It seems like most houses don’t last long on the market these days. The inventory of available homes for sale remains low, and overall, it’s still very much a seller’s market. That doesn’t mean that every home will sell quickly. If you want the best shot at your home selling fast and also getting top dollar (think multiple offers!), here 10 things you can do to help make that happen.
1. Hire a realtor that is familiar with the market in your area. Most realtors are happy to do a market analysis of your home which will tell you how much money you can expect to sell it for. Not only will the realtor help market your home to potential buyers and aid in negotiations, but they will also assist in the many things that need to happen after your house is officially under contract. The National Association of Realtors found that most sellers that hire a realtor still net more on the sale of their home even after paying a commission than someone that sold it themselves without the help of a realtor. Call me. I am happy to help!
2. If your home has carpet that has seen better days, consider having it professionally cleaned or better yet- replace it. Most buyers love fresh new carpet. It’s just one less thing for them to worry about when they move it. You don’t need to spend a lot of money. But if you are replacing it, please choose a neutral color. You may love pink or dark blue, but that doesn’t mean you potential buyer will.
3. Consider stripping outdated wallpaper and painting the room a neutral color. I’ve had buyers reject houses because of wallpaper. It can be nearly impossible to remove without hours of work and chunks of out of the drywall. Why not eliminate that obstacle for them? If you have a paint color or technique (watch an old episode of TLC’s Trading Spaces and you will see a lot of sponge painting that was hot back about 20 years ago), repaint with a neutral color. I find that an eggshell finish is usually universally appealing and offers a lot of forgiveness if the walls aren’t perfect.
4. Touch up walls and baseboards that are scuffed. Sometimes you can get away with using a magic eraser. Other times, you might have to break out the old cans of paint you have sitting in your basement. It makes the room look clean and fresh.
5. Speaking of clean, deep clean your house. Dirt definitely gets noticed when people are eyeballing your home. Along with your normal weekly cleaning, get rid of cobwebs on the ceiling, clean your baseboards and blinds, and make sure your return vents are vacuumed and not full of black furry dust. If you have litter boxes, scoop them religiously. Prospective buyers want to envision themselves moving right in. They don’t want that vision to include showing up and dousing the house with bleach their first day living there because it’s so filthy.
6. Depersonalize your house. You want the potential buyer to see themselves living there. That’s difficult when pictures of your family cover every wall. I’m not saying you can’t keep a few pictures, but try to limit them. When there are pics everywhere people tend to feel like they are just invading your space and have a difficult time making it their own in their mind.
7. Declutter rooms and closets. You want the space to appear big. Why not get a head start on packing and box up and store (you can get a storage unit if necessary, but maybe you are lucky to have a basement or attic) things you don’t need right now? If your bedroom is full of furniture, you would be surprised at how much bigger it looks by removing one dresser. Pack up anything in your closet that you don’t need for the current season. You want it to appear that your house has a ton of storage. You don’t want it to look like it’s bursting at the seams. Minimize knick-knacks. It will make it easier for you to clean and maintain for showings. If you aren’t good at this and want to go the extra mile, consider hiring a professional stager. Many of them can use your own furniture and decor that you already own to maximize the beauty of your home.
8. Consider changing outdated lighting, faucets, and drawer pulls and updating them with something a more current. Chrome and brushed gold finishes are very popular right now. You don’t have to break the bank on this and you certainly don’t have to do this in every room of the house. Prioritize. You can do a lot of this pretty inexpensively and it makes your house look less tired.
9. Do you have green stuff growing on the sides of your house? Do you have so many cobwebs on your porch that it looks like the Munsters live there? Power wash your home or hire someone to do it for you. A sparkling house makes a great first impression.
10. Keep up with your yard work. Make sure that your grass is trimmed and that beds are weeded. Fresh mulch looks great. It never hurts to have some pretty flowers in pots on your front porch and a cheery welcome mat to greet people. This helps with curb appeal and makes your home look well-maintained.
Bottom line is that buyers want to see themselves living their best life in your home. Think about how you feel when you check-in to a luxurious hotel or when you look at pictures of rooms in HGTV magazine. That’s what you want potential buyers to experience when they come to look at your home. The more people that want to buy your home, the more offers you will get. It’s a good thing to have a bidding war! There are many things that you can do in preparation for your home to be sold. If are thinking about selling, I am happy to come to your house for a market analysis and do a personalized list for you.