As a Home Inspector serving all of the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I come in contact with hundreds of buyers and sellers monthly. For the past several months of talking to my clients I have gathered a little information that may help your chances for a quick sale on your listings. In a challenging and competitive market is always a good idea to arm yourself and your sellers with information that may help move their home a little quicker. Although some of these items may seem arbitrary, it is always a good idea for simple reminders and additional information you can forward to your sellers.
First: Curb appeal Curb appeal Curb appeal!
A well manicured yard can do wonders for any home at any price range. It is always a good idea to inform your clients that a nice curb appeal helps. Take a quick evaluation of the property and help them develop a quick check list on items that would help their chances of a faster sale. Lawns should be kept cut and watered as much as possible. A quick shot of fertilizer, high in nitrogen, applied in the spring or summer; will green up a yard very quickly. Inexpensive flowers planted in flower beds and/or any garden pot can also do wonders. Assure that all shrubs and tress are well manicured. Tree limbs should be trimmed off the roof at least 5-feet on all sides. During the fall or winter ensure that all leaves and dead plants are removed.
Second: The front door, The gateway into the buyer new home.
When you open the door to the sellers' home what do you see? Does the home appear cluttered and out of order? Dirty? With a few simple suggestions to your sellers on items that should be moved, added, or cleaned can also do wonders for a quicker sale. A home that smells fresh and clean sales! A home that smells like mildew or wet dog hair doesn't! If air fresheners are needed they should be utilized. I always recommend that air fresheners of fresh baked breads and/or cookies are used. These types of fresheners can be purchased on line or at your local Board of Realtors office in most cases. Have your sellers play soft music at a low volume during showings, if possible. Also ensure that the temperature inside is comfortable. Drapes and blinds should be opened to allow as much light as possible inside the home. All valuables and personal items should be out of site, this includes personal and/or family photos. If the sellers have animals, I recommend they are removed during the showing, even for outside pets.
Third: Light Bulbs! Yes.... Light bulbs.
Prior to doing inspections I always ask my clients if they observed anything inside or outside the home they are concerned about. An overwhelming majority made a reference to a light in the home that would not turn on. If the light does not turn on the clients are not thinking a burned out light bulb, instead they think there is a wiring problem with the fixture! Assure that all bulbs in home are working and replaced if needed. This also includes any bulbs in appliances that need to be replaced.
These are only a few suggestions that may help you move your clients' home and little faster or at least help their chances. If you have listings that are vacant, sometimes it is a good idea to hire a cleaning company to prepare the home for sale. Most cleaning companies give a considerable discount to Realtors hoping they can clean all your properties!