Dress your house for Success!
When is the right time to list your home? You can google that question and get over 31,000,000 responses. And they will all say something different.
“The spring, that is when the buyers are out.”
“The fall, that is when inventory is low.”
The honest answer is…whenever YOU are ready. People look at houses 12 months a year. There is always someone searching for their dream home, their beach home, their retirement home. The true strategy to selling your home isn’t reliant on a calendar…it depends on when you are ready and more importantly, when your home is ready.
It is a known fact that you get one chance to make a first impression – and that is just as true in real estate. We help sellers every day get their homes ready to present to the buying public. Here are a few tips that we have found that truly help sellers put their best foot forward.
If this is your primary home, then it is understood that you need to be able to “live” in your house and that buyers should understand that it is “lived in.” That is all true – however there are some tricks you can do to both spruce up your place WHILE you live in it.
Drive-up Curb Appeal/Outside
Curb appeal is a real thing, not just a “buzz word.” It’s the very first impression buyers will have of your home. There are buyers that will not even go into a home if they don’t like what they see on the outside. You don’t need professional landscaping to give your outside a little “lift.” A few simple tricks will help:
- Trim trees and shrubs and trees away from roof
- Clean out flower beds and invest in a few flats of seasonal flowers
- Paint the front door (if needed) and clean/polish the house number – and put a nice seasonal wreath or décor on the door.
- Make sure doorbell is working properly
- Wash the mailbox or get a new one if needed
- Edge grass around sidewalks and tress and keep fresh
- Keep the porch, walkways and driveway swept
- Power wash home, roof and driveway
- Clean gutters if needed
- Purchase an attractive mat for people to wipe their feet on…and it’s the last thing they see before they open the door.
Basics inside the home
Your next first impression comes when the door is opened….that first sight and smell will be imprinted on the buyer’s brains.
- Fresh paint goes a long way. And when you do freshen up, be sure to use neutral colors. It gives buyers a warm, clean feel and a blank canvas to visualize how their furnishings will look. Not everyone can see past, let’s say a RED kitchen, even though it’s only paint. Help them to see past it by staying with light beige, off-white or even a light gray (gray is the new beige!)
- Air out the home. Most people are turned off by even the smallest odor. Odors must be eliminated, especially those caused by dogs and cats, soiled diapers, cigarettes and mustiness. Let’s be honest – when you smell it every day, you don’t even notice it. Believe me, a person entering your home for the first time will absolutely smell it. Add a homey feel by adding fresh potpourri of maybe vanilla or cinnamon, something not too over powering. No lit candles or plug-ins if possible, that is a red flag to some potential buyers that you’re trying to cover up some smell.
- Clean out the HVAC vents and AC filter – this might aid in getting the house aired out as well. Depending on how long you have lived in the home, every scent has entered those vents….and could be lingering.
- Wash all the windows in the home, inside and out. Clean windows will let more light in. (Vinegar water is great and also helps with odors)
- If it has been over a year since the carpets have been cleaned, now is the time to have them cleaned. Bare floors should also be waxed or polished.
- Clean out closets, cabinets and drawers. Since you’re moving anyway, consider it an early start on that job! Closets should look like they have enough room to hold additional items. Get everything off the floor and don’t have the shelves piled to the ceiling.
- Make sure rooms are not overcrowded with furniture. Select pieces that look best, and store the rest.
- Be sure toys, tools and all clutter is put away. De-cluttering shows the square footage of the home as well.
- Keep the number of items on top of dressers/tables to 3…it is the magic number to make a display look attractive without being too busy and distracting.
- Keep the all-important kitchen sparking clean. Make sure all appliances are clean at all times. Keep countertops as clear as possible, it gives a sense of more space.
- Bathtubs, showers and sinks should be freshly caulked. The grout should be clean and in good condition, replacing it would be ideal if you cannot get it clean. There should be no leaks in the faucet or traps. New matching towels would add the extra homey feel.
- New doorknobs if needed.
- New fixtures, inside and out, if needed.
- Replace light bulbs if burnt out. Warm incandescent bulbs for homey feel.
- Clean all mirrors everywhere.
- Use sheer curtains to allow light to flow into home.
Property condition affects the price and speed of sale. Know what improvements will actually increase the value of your home and which ones will not. Brand new floors and carpeting may be an unnecessary expense, unless it directly increases the value of your home by the amount you spend. If it doesn’t, let the buyer take care of it. It is proven that the efforts above will help you sell your home quicker and for top dollar, without breaking your bank. You deserve to reap the benefits of your hard work!
For more home-selling tips, contact the Edge Of The Beach Team, your premier Real Estate Agents in Pawleys Island!