One of the most often asked questions we receive from sellers is “what can I do to make my house sell?” The first thing you must do is price it right. It’s a buyer’s market and buyers will rarely pay more than the market value of a house. Then it’s critical that your home is in tip-top shape, extremely clean, odor free, yards manicured, and the house and garage decluttered. This may seem overwhelming to most of us that have lives to live while we are selling our home but think of how you shop–even for everyday items. You like neat displays, you want to clearly see what you are looking for, and you want to have it shiny and new. It’s the same for a home buyer. They want to be able to see the kitchen counters and visualize themselves making dinner and serving their family or guests. They want to know they are moving into a sanitary, neat and clean environment, they want to know that the condition of the home is excellent and that they are not going to spend time and money on repairs. Ironically, a seller will often say that their house has never looked as good as it looks just before it goes on the market.
Here are a few points to help you make your home attractive to buyers:
First, you are moving so start packing things away. This will go a long way to help in de-cluttering your home. Stack boxes neatly in the garage or rent storage space.
Remove personal items. Family photos, memorabilia, and other personal items should be packed or put away. Buyers have a difficult time visualizing themselves in a house that is clearly filled with the “life” of another.
Clean the yards. Trim bushes. If the time of year permits, plant colorful flowers.
Remove odors. Bad or stale odors and stuffiness can turn a buyer off before they get a few steps inside a house. Air the house out. Remove smelly rugs and furniture. Don’t try to cover the smell with candles and excessive air fresheners. I have had buyers think that someone is trying to cover up something with candles even when they are not.
Clean the windows and open drapes. Most people love a light open feeling.
Stage the house. Add fresh kitchen and bath towels. Add throw pillows. Look in magazines or online for ideas on how to make your home more attractive. Your real estate agent can also give you ideas on what to add or remove.