You’re ready to sell your home but is your home ready to sell?
Whether the market is hot for sellers or buyers have their pick of place, your home still needs to stand out. Potential buyers are looking for a home to call their own, and if you want it to be the one you’re selling, your home has to look the part. Multiple or last minute showings means your house might need to be ‘show-ready’ at any time. Help your home sell quickly and maximize your return by dressing it up and paring it down.
“Decluttering before you put your house on the market is such a good plan,” says Kadie Bloom, real estate consultant with MacDonald Realty. Clear your shelves, keep your tabletops clean and empty out unorganized drawers or cupboards. Reducing clutter will make your home appear brighter and bigger – two important qualities topping the list for potential buyers. “Instead of having the garage sale after you sell your house, have it before.
This way your only focus is keeping your house clean for showings.”While you’re ridding your home of clutter, it’s important to remove all family photos, intimate artifacts, medications and awards. Buyers have a hard time seeing past any personal items; if they still see you in the house, it’s hard for them to picture themselves there.
Cleanliness is of utmost importance when opening your home up to potential buyers. It should be dusted and vacuumed before any showing in addition to washing the inside and outside of windows and doors. A clean home not only allows buyers a visually appealing view of their potential space but also allows the focus to remain on what your home has to offer instead of what needs to be
Every buyer is sure to scope out the storage options in your home – and they’re bound to snoop. Remove half the items from your closet and neatly organize what is left to create the illusion there is plenty of free space. This also leads buyers to believe that if you’ve taken such good care of your closets, you’ve taken good care of all other aspects of the house as well.
Maximizing the lighting within your home is sure to make it more marketable. Buyers are in search of bright spaces – so consider changing, rearranging or cleaning your drapes, lampshades, trees and anything that may block sunlight from streaming in your windows. While looking at lighting, Bloom suggests taking the time to check every light, replacing any that are burnt out.
Consider ways to create a welcoming space so buyers want to stay...and hopefully move in. Set your table for dinner – the use of placemats and artfully-arranged dinnerware allow buyers to visualize their family sitting down to a meal while highlighting an important area of a home. A simple, clean welcome mat feels homey and supportive. The atmosphere you create will play an important part in getting the price you want.
The outdoors can be equally important for inviting buyers to come in once they like the look of your listing. “People often forget this is the first impression people have of your house before they even decide to take a look on the inside,” notes Bloom. “This doesn’t mean doing a complete overhaul of your front yard.
This can range from buying a few flowering planters for around the front door to minimal landscaping work. A fresh coat of paint on the front door, and improved lighting can make a big difference for a relatively small expense.”
While sprucing up your dwellings will undoubtedly bring in more buyers, keep in mind that additional expenses for you might not translate into a higher offer from them.
“The most common question I get asked when looking through a home is “What improvements can I make to increase the value of my property?” says Bloom. “Every house is going to have a different answer but I suggest interior painting every time.”
“Use modern and neutral colours, avoid creative patterns or murals, and hire a professional,” Bloom says about painting.
“I can’t stress enough how important it is to hire a professional to do your renovations,” she adds. “Poor workmanship shows and buyers can tell the difference. You can do some work yourself but leave the finishing to the pros.”
Similarly, having your home professionally staged may be the best way to showcase your home’s potential. Furniture has the ability to maximize the use of a space and highlight the floor plan