Written By: Dawn Ferguson
Incredible interest rates, a fast-moving economy, and a mobile workforce have combined to create an awesome opportunity for developers, investors, and you, the home buyers and sellers.
November is here! Look around and take a deep breath. Ahhh! Even though everything smells like pumpkin spice, believe it or not, Spring is just around the corner. As a professional realtor, I am about to embark on the busiest season in my career. Incredible interest rates, a fast-moving economy, and a mobile workforce have combined to create an awesome opportunity for developers, investors, and you, the home buyers and sellers.
If you have made your decision to sell, found the right agent to represent you and your home, and put your financial house in order, it is now time to put your actual physical house to rights. Prepare your home for the market! While I am sure your agent will give you some wonderful tips for getting ready to sell, I would like to suggest a few of my own.
First impressions are everything!
Don’t let your curb be unappealing! The sign in your yard will inform your neighbors that things are happening. Cars will drive by and the telephone in your agent’s office will ring off the hook if you have taken the time to trim your lawn, weed your garden, paint your front door, replace that rickety mailbox, repair the cracked driveway and salt your sidewalks and steps if snow and ice are still an issue.
Décor should be fresh, friendly and neutral, if possible
Faded wallpaper, dull painting, and chipped marble or tile on your hearth will not bring excitement, Why make it harder on the buyer’s agent to try to sell your home as it could look, rather than showing them how wonderful your home is from the minute they open the door? A fast sale will bring bigger dollars! The longer your home is on the market, the more vulnerable it appears to the buyer. Make it shine so that the first showing is also the last one!
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!
Dark rooms are less than welcoming. You want the looker to be a buyer! Open your curtains and drapes (make sure the windows glisten-no grime allowed!) Turn on all the lights in the house before you leave. Make sure that all the light bulbs work –especially in your darker basement and utility areas. Think bright and cheerful.
Make sure that everything works!
Before you put the house on the market, make sure that all of your appliances work, and that the furnace and air conditioner have passed inspection, and your facets don’t drip! Dripping water is not only unappealing but suggests that hidden problems will cost the buyer later.
Clutter isn’t cute!
Clean rooms, open spaces, clear pathways, and halls are not options. They are a necessity, not only for aesthetic appeal but for safety reasons. You don’t want your prospective buyers tripping on a child’s toy or the laundry you piled on the stairway.
Pack before you list!
You know you are going to move-why not pack everything you don’t need for the other 3 seasons now? Excess clothing in your closets, towels in your bathroom and stuff in the basement and attic make those areas seem smaller and untidy. Neat, orderly closets and storage areas impress the buyer with how well you keep areas that aren’t seen.
Bathrooms sell homes!
The number one item in 2017 for homeowners who updated their homes was putting money in their bathrooms – and not down the drain! Of course, you must have spotless, in fact, shining bathrooms. But if you spend a few dollars now to upgrade fixtures and materials, you will reap your benefits at the closing table! Replace peeling vinyl flooring, repair grout in bathtubs and showers – don’t just add a glob of caulking to hide a trouble area. Repair it!
If you don’t want to sell it, don’t let anyone see it!
Replace Grandma Hattie’s crystal chandelier with an ordinary Home Depot special! That gorgeous mirror over the mantle should never reflect anyone’s face but your own! No doubt about it, the buyer will think it is as perfect there as you do. They may even insist that it stay as a point of sale! But if they never see it, it will never be a problem.
Let the music flow – but gently!
Mellow music in the background is welcoming. A blaring television program is not. You want the buyers to speak clearly with their agent as they tour your home. You want to encourage conversation, not drown it out.
Children and pets should neither be seen nor heard!
Of course, your nursery is charming and the playroom is a joy unto itself – but toys hanging out of drawers and chests, and creative Crayola artwork at knee level will just get in the way of your efforts to sell your home. Make arrangements for your pets to stay with friends or family, and keep their dishes and the kitty litter away from eyes and noses.
And last but not least…
When the buyers are touring your home, you should be out shopping for your own! Don’t wait for your home to sell before buy. The timing of your purchase might otherwise force you into making two house payments.
Good luck and may the market be with you!