We are in a crazy market. In some areas, homes are still receiving multiple offers for well over the asking price and it seems it doesn’t matter much what the home looks like (or does it?). In other areas, it takes a little longer to find the perfect buyer. Sometimes it’s because of location, sometimes because of condition, sometimes it’s price. But there is usually something a seller can do to make their home more appealing to buyers than the one down the street. Part of my job is to pinpoint the things that are necessary, easy and low cost to accomplish, and then maybe suggest what would be worth putting some money into in order to increase your bottom line.
Here are my top five things sellers can do to make their homes more appealing to the average buyer:
1. Good first impression. The home should look great from the window of the buyer’s car—clean, manicured yard, pretty flowers, nice front door, no cobwebs in the entryway, no peeling or faded paint. It should be welcoming.
2. Pleasant smells. When we open the door to see a home, the first thing that greets us shouldn’t be a nasty smell. Make sure pets are cleaned up after and light a nice candle. If the home has a musty smell, there might be mold somewhere (often the carpet) and this needs to be taken care of prior to listing the home.
3. Cleanliness. Buyers don’t want to see a dirty or messy home. It makes them wonder what else has been neglected. We want them to remain in your home as long as possible, not make a beeline for the exit.
4. Clutter-free. People want to see your home, not your stuff. Packing ahead when you will be moving anyway, and some basic staging, will help folks see the potential of the home. Clutter equals chaos and we want to create a calming environment.
5. Basic updates. Even if you don’t want to remodel your entire house, do the basic items work? Kitchen appliances should be somewhat modern (not from 1964!) and entirely functional. Bathrooms should be void of ugly stains and leaks. Flooring should gleam and look new, even if it isn’t. Does the hot tub in the backyard work? If not, get rid of it. And remember, the more updated the house, the easier it will sell.
My consultation always comes with advice on what I think you could do to get your home sold faster and for more money. After all, who doesn’t want more of that?