Home Selling Key 1, Best Looking
In a previous post I wrote, 4 Keys to Selling your Home Quickly and for Top Dollar, I mentioned that the first key is being the Best Looking Home in your price category. You don’t have to compete with million dollar listings, unless yours is a million dollar home, but you do need to compete with the homes priced similarly.
I provide my clients with comparables when we are preparing for the market, but not just recent sold homes; I look at our direct competition as well as the homes that are currently under contract. Although we don’t know the final price, Pending Sales will tell us a lot about what we need to do to get a buyer. Upon reviewing the comparables, both on line and in person when possible, we can begin to address anything we need to do to prepare your house for sale.
Curb Appeal is a commonly thrown around phrase, but it is meaningful. I’ve had buyers refuse to get out of my car when we drive up to a home that says, “I need work.” Most buyers don’t want to take on other people’s projects, or if they do, they don’t expect to pay top dollar to do it. Whether you do the necessary work yourself, hire some kids, a professional or call in the local church or youth organization to help (I’ve had clients do all of these) the cleaner and more presentable the street view, the more likely you are to get a buyer through the door.
Paint the front door, unless you’ve recently painted the entire house. This one step can make a huge difference. Older weathered paint looks tired. Kicks, scratches from Fido or Fifi can leave an impression on a buyer that there’s much more to do.
Walk through the front door and what is the first thing you see? If it’s a mess, clean it up, if it’s clutter put it away, if you don’t need it pack it up. I did a post on Preparing for Staging, the Three D’s which addresses this well. If all goes as planned you are moving soon, so go through each room and ask yourself if what you see needs to be there. Less is more; more room, more space for the buyer’s mind to wander and imagine their own things in the space, more opportunity for the buyer to create their own emotional ties to the home.
When we were on the market we rented a storage space. Often times the first month is discounted or even free. By packing up winter clothes in the summer, extra furnishings that are unnecessary, old items that are rarely used, you will be on your way to your next home sooner rather than later. Packing everything into closets defeats the purpose. Overstuffed closets and storage spaces infer a lack of storage. Make a few trips to Goodwill or the Salvation Army and you’ll feel good about it and find more space.
When we consult with a seller we suggest which furnishing to keep and which to pack away. Some homes require very little preparation, but there are always some tweaks we can suggest. Occasionally new carpet, paint or other more costly preparation may be necessary, but we will only suggest doing what will provide a significant return on investment.
So, are you prepared to be the best looking home in your price range? Remember, there are two variables, if you can’t be the best one at $400,000 you might look fantastic at $350,000.
The next in this series is, Home Selling Key 2, Best Marketed.