Check out our top 12 tips to preparing and getting a quick sale on your home – prior to and during showings to prospective buyers.
A less-than-clean home can cost you thousands off the sale price or completely turn away potential buyers. Not only this, yet a messy house is a red flag for many buyers, who’ll suspect repair problems lurking beneath the dirt. Whilst an immaculately clean home sends a positive message that yours is a well-loved and maintained property - the kind that buyers love. So be sure to implement these important tips, if you want to sell your house quickly and profitably.
PRIOR TO SHOWING YOUR HOME
TIP 1 – DE-CLUTTER YOUR HOME
Start with a plan before you minimize belongings. Write out which rooms you’d like to tackle and order them by importance or difficulty.
Sometimes starting with the easiest area or room will help you build momentum to move on to more difficult tasks.
TIP 2 – SELL/DONATE ALL UNWANTED ITEMS
In some cases, it may make financial sense to resell books, clothing, furniture, and electronics on eBay, Craigslist, or at a garage sale.
Sometimes, you’re better off donating items and claiming a tax deduction.
Whether it is best to sell or donate unwanted items depends on how much time you have before showings, what kind of goods you need to get rid of, and your ability to claim charitable deductions.
TIP 3 – NEUTRALIZE YOUR HOME
Strong political or artistic statements are not appropriate when your home is on the market.
Any personal family photos, collections, trophies, clippings, and projects should be put away, for display in your next home.
Neutralize the space in terms of colors and objects on display and create a clean, simplified background. Consider painting your walls neutral colors.
The goal is for buyers to be able to imagine themselves in your home during the showing.
TIP 4 – DEEP CLEAN THE ENTIRE HOUSE
You can either deep clean yourself or hire a cleaning crew to get the job done.
Make sure to deep clean the kitchen stove, refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher, cabinets and countertops, bathroom shower, sinks and faucets, and toilets, as well as all windows, shelves, drawers, blinds and drapes, walls, floors, and carpets.
If you have any pets that shed, make sure to remove as much hair as you can.
If you’ve got a pet odor, a solution of baking soda and apple cider vinegar is recommended to deodorize both carpet and furniture.
TIP 5 – REPAIR ANY ISSUES WITH THE HOUSE
Buyers often look for homes that require few repairs, and you want a deal to go through as quickly as possible.
Some sellers hire a Home Inspector to conduct a Pre-Listing Inspection and then resolve the important deficiencies.
Common things you should consider repairing include –
Kitchen and bathrooms: kitchen appliances, cabinets, sinks and faucets, bathrooms, and showers.
General interior surfaces: walls and ceilings, floors, heating and air conditioning system, water heater, smoke detectors, electrical panel, and circuit breakers.
Home exterior: garage door, exterior doors, roof, eaves, foundation, fencing, decks, and landscaping.
TIP 6 – FIX UP THE YARD
Make sure you clear the sidewalks and mow the lawn.
Paint faded window trim and plant some flowers if the season allows.
Trim trees, shrubs, plants, and other vegetation around the property.
Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number.
ON THE DAY OF SHOWING
TIP 1 – MAKE SURE ALL ROOMS ARE CLEAN
Do a thorough check throughout all of the rooms to make sure they are neat, clean, and presentable to prospective buyers.
Are the beds made and decorated with some nice pillows or a throw?
Are all of the cabinets and closets organized?
Are all personal items and valuables away in a safe location?
TIP 2 – MAKE THE HOUSE SMELL GOOD
Brew a fresh pot of coffee or bake a fresh batch of cookies so that the aroma is permeating the home.
Boiling cinnamon sticks can also provide a nice aroma as well.
TIP 3 – LET THE LIGHT IN
A dark room can be a turn-off to a prospective buyer.
Crack or open the blinds and turn on every light in the home to make it feel bright, open, fresh, and inviting.
TIP 4 – STAGE YOUR HOME
Staging your home is the process of strategically arranging furnishings and decor to make your house look its best.
This may involve a refresh of your own belongings, or renting furnishings and decor temporarily.
Professional Stagers say that the cost of staging is far less than the first price reduction.
TIP 5 – TAKE YOUR PETS WITH YOU
For the open house, take your pets and their items with you, such as any beds, food dishes, beds, cages, and litter boxes from the main areas of the home.
TIP 6 – PLAY MUSIC
Turn on the radio or TV and set it to a low, soft classical, or peaceful music station to create ambiance in the house.
Credits and Resources
Copyright NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Article reprinted
with permission. All rights reserved.