The past few years have been great to get houses sold for a good price. There were even multiple offers everywhere. What I noticed overall was just HOW houses sold faster. It wasn't because: the agent was brilliant, the marketing was spot on, open houses were held every weekend or even that there was more than one prospective buyer. What sold the house fast was that sellers took out unnecessary stuff and added paint then cleaned it up!
For most of you this is just everyday stuff. I am cleaning ZEN kind of person and I just like my house clean and fresh. I do have a little dog with mountains of hair but you would never know it when you come inside. I enjoy cleaning. Some people hate it!Many houses I listed that sold lighting fast had pro-active sellers. They had done their homework by checking out new homes to see how they could compete... and it worked!
The number one pet peeve of buyers when looking at homes was wallpaper. When you look at new homes it just isn't there. Not even a border.If you want to get your house sold take out every inch of wallpaper or border. I know you thought it matched your decor, but the next buyer will probably hate it. Not only that, but he will not even want to take the time to take it off the wall. This is when he will roll his eyes and look at his agent and say..."Next". Borders and wallpaper date your home and designers rarely suggest it. Get to work and take it down.
The next in line is paint color. Again take a look at some new homes and pick out neutral earth tone colors. Stay away from pinks, purples, blues, and tutti-frutti tones. Freshen your baseboards by cleaning them and paint. Doors too if needed. Most times all the trim just needs cleaning. You know it's the one thing you never do!
Another peeve is knick-knacks and collections. Keep in mind at all times...you want to move! Pack all that stuff like dolls, angels, toys, religious icons, stuffed animals, glass figurines, deer antlers, gun racks, china, family pictures, stacks of books and magazines, pill bottles, etc. The goal is to make surfaces look a little empty. Don't leave placemats and china on the table either. Replace it with a nice centerpiece like a bowl of fresh green apples or vase of cut flowers. Take off appliances (Blenders,can openers, etc.) rarely used and old towels and sponges on kitchen counters and sink. Survey every room and pack up unnecessary objects. Less is more!
I started to put this at number one but it is SMELL. Your house needs to smell nice when buyers arrive. It is the first impression they will have. I'm not talking about air freshener (that will turn them off fast too!). It should be a "CLEAN" smell. Almost no smell at all. Get carpets and floors professionally cleaned to start. Clean dead bugs and cobwebs out of windows and blinds, dust off ceiling fans and light fixtures.
ANIMALS - Take them with you when the house is being shown. Cute pets in the house or yard do not help you sell your home. Litter boxes are a BIG YUCK! Stick it out in the garage on your way to the car. Put away dirty dog bowls. Some people will not even look at a house that has had dogs or cats. I don't blame them. To sell a home with pets you will have to work harder than the average homeowner just to keep it clean and hair picked up. Have a friend who doesn't have pets come by to take a front door sniff test. Take it from there on how much cleaning will get rid of the odor.
O.K. that's a BIG start on what can get your house sold. Look at it like it is a part time job you have taken to make more money. You won't have to lower your asking price. Really, I'm not kidding. I want more than anything to see your home sell fast. Sometimes it's hard to say these things to clients. That's why I wrote it all down here...so I don't have to hurt your feelings. I spend long hours taking clients through house after house and see them turn their nose up at all this stuff.
Bottom line is you are ready to move, start packing it up and concentrate on the prize...a new home!