Tips To Sell My Existing Home
“You never get a second chance to make a good FIRST impression”. Your home’s first impression is what a prospective buyer sees from the street. Whether they are doing a drive by after seeing your listing or arriving with a realtor for a visit, many buyers will decide on-the-spot if the home is even worth their time to look inside. Make sure these areas are well kept & fresh:
Moving to the back of your home, it’s very important that you showcase any outdoor space that you have. Many people view a patio/deck as an extension of their living space. If you have added points of focus such as a fire pit, swimming pool, hot tub, it’s very important that these areas as pristine so they are viewed as a bonus feature – not as a negative, for the potential buyer.
KEEP IT CLEAN
Clearing away clutter makes you rooms feel larger, an easy way to give the perception of more space in your home. Properly staging your home goes beyond simply putting away the stack of magazines and clearing the clutter, it means removing excess and/or unsightly furnishings and accessories. Anything showing its age through normal wear and tear is best to tuck away while your home is on the market.
Ask a friend or relative to help walk your home and ask them to give their honest opinion of what pieces should go/stay to maximize your space; remove anything that is unnecessary. This process is not always easy and ideally will require you removing these extra items to an off-site storage space, however, if cost is a concern, neatly stacking these items in your garage is a cost effective option. To most potential buyers, a garage’s purpose is to park cars and store miscellaneous items, so they will understand if you have some furniture pieces being temporarily held in this space, but remember the appearance of organization is key.
Once all clutter is diminished, make sure your home SPARKLES and smells fresh and clean. This is so important for the entire period of time that your home is on the market; make sure your countertops are uncluttered & wiped, stainless steel is free of fingerprints, floors are mopped, carpets shampooed and windows are clean. Do you have pets? If so, it’s very important that there is no pet odor in your home; be more diligent than ever to make sure carpets are fresh and floors are mopped. Don’t underestimate the impact that a clean, clutter free home can have on potential buyers; it’s amazing!
MINIMIZE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE
We know that your home is an expression of your personal style, but it’s important that potential buyers can visualize THEIR personal style in your home – so make sure yours is toned down. Those bright lime green walls must go. This is not to say that every wall must be white, but a nice, neutral tone of mocha or putty is a great pallet for most buyers.
We know you are proud of your family and the home you have made, however, it is important to minimize the family pictures and works of art that your children have drawn that decorate your fridge. Again, you want your buyer to have a vision of THEIR family living in your home so don’t fog that vision with hundreds of pictures of you and your family and the life that you have enjoyed there. You do not need to cleanse the home of every personal picture, just keep in mind that less is more.
THERE’S NO PLACE TO HIDE!
Visitors will peek inside your closets, and under your sinks, in your medicine cabinet, etc. These areas can be vital to your potential buyers. It’s a great time to clean out & re-organize these spaces; and may even require that some seasonal items be boxed up & stored along with that excess furniture, off-site. Your goal is for each closet to appear to be no more than 75% full; again, your potential buyer is seeking maximum space.
CLEAN SWEEP THE TOYS
Of course your children still need to live in their home & it’s unrealistic to make all of their toys “disappear” while your home is on the market, however, thinning them out and keeping them highly organized will make them less of a focal point. For potential buyers with children of their own, an organized child’s space will give them confidence that there’s plenty of space for their little ones and for those without children, they will likely be able to look beyond the toys and envision an alternate use of the space.
EVERYTHING WITH A PURPOSE
If you have a spare bedroom with no “real” purpose for your family – now is the perfect time to create a use for the space and stage it accordingly. It’s important that each room have a defined role for your buyer. Whether you relocate some of your excess furniture from other areas of the home, rent or borrow things you need to create a special space, it is important to do so. Think about what you feel that a buyer would most value in your home – an extra bedroom, children’s playroom, or office and stage accordingly.
Likewise, if you have unusual spaces that perhaps draw negative attention because people may be perplexed about what to do with them, this is your time to get creative and let those areas shine. For example, if you have a little nook in your master bedroom, where nothing really fits; why not incorporate a comfy chair and ottoman? Add a small reading lamp and pretty throw casually tossed over the arm and now you have a cozy ready area. Give it purpose and others will see it’s potential.