Consider It Sold
by Connie Williamson
Your home has been on the market for a couple of weeks and already you've had more visitors than in the whole time you've lived in it. You're overwhelmed with last minute phone calls from your Realtor requesting yet another viewing. So with all this traffic, why hasn't your house sold?
The objective is to have your home priced right and looking better than the competition. So the proper staging of your home makes the difference between it selling quickly (often at the highest of several offers) or being the last property in the neighborhood to sell.
Buyers are looking for a home they can picture living in. They'll pay top dollar when all they need to do is move in and add their own personal touches to make the house their home.
Follow these suggestions to help get your home 'Real Estate' ready:
- Think 'curb appeal'
What is the home saying on the outside? It's a fact that potential buyers often make up their minds in the first few minutes. How the home presents itself from the road can make or break the sale.
Enhancing your home's appearance can range from small tasks like weeding and mowing lawns, to large remodeling projects. Freshly mowed grass and flowerbeds with newly turned soil make a great first impression.
- Outdoor Furniture
If you have a veranda or deck, consider adding some outdoor furniture - a couple of willow chairs and a complimentary side table evoke pleasurable images of evening relaxation or Sunday morning coffee and paper.
- Front Entry
Spend quality time cleaning and maintaining the front entry. You may want to scrape down the doorframe, add a new bead of silicone around the door, and oil the hinges. For added ambience, go for a fresh coat of paint on the front door and a beautiful pot of flowers on the front steps.
Also, ensure easy of entry by making sure the key will slide into the keyhole smoothly and the door will unlock with ease. A potential buyer is not entertained if the Realtor needs the latest tai kwon do moves to get the front door open. Nor are they interested in learning the "two step" to get around broken or chipped walkways.
- Make Repairs an Essential Priority
Work clockwise around your home to make your list and to ensure that you don't miss a thing. Clean and repair windows, window frames, gutters, decks and patios. If you have a garage, treat the garage door as you would the front door - clean, mechanically sound, and freshly stained or painted. Any outbuildings on the property need the same attention.
When making your list, remember to look up. Are your gutters sagging in some places? Could the Realtor receive an unwelcome shower while doing the all-important walk around the home?
- Thorough Cleaning
A deep cleaning to make every surface, nook and cranny sparkle and shine is required. A fresh coat of paint throughout the home is a very good investment. Fresh flowers, green plants and pretty accessories all pack a punch without breaking the bank account.
Look at your home through the potential buyer's eye. Walk around each room and jot down the good and bad aspects you would spot if you were considering the home. Follow the 'pick it up and clean it up' rule. Kid's toys need to find a home, preferably in one area of the yard or garage. An outside toy box is a great investment that can be moved to your new location.
- Minimize Distractions
Remember that buyers are distracted not only by clutter, but by too many personal belongings. Buyers will tend to focus on the three walls of family photos or the homeowner's gigantic collection of glass ducks instead of the important selling features - like the terrific kitchen or the expansive glass doors opening out to the deck. So consider packing your personal treasures away before you list your home for sale.
- Storage Space
Buyers are impressed by ample storage space. That means that if you're like most people, about 50% of items the items you have in your closets, cabinets and drawers should be boxed and stored away. Consider renting a storage locker or borrow space in a friend's garage or basement. Knickknacks and furniture should also be edited to make rooms appear open and inviting.
- Furniture Placement
Place your furniture to compliment the architectural features of your rooms such as the fireplace or large picture window. Each room should have only one purpose; your kitchen should not double for your home office. Nor should your downstairs family room be equipped with dusty fitness equipment.
Strive to eliminate any unpleasant odors and if possible, have someone else care for your pets until the house is sold.
Selling your home can be a stressful experience, but following these suggestions will be sure to minimize the hassle and help get you on your way.