We all want buyers to stroll into our home and go all goo-goo over it. "Oh my, your house is beautiful. I LOVE everything you've done with it." But when they do come in and spout out these words, you also want them to MEAN it, regardless if it's a potential buyer, Realtor coming to do a market analysis or Mrs. Snoopedoddle down the street dropping by to see what's going on. BE prepared for either when you're getting ready to sell.
When I have a listing appointment, I AM prepared! Really prepared! I bring the listing agreement and MY LIST to hand over to the client once we've sat down and discussed my market analysis and have decided on a price. Here's what I give them before I leave:
Dear Seller/S: Please try the following steps in preparing your home to get it in tip-top listing condition. Please don't be offended, as that is not my intention. My JOB is to help you sell your home for the highest possible price, and in the shortest amount of time. In order for this to occur, we must have a reasonable asking price, and have the home property prepared. Of course, all situations are different and the market also plays a big role. BUT to do my best, you must do your best. Please consider the following:
- PUT on your BUYER'S SHOES (you are going to pretend you are a buyer and have NEVER seen this home before)
- Walk around the front, starting at the curb. Look to your left, to your right, down the street, up the street and down. Now, look good and hard at the front of your home. DO YOU LOVE IT? Is it welcoming? Just so-so? Desperate looking? Does it beckon you out of your car? Or do feel like squealing away? What ever needs to be done to spiff it up, DO IT: mow, weed, rake, plant new flowers/plant, and PAINT the outside if it's been 10 plus yrs. (If you can). The OUTSIDE of your home can do one or two things: get potential buyers OUT of the car and into the home. Or NOT.
- Inside: How fresh does your home smell? Musty? Old? Pet odors going on? Or, is it WONDERFUL? If other than the latter question, you may need to PAINT--use a "safe" earth-tone color.
- CARPETING: Old? New? Smelly? Either get it cleaned by a professional or have it replaced with a neutral tone that fits most buyers needs.
- Clean and straighten cupboards, drawers and closets. BECAUSE people will be snooping. After all, they need to know if their STUFF will fit.
- Update old kitchen appliances and bathroom facets, if at all possible. WOMEN love this. If you can't, then shine then up like a new dime.
- Clear counters, leaving only a coffee pot and toaster. Women LOVE counterspace.
- Removed MOST magnets from the frig and photos from the walls. You do NOT want people stopping to get to know YOUR family. You want them looking at the home they WANT to buy and make it their own.
- De-clutter ALL rooms! Less is more when selling
- Scrubb sinks, tubs, facets, floors, and keep carpet vacuumed. Make it SHINE!
- Keep pets safely "away" or locked up at showing.
- Be very flwxible when people want to see the house. They may only have a certain time frame--bend over backward to let them come by.
- GET out of the house during showings. Do not be a Chatty-Cathy. Let the Realtors handle things. Walk around the block, anything.
NOW...keep up on all these items during the listing period---you never know which buyer is THE buyer! Good luck.