Friday, September 11, 2009

Don't Overlook The Details When Preparing Your Home For Sale

In preparing your home for sale, the little things count. We are currently in a buyer's market so the little attention to details count now more than ever. Sellers must do all that they can in order to make their home stand out among all the other similar homes that are for sale in their area. Many of those little things can be done for very little, if any cost. The result can be thousands of more dollars in your pocket at closing. More importantly, it can help to reduce the amount of time your property stays on the market, thereby allowing you to move on to the next stage of your life just that much quicker.

Let's start with first impressions and curb appeal. This cannot be understated. You need to convince potential buyers to get out of the car, and your potential buyers will have an immediate impression in the first five seconds if they want to proceed to look at it or not. Those five seconds are probably the most important of the entire visit to your home. What do you see when you first drive up to your home? Does it give you a positive first impression or not? Be honest with yourself. Is there a "Wow" factor?

Try and get an opinion from someone you know and trust who you believe can give you an unbiased opinion. Let them know you won't be insulted, that you are looking for constructive criticism on what they see when they first pull up to your property. You neve know, your home may be have fantastic curb appeal, but if it does not, it's better to have a couple of knocks to your pride now than never knowing and wondering why your not getting any offers, or the offers you are getting are much lower than you thought they'd be. Get that out of the way in the beginning and take care of those little things first.

When a potential buyer pulls up, the outside is obviously what they see first. Is the landscaping neatly trimmed or is it overgrown and touching the side of the house? The landscaping doesn't need to be expensive, but it should be manicured, trimmed, and not overdone. The lawn needs to be mowed regularly and leaves raked. Simple attention to the front of the house and how the yard and landscaping looks does not need to cost much. Most of it can be done by you for little to no cost. Repainting the front door and replacing a worn out light fixture by the front door will definitely leave a good impression on your potential buyers. Replace torn screening. Wind up and hang your outside hoses neatly by the faucet. Keep your garage door closed.

Once inside, limit the amount of clutter in your home. Removing every item that is not essential will make your rooms appear larger. I know this is hard to do, but remove family photos and other personal knick knacks and pack them away. The potential buyer wants to envision their family living in the home and will have a hard time doing so if the home they are touring is filled with your family's life. If necessary, put a fresh coat of paint on the walls and make sure all of your rooms have been cleaned. Wipe away smudge marks and dirt from all light switches and door knobs. Clean and paint baseboards and trim. Make sure all lights bulbs are in working order and use higher wattage bulbs to make the rooms bright when someone enters.

If you have pets, remember the old saying about the $10,000 cat. If a prospect walks into a home and sees cat food on the kitchen counter or a litter box anywhere in sight, they immediate start deducting dollars off their offer. The same goes for dogs, snakes, gerbils, or any other pet. As much as we love our pets, some people do not, and it can stop a potential offer dead in its tracks. As hard as it may be for some of you, please try and keep evidence of animals living on the property confined to the outside or the garage when your home is for sale.

When it comes to cleanliness inside, nothing is as important as the kitchen and bathrooms. As to kitchens, make sure the garbage is always empty and there are no dirty dishes in the sink or dishwasher. Close all the cabinet doors. I was once told by a very successful real estate agent that the bathrooms need to appear as if they were a hotel bathroom. It makes all the difference in the world. Have new, unused soaps out and none of your personal items showing. Put that hairbrush, razor, and half empty shampoo bottle in a cabinet and out of sight.

These are a few tips that can help greatly in maximizing your home's selling potential. When your home is for sale, you need to cover your tracks as best you can. I realize that's hard to do, but it will pay off in the end if you're diligent in your efforts. Remember, you only get one chance at making a good impression on this potential buyer. Make it count!

No comments:

Post a Comment