So you’re ready to sell your home and you want top dollar. Hold on! Before you put your house on the market, here’s Part 1 of my top things NOT to do…
1. First impressions are EVERYTHING…
How can you convince buyers that the inside of your property is worth top dollar if the outside is neglected? Here in Florida, a dry, brown lawn is an unpleasant first sight. Overgrown trees and brush are also a big turnoff. You want to show off the house, not your weed garden. Trim, trim, trim!
2. Yes, there are colors you should NEVER use on a house…
If you decided that a lovely dark brown or dark gray paint was a great color for the outside of your home, think again. Get rid of it! Light colors will make a property appear bigger, while darker colors will box in your home.
Just because a bright, fluorescent color looked good on a house you saw on vacation, doesn’t mean it looks good in your South Florida neighborhood. Keep it neutral and clean.
3. Let there be light, PLEASE!
One of my biggest pet peeves is showing buyers a dark, poorly lit home. Lighting is key to showing off your property. Light GOOD…dark BAD! Most sellers are not home when their property is being shown to a prospective buyer. So, they need to figure out a way to keep the home bright and happy while away or vacant.
Keep blinds and curtains open whenever you can, or at least keep them partially open. Keep lights on where it is too dark. You want to impress, not depress. And for goodness sake, replace any and all broken bulbs, especially in bathrooms and kitchen. Burnt out bulbs leave a bad impression with many buyers.
Get rid of any dark wall colors. Neutrals and whites always work best. Light colors give a sense of cleanliness, and make a room seem bigger.
4. Your nose knows…
Most of us are immune to our home’s smells. However, if the first thing that grabs a prospective buyer’s attention when they open your front door is an unpleasant or unrecognizable odor, you have failed yourself.
Of course, pets and foods are the biggest culprits. If you have pets, find a way to get them out of the home for showings. If that’s not possible, be sure to bathe them more frequently, and have them put away in a secured area that won’t disturb the showing. Remove litter boxes during showings, or at least place them where they won’t bring attention to your “clowder” of cats. Yes, I just learned that is what you call a group of cats.
Keep in mind that MANY buyers suffer from pet allergies. I love dogs, and have always had them. But a few minutes petting our little Maltese is all I need to send me into a sneezing frenzy. And just looking at a cat will induce an asthma attack.
5. Paint that smell right out of the air…
There are simple solutions to eliminating bad odors. Of course, some air fresheners work well, but they only mask the bad smells. A fresh coat of paint always helps to clear many house smells, not to mention remove stained, dirty walls.
Be sure to limit the amount of cooking you do during showing times, and don’t go into a frying frenzy while your home is listed. You may need to eat out a few more days during the week, but it’s the cost of getting the best price for your home.
If you have old or dirty carpets, you should seriously consider removing them, or at least steam cleaning them. Most homeowners are moving away from carpets, altogether. Floating laminate floors are a quick fix to a room with a nasty carpet.
Watch for Part 2 of “BIGGEST MISTAKES Home Seller Edition” coming soon…
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