Regardless of the size of your home, where it is located, how the house market is or the economy, there are a few things that will always make an impact on whether you sell your house and how quickly! If you price your house right and if you present your home in a clean, organized and well staged manner – you will be better off!
Appropriate pricing matters
Do your homework before you set a price because you don’t want to price it too high, but you don’t want to price it too low either. You have to consider your purchase price, your upgrades and modifications, the current value of the house which will include the neighborhood and current market.
If you price the house too high, you are looking at folks just skipping by it knowing it may be out of their price range. If you price it too low and you get knocked down by improvements needed that may have been found in the home inspection or something of that nature, you have just lost your footing. What if you price it above/below your current appraisal, then you may have gone through all that work to find that you or the buyer may walk away.
Staging is where it’s at
Think of the last time that you were in the home buying process and looked at all of those pictures on the online listings and when you walked through homes – what did you think? What were you looking for? These are things that prospective home buyers consider when they will be walking through your home – where they will put their belongings, how their family will fit in these spaces, where all of their appliances will go and the like. If you have your home cluttered too full of stuff, they won’t be able to see past your belongings to find a way to visually make theirs fit. If you can get that buyer actually placing themselves in your house, you are one step closer to making that sale.
Is cleanliness important? Yes it is, this goes along the same idea as above, if they can’t see past all the dirt and clutter, and they will have a difficulty picturing themselves in your space. Plus, while you may be cleaning it up on your way out, they may think of all of the work they may need to put into it before unpacking all of their furniture and stuff into your home. Additionally, another thing to consider is, if the buyer considers the overall issue – if this person can’t keep their home clean for the period of time while the house is on the market, or make the effort when informed of a walk through, what else have they neglected to fix, repair or upkeep.
Bottom line, as a seller, who clearly wants to sell their home – you need to make your home look as clean and attractive as possible. Keep in mind that you might need to declutter and take the personality out of your home. If your home is full of personal pictures and nick-nacks, it will again be hard to picture another person’s belongings in it.
If that hasn’t given you enough help, take these few steps to help with the presentation of your home for the market and maybe an open house:
Take a walk through of your home, like you were the buyer, and see what looks out of place, needs to be fixed/repaired, where you need to declutter and clean up. Those home DIY projects that you have wanted to do and never gotten around to, this may be the time to bear down and do it, or if you haven’t started, decide to make it look nice and abandon the idea completely. However, keep in mind; if you think it would be a deal breaker or has to do with the overall look or functionality, you may want/need to do it while you have more time, than to be in the middle of a home contract and now it needs to be done.
Consider all of the crazy fun rooms you have done over the years, is it something that just about anyone could seem themselves in? If not and if you think the prospective home buyer may think they need to repaint, you may just want to do that now. Keep it neutral and tame.
Regardless of the time of year, do your spring cleaning now. Clean all of the appliances put some elbow grease into your bathrooms and kitchen, maybe a good carpet cleaning or floor waxing, pressure wash the exterior walls, wash the windows and window treatments.
Part of your spring cleaning should be to declutter your home. Check out those junk drawers, hall closets, bathroom closets and drawers as well as cleaning out the fridge (if it’s staying). Keep in mind that people want to look at the whole house and if you have one closet full of crap, it will be clear where you shoved it all. This might be a good time to have a garage sale and get rid of the excess or rent a small storage space to store extra furniture and belongings until the house sells. Don’t forget to take your personality out of the home – taking down most of the family pictures, awards and I love me wall stuff, excess nick-nacks and stuff just filling space. Simplicity is key and cleanliness is the best policy.
There will be regular things you will have to do unless you have access to your home during the day before a showing. Things such as emptying all trash cans, putting away laundry (sorry kids – make the beds too) and dishes, wiping the kitchen and bathroom counters down and keeping the house appearing to be well kept. Leaving those plugins going all day long and replacing them when they start to wear out will help keep it smelling fresh, just be sure it isn’t overwhelming.
Hopefully those tips have helped you with the clean out, declutter, organizing and staging of your home before putting it on the market and taking nice clean photos for the house listing. Remember, it isn’t personal so it isn’t about you, but about the potential buyers and them seeing themselves in your house.
Should you want some tips on getting your home to be more mechanically up to date or sound, check out some of our other blogs to help with your home inspection needs and how you can save some hassle in the middle of the contract negotiation on missed repairs. Take a look at our sample inspection report for other ideas.