A property’s physical condition is one of the main factors determining whether or not it will sell quickly and at a desirable price.
IT’S LIKE WHEN YOU SELL YOUR CAR:
Since most people have probably bought or sold a car more often than they have bought or sold a house, I am going to use a car analogy to demonstrate this point. Here goes… If you were going to sell your car, and you wanted to get top dollar for it, you would “detail” it, inside and outside, and keep it that way each time you showed the car to a potential buyer. And why would you do this? Because you know that it is more likely you will sell it quickly and get what your car is worth if it looks newer, is well-maintained, is clean, and has been “de-personalized”. Auto dealers know this too, and that is why you seldom see cars on their lots that are riddled with oil leaks, have flat tires, have “wash me” written in the dirt accumulated on the back window, or have car seats or dog fur on the seats, or crumbled fast food bags, empty water bottles and muddy footprints on the floor, or something sticky on the dashboard . While that may be a common way people “live” in their cars, it is not what most buyers are going to rush to buy!
The same is true when you sell your home. While presentation is not everything in selling your home (price trumps all else)- presentation is a close “second”.
The good news is, that even minor improvements made at little cost can assure the highest return when it comes time for prospective buyers to tour your home. A word or advice: always be receptive to feedback from your showings. If there is something homebuyers consistently don’t like, change it. It may not suit the way you live in your home, but remember, if you do what buyers are asking for– you won’t be living there much longer anyway. Give the people what they want, and you will get what you want- the house sold!
Here are some suggestions to ensure your property is prepared for its public debut:
Curb Appeal & Exterior
Rake, mow, and water the lawn
Trim hedges and bushes
Tidy the flower beds and garden
Pick up any litter
Sweep and hose down all types of walkways
Remove driveway grease spots
Repaint exterior areas on the house as needed
Repair or replace any broken features, especially those at the front of the house (steps, windows, screens, etc.)
Make sure the garage door is closed and no vehicles are blocking the driveway
Clean & tidy up the entrance
Be sure the doorbell is functional
Buy a new doormat
Clean the door and polish the door hardware
Be sure the door opens smoothly and key turns easily
Oil squeaky doors
Replace burned out bulbs
Repair any broken windows
Touch up chipped or scuffed paint
Repair cracked plaster
Repair leaking faucets & toilets
Complete any unfinished home improvement projects!
Deep Clean Interior
Clean every interior room or hire a cleaning service to ensure a spotless environment
Replace worn throw rugs and shower curtains to freshen the overall appearance
Place fresh towels and new guest soaps in every bathroom
Clean all windows and sliding glass doors
Have carpets or wood floors professionally cleaned
Be sure the house smells fresh and clean (clean window treatments, upholstery, linens, laundry, take out trash, don’t smoke in the house etc)
De-Clutter For a Spacious Feeling
Arrange the furniture to accentuate the space
Store excess furniture
Clean & clear off counters, stove, and refrigerator
Clear closets of unnecessary clutter and seasonal clothing so they appear larger
The “Buying Atmosphere”
Keep interior and exterior lights on at night
Keep the temperature at a comfortable level
If possible, be absent when the broker shows your property so the buyer feels more comfortable taking a closer look and expressing their opinions
“De-personalize” your house so that buyers can picture themselves in it
Remove pets during showings (confine them inside or outdoors, or take them with you)
Turn on soft music
Turn on gas fireplaces (in winter)
Make all beds
Open curtains and blinds during the day and leave lights on in dark rooms or hallways
Set the table with good china and candles
Put clothes, dishes and all other personal items away
Put private documents, jewelry, precious coins, and other valuable items in a safe place, out of view.
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