When agents tour your home with clients or preview by themselves, you only get one chance to make a good impression, so you want to make that visit count. Admittedly, even if your home is priced right and shows like a million dollars, the layout and/or amenities, and/or location may not fit certain buyers, and there’s nothing you can do about that. On the other hand, there are many people who might look at your home without any of the above reservations and will be motivated in a positive or negative way by what they see in front of them. By following some or all of the guidelines that follow, you’ll enhance the attractiveness of your home and probably reduce the time it takes to generate serious offers.
The street appeal of your home is very important, so make sure lawns and gardens are neatly mowed and tended and that the driveway is clean of debris and, if practical and necessary, freshly coated. Color pots of flowers are welcome additions in warmer weather. Check exterior surfaces for chipping and peeling paint – if your home looks like it needs paint, many buyers will form an unfavorable impression. The condition of windows, screens and storms, shutters, and gutters will be looked at by buyers and their inspectors, so don’t take the ostrich approach – attend to repairs and paint. Front doors, doorknobs, porch, and windows should be as spotless as you can make them.
Your kitchen,bathrooms, and front entryway in particular should be spotless. You may want to do a room by room cleaning hitting nooks and crannies where serious buyers may snoop. While you’re at it, check the condition of carpets and at the very least have them professionally cleaned if they’re in decent condition or, if not, removed especially if there are attractive hardwood floors underneath. A lot of this seems obvious, but I’ve seen so many instances of seller neglect in these areas as to be inconceivable. Buyers notice, and impute lots of real or imagined deferred maintenance when cleanliness is ignored.
LESS IS USUALLY MORE
Interior living spaces that are cluttered make a poor impression. In closets, storage cabinets, and basements try to remove everything not necessary for daily living. Remove non essential items from kitchen counter tops and magnets and kids’ artwork from refrigerators. To create spaciousness in your living areas, get rid of or donate unnecessary furniture – the operative phrase is “Less is More”. If storage is required for your furniture and household personal property you can use you basement and garage for this purpose. Just try to keep these areas as neat as possible so that buyers can tour without tripping over debris. It has been my experience that buyers understand that sellers are “in-transit”, so some packing boxes and extra pieces of furniture in the basement are to be expected.
Whether you do the work yourself or hire it done, make sure everything is in good working order. I’m referring to leaky faucets and toilets, squeaky floors and steps, loose doorknobs, broken window panes, nonoperative light fixtures and other items that are obvious and can create bad impressions and reduce the value of your property.
LITTLE THINGS CAN MEAN A LOT
Minor accessory touches in rooms can improve their appearance measurably. I offer the consultation services of a staging lady to assist in this regard. She can help with decorator items, furniture arrangement, accessory placement, and even furniture if budgets permit. These touches can really be of value as icing on the cake.
FAMILY MEMBERS CAN PULL TOGETHER
Listing one’s home for sale is never fun or easy, so try to get all family members to pull together when it comes to preparing your home for showings. By getting everyone into the habit of spending a few minutes tidying up every morning for an afternoon showing, you improve your chances of selling your home successfully and remaining sane at the same time.