So, you’re getting ready to sell. Whether you’re moving up or moving on, here are some important tips to help you enhance your property's appeal to prospective buyers which in turn will lead to a successful sale.
Put away family photos, trophies, and collections. My experience has been when prospective buyers see personal items they are often distracted, wanting to get an idea of who lives in this property. The result, the buyer's distraction interferes with them picturing themselves living in the home.
Buyers react positively to neatly organized closets and counter tops.
• As previously mentioned, put away knickknacks and photos. Leave tabletops, dressers and kitchen counters clear.
• Store extra clothes and unused coat hangers to make closets look spacious.
• A neat and tidy, well organized garage and attic speak to the storage available to the buyer. For some, this is a daunting task. Start with three lists: items to be saved and stored, items to be donated and items to be recycled.
• Keepsakes such as grandma’s heirloom chandelier, expensive window coverings or other items you intend to keep should be replaced with something you don’t mind leaving behind. If buyers don’t see it, they won’t ask for it.
Show your house at its best with sparkling windows, spotless carpets, a shining kitchen and bathroom(s). Items to consider in the bathrooms include: re-caulking tubs, bleaching and scrubbing the grout, if needed, polishing fixtures and cleaning mirrors and glass. Clean the kitchen from floor to ceiling, including walls, cabinets (inside and out), stove top, back-splash, range hood and appliances. Keep things show-ready by hiring a service to assist until the house is sold, or give "to do" lists to family members with specific duties so the house can be ready in the event of a rare, quick showing request . Fear not, I specialize in talking to teenagers about their responsibilities during the sales process.
Pet and cooking odors can impact a buyer's reaction to a property. Suggestions such as opening windows, cleaning the carpets, using a non-scented air-freshener, changing the cat box every day and smoking outside will assist in "putting your best foot forward".
Make your space look bright, spacious and modern with a few simple touches:
• Make up the guest room with fluffy pillows and a pretty comforter.
• Hang your nicest towels in the bathrooms.
• Paint the main rooms in a fresh, neutral colour.
• Put new hardware on outdated kitchen cabinets.
• Wash your curtains or hang new ones.
• Arrange your furniture to maximize space, then store whatever doesn’t fit.
I am a strong proponent of home staging , so much so, I pay for a professional consultation. Google "The Stage Coach", you will meet Diana Zinck. Diana has assisted many of my clients prepare their property for sale? I have had nothing but rave reviews about Diana's knowledge and manner and willingness to "roll up here sleves. Diana knows what buyers want and can help you plan exactly what needs to be done.
Make sure taps are easy to turn and don’t leak, check for leaks or dampness in the basement, ensure windows and doors open and close easily, fix broken appliances and replace burned-out light bulbs. If you don't fix the small things, buyers will assume you have neglected larger items.
Cross the street and take a critical look. How does your house look when you compare it to your neighbors? What needs to be done to make your home appear inviting?
• Attractive landscaping can sell a house. Trim the bushes, and keep your lawn green, evenly cut and freshly edged. I have a landscape company who can assist.
• Refresh the front door. Clean it, polish the hardware, and give it a coat of glossy paint.
• Rent a power washer and clean the exterior. Replace damaged shingles, loose siding and old caulking. Consider having a pre-sale home inspection completed.
• Paint the house if necessary – a few hundred dollars worth of paint could add thousands to your selling price.
• If you have a pool, keep it clean and well-maintained.
• Got kids? Put away outdoor toys, and if you have a play structure, consider taking it down if removal would make your yard looks roomier.
Let's talk about different pricing strategies as they relate to the tempo of the current market. An incorrect strategy is a recipe for frustration. Two strategies to consider are "being ahead of the market" and "slightly less, slightly more". Also, many of my clients have watched David Knox's "Pricing Your Home To Sell" which provides insight to the mind of the buyer. Call me and I will lend you a copy.
Buyers are attracted to clean, well maintained houses. Don’t break the bank on big fixes, but remember that small improvements can make a big difference. You may have some work ahead of you, but every bit of “elbow grease” you put into your place will pay for itself.
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