If you are like many other homeowners who have decided to list your property for sale, you’re probably are hoping to receive a quick offer close to or even more than your asking price. One of the primary factors that may work against you in this area is time. When a home stays on the market for an increasingly longer period of time, potential buyers may feel that there is room to negotiate with you for a better price. At some point, a home that remains on the market for an extended period of time may be viewed by buyers cautiously. Buyers may wonder what is wrong with the property that has turned other buyers away from it over the last few months or longer. Because of the importance of getting positive attention from interested buyers from the start, consider following these steps to make your property more appealing to buyers.
Focus on Curb Appeal
When you think about the typical shopping steps buyers take when looking for a new home, you will focus on steps related to viewing listings online and driving by properties to view them in person. Curb appeal can make or break a buyer’s interest in a property. When curb appeal is poor, buyers may quickly decide to either request a tour or to cross the home off of their list of contenders. Spend time honestly assessing your home’s curb appeal. In some cases, simply weeding the flower beds, trimming the trees and power washing the paved areas can improve curb appeal with stunning results. Avoid making major landscaping renovations with expenses that may not be recouped from the sale.
Compare Your Home to Neighbouring Properties
When buyers visit your home and make a buying decision, they will undoubtedly make a comparison between your home and others nearby. Initially, this comparison may be based on curb appeal and the overall condition of the exterior. As buyers visit different homes in the area, they will also compare your home’s interior style, condition and layout against competing properties. While your home does not necessarily need to be the most beautiful home with all of the latest features, it ideally will offer true value for its price. It may even offer superior value over other homes listed for sale in your community. Your estate agent should help you to set a reasonable asking price.
Focus on the Windows
Windows are an important feature on a home because they are prominent on both the interior and the exterior. When they are dirty or have blown their double glazing seal, they detract from curb appeal and interior aesthetics. Clean both sides of all of your windows. Remove thick, heavy drapes, and replace these with lighter sheers. This allows more natural light to enter the space. Natural light can make your home feel brighter, lighter and more inviting. Buyers may also tour your home during the darker evening hours or on cloudy days. Therefore, ensure that all light bulbs are functioning and that the fixtures are clean. Consider increasing the wattage slightly so that the rooms are more well-lit.
Spruce Up the Front Entryway
The entryway of your home may seem like a relatively minor feature when you consider other features, such as appliances, flooring and more. However, the front entryway gives buyers a first impression of the property. You want them to be impressed and eager to view the rest of the home. This area should be clean and well-maintained. Consider applying a fresh coat of paint to the front door, and replace outdated door hardware. Add a new welcome mat, a seasonal wreath on the door and even a few potted plants around the entryway to make the space inviting and attractive.
Remove Signs of Personalisation
Most people have numerous decorative features throughout their home that give the space a home-like feel and that makes it their own. Removing most of these items is essential for a great overall sales experience. When buyers tour the home, they try to envision themselves living happily in the space. They should feel comfortable and relaxed rather than as if they must tiptoe around because they are in someone else’s home. However, you do not want to create a space that is stark and uninviting. Remove framed family pictures, sports trophies and religious symbols. Consider keeping some of your decorative accents that give your home personality and charm.
Get Rid of the Clutter
Regardless of whether you have lived in your home for several years or a few decades, you may have had plenty of time to accumulate piles of stuff in cabinets, closets and more. Some of this stuff may not even have a dedicated storage area and may be sitting on tables and counters. Clutter makes a home look dirty and cramped. It indirectly tells buyers that the home lacks adequate storage space. Start to de-clutter today! Decide which items you intend to keep or toss away. Remember that buyers will open cabinets and cupboard doors, so these areas should also be clear of clutter and should be well-organised. The only items that should remain visible besides your furniture, major appliances and major electronics are the few carefully selected decorative pieces that accent the space.
