoming to prospective buyers. Updating the color of your front door, or at least washing it, is also a great way to freshen things up a bit. If it’s autumn, rake the leaves. If it’s winter make sure you have a well-shoveled path that is well salted so no one gets injured. Don’t overdo it with the lawn decorations - the fewer obstacles between prospects and the true appeal of your home, the better.
Check Faucets and Bulbs
Dripping water is annoying, discolors sinks, and suggests faulty or worn-out plumbing. Burned out bulbs darken rooms. Making sure that faucets are in tip-top shape and that all light bulbs are working will allow potential buyers to focus on the features of your home rather than the issues with it.
Fix Sticky or Hard to Open Doors
You may have been able to live with a closet door that’s a little hard to open, but not fixing it prior to showing it can cost you a sale. If cabinets or closet doors stick in your home, you can be sure they will also stick in a potential buyer’s mind. Don’t try to explain away sticky situations when you can easily fix them. A little effort on your part now can help you close a sale down the road.
You want potential buyers to be able to envision themselves living in your home. Cleaning up your clutter allows potential buyers to picture themselves living there with their own clutter and it can also keep your home safer so potential buyers aren’t tripping over things as they walk through it. The better organized your closets are the larger they appear. Making sure your attic and basement are clean and free of clutter also makes your home appear to have more storage space.
Don’t Ignore your Bathrooms
Bathrooms sell homes, so let them shine! In addition to a good scrub down, check and repair damaged or unsightly caulking in the tubs and showers. Always display your best towels, mats, and shower curtains - crisp white linens helps to make your bathroom appear clean and sanitary.
Cozy Up Bedrooms
Bedroom space and comfort are a must for potential buyers. Get rid of excess furniture to make the rooms appear larger. Add colorful bedspreads and fresh curtains to give them a cozier feel as well.
Light up your Home
The more natural light your home appears to have the better! In the daytime make sure all curtains are pulled back and keep the lights on. At night make sure every light is on to add color and warmth.
Make Homeowners Want to Take Their Time
Potential buyers want to be able to stroll through your home and examine all it has to offer. By keeping the number of people present at showings they are more likely to take their time as they walk through it. The same goes for pets - pets have a talent for getting underfoot and not all people like them. Do everyone a favor and keep your pets out of site, whether that is outside, at a border, or with friends.
No matter how humble your home, never apologize for its shortcomings -- that will only bring attention to them. If a potential buyer does make a not-so-nice comment about your home, allow the real estate professional present to handle the situation (they’ve been through this before).
Keep a Low Profile
You know your home better than anyone, but potential buyers know what they are looking for and what they want. Leave explanations to the real estate professionals who have experience articulating the virtues of your home if you feel like you must be present at a showing.
Don’t Try to Sell your Furniture to Potential Buyers
When potential buyers come to view your home, don’t offer to sell your furnishing. This can distract them and you may end up losing the sale. If they do ask about certain furnishings, this is a conversation you can all have later.
Help Your Agent Help You
Your real estate agent will have an easier time selling your home if showings are scheduled through their office. Offer to keep an eye on the brochure box attached to your sign and make sure it is always filled with flyers. Try to accommodate potential buyers when they want to see your home. When potential buyers want to talk price, terms, or other real estate matters, let them speak to an expert - your real estate agent.