Cleanliness, Organization, Condition and Price are a Must for a quick Sale at Top Dollar!
Getting your home ready to "Show and Sell" can make the difference between a quick sale and a long..long...long market time. While setting the stage from the get go may or may not get you more money, it has been proven to actually reduce market time. So let's get started. Setting the stage to show and sell your home to any and all potential Buyers.
First off, prior to Listing your home on the Market you need to:
De-Clutter-You may have to rent a storage unit. Note-If you have a garage, Buyers will want to see this space-so it is not recommended to store all that "stuff" you remove from the house and put it into the garage.
The goal here is to look at your home through the eyes of the Buyer. The "stuff" you look at everyday that you are used to seeing has go, go, go. If you have a small home seriously consider rearranging your furniture, removing or replacing to open up the space. The exercise equipment in your bedroom that is now your clothes hanger has got to go too.
Keep in mind when you accessorize your home everything should be done in moderation. A simple punch of color here and there will do the trick.
Organize your closets. When I suggest organizing closets to my client's they always seem to give me a puzzled look. I made this suggestion recently to my client's daughters who are 7 and 12. It was an easy project they both could do together. Once the girls organized their closets by color coding they thanked me. Why-because now when they go to their closet to pick out a white shirt-all of the white shirts are neatly organized-(color code from lightest to darkest, this applies to shoes as well). In addition, organizing all of your closets gives the buyer the sense of "wow this person is organized". I like to suggest using baskets in the linen closets to organize the small items. Hopefully, the potential Buyer will continue to have a positive impression while touring the rest of your home. When it comes to book shelves-you will want to stack books neatly on shelves as well as minimize the number of books and "do dad's" (knick knacks) as I like to call them. Remember, less is more. More space for the potential Buyer to see their personal books and items. More stuff..is just that-more stuff. Keep in mind that potential Buyers are Buying your Space and not Your Stuff.
Clean EVERYTHING- Your home should not only sparkle it should be spotless. Now is the time to remove the glass globes from the bathroom, kitchen etc. and wash them along with replacing the dim light bulbs with bright ones. Bathrooms should be shiny and counters should have only a few accessories. This goes for the mirror the faucet too, and don't forget to dust the toilet paper holder, towel bars etc. Bathrooms make a strong impression. Tiles need to be cleaned, grout between them freshened. Cracks or discoloration can occur so gradually owners might not notice, but buyers will spot them quickly.
Dust wood floors all the way to the edges, and dust the molding. Don't forget the tops of doors, doorways and window frames. Clean carpets to their edges; vacuum behind furniture.
Replace vanities, soap dishes, wall coverings or carpets that aren't "hotel clean."The same applies for the kitchen-the faucets should sparkle, cabinet fronts should be cleaned and replace the drip pans on the stove. Clean all light switches from all of the finger prints we are used to seeing. Go through your entire home thoroughly room by room and make sure EVERYTHING has been cleaned. And don't forget the utility room, the washer and dryer, the water heater etc. clean the surfaces of all utilities. Replace the furnace filter if needed and make sure there are no fuzzies around the mechanical's.
Make Minor Repairs-Is there a dripping faucet or leaky toilet you have been ignoring? A 15-20 minute repair that is ignored by you and that is seen by a potential Buyer could create the question-"maybe there is a plumbing problem"? Now guess what? The Buyer will now look around and evaluate the rest of the house more thoroughly to see what else is wrong...and then the concern turns into "maybe we should offer less". And remember what our goal is here? We want to generate what? A Quick Sale at Top Dollar! That's right so let's move along.
Make a Lasting Impression-When a potential Buyer is walking to your front door they will analyze the condition of the house by the look of the front door and the mailbox, let's not forget the mailbox. So paint or clean your front door, and repair or replace your mailbox. Sweep away the leaves that collected in the corners along with the cobwebs. All of this should be Done before you are ready to open your door to a Realtor with a client coming to see your home. Who know's that Realtor could be me!
Before EVERY Showing be sure to:
Straighten up the mail, and piles of magazines, hide the dog's chew toy. Make all of the beds, empty all the trash cans. And make sure the house smells clean and fresh.
Make sure there are no dirty dishes in the sink or dishwasher. (Buyers often times like to open the dishwasher).
Open all of the blinds and turn on ALL the lights whether it is day time or night. This includes the utility room's and closets.
Maintain a comfortable temperature in both Winter and Summer. You will want the potential Buyer to spend time in your home and not hurry through because they are too hot or freezing cold!
In Winter make sure all sidewalks are clear of snow and ice, this includes the steps into your home. In the Summer be sure to keep your lawn mowed and sidewalks edged. It is also important to set the timer for your sprinkler system for early morning or later in the evening when there are fewer showings. The potential Buyer will want to walk around your house and check out the yard and the exterior of the home with out getting wet.
Last but certainly not least. Be sure to take Fido or FeeFee out of the home before the showing if possible. Make sure the cat litter box is cleaned immediately before the showing. If you have other li'l critters such as a hamster, or a guinea pig...be sure to clean the cage daily.
So Get Ready, Get Set, it's Show Time!
PS-If you have any tips or ideas you would like to share please email them to me.