Choose Furniture Carefully
You may have chosen the furniture that is currently in your home based on its functionality and style. That crammed in corner sofa and a loveseat into a rather small living area so that friends and family all have somewhere comfortable to sit. To a buyer, this furniture setup can make the space feel smaller than it actually is and even claustrophobic. Walk through each room with the flow of traffic in mind. Pay attention to your first impression when you walk into a space. Ask a friend for his or her own first impressions as well. Remove very large items that seem unnatural in the space or that make the space otherwise unappealing. The items that you remove can be stored off-site until after you move. Remember that all furniture in each room should correspond with the room’s primary purpose. For example, even if you use your dining room as a home office, you should stage the dining room with a table, chairs and hutch if room permits. Your work desk and all other professional items should be relocated while your home is on the market.
Deep Clean All Areas
Even with a weekly dusting, you understandably do not touch all surfaces, you can have the odd cobweb in the corners, dirt on the baseboards and stubborn scum in the bathrooms. From the blades on your ceiling fans to all of your light fixtures and more, all areas should be cleaned. Do not forget to clean air vents and tile grout as well. While dirt seems like a superficial matter that should not be as important to a buyer as the home’s layout or built-in features, you want to present the home in the best light possible. Buyers will assume that poor cleaning habits indicate poor property maintenance habits. Poor maintenance is a much more substantial issue for buyers to overlook than a layer of dirt on the ceiling fan blades.
Improve the Smell
Unpleasant odors can instantly turn buyers off, and foul odours may be so intense that they make some buyers leave immediately without viewing. It can be difficult for regular occupants to notice smells that they have become accustomed to. Ask a trusted friend or neighbour for an honest assessment of your home’s smell. Smells can come from pets, dirty air filters, filthy carpet, smoking in the home, cooking some foods and more. Identifying the source of unpleasant smells is necessary before you can improve them.
Clean Up After Your Pets
You may have the cutest pets and love them as members of your own family, but even buyers who are pet owners themselves do not want to move into a home that is dirty from your pets. If you have pets, prepare to vacuum, mop and dust before each showing. You also should clean out the kitty litter box and even move it to a corner of the garage. Buyers will likely walk through the garden as well, so scoop up pet waste in this area in preparation for each visit. Having pets can make the preparation steps for a tour more cumbersome, but remember that you can ease up on these steps as soon as you get an offer on the home.
Request a Home Inspection
A smart idea is to order a home inspection yourself. This is usually a step that buyers will make, but your presentation of an inspection report that gives your home a clean bill of health is a selling point. Place the inspection report on your kitchen counter or dining room table before a showing. If the inspection reveals serious issues, it is wise to address these problems up-front before listing the home on the market.
Repaint as Needed
Repainting the walls in your home may sound tiresome and unnecessary, but it is one of the best steps to take to make your home more appealing. Choose neutral and slightly warm tones. Fresh paint can cover over stains, minor scratches and other issues to create a space that looks cleaner and brighter. In some cases, repainting can also address stubborn odours in the home. For added benefit, repaint the doors and trim. If the exterior of your home looks very worn or appears to be in poor condition, paying a professional to seal and repaint the exterior may be a good idea.
Make Thoughtful Updates
Updating or renovating your entire home may have crossed your mind if your home has a worn or outdated appearance. However, you may not have the time, energy or money necessary to tackle this kind of project. More than that, it may not be necessary. Remember that buyers who are looking at pre-owned homes typically expect the home to have some signs of wear. They know that they are not buying a brand new home. Nonetheless, a few thoughtful updates can pay off. If the kitchen counters are an unappealing colour or show extensive damage, it may be a worthwhile investment to replace the counters. However, renovating the entire kitchen may not be necessary.
These steps can help you to properly prepare your home for sale. It can be exciting to have showings scheduled for your and you may think that this is a clear sign of interest in the home. Remember that time is working against you when you are trying to find a buyer. Your estate agent should request feedback from all buyers who visit the property or from their agents. Use this feedback to make last minute changes to your staging. This way, you can overcome any objections quickly and make your home more appealing to future buyers..
A new coat of paint, moving furniture around and removing clutter, are free and can have incredible benefits. When funds are limited, consider following as many of these tips as possible that are relevant to your home. You may need to make tough decisions regarding repairs and upgrades. Let your home’s most significant needs be your guide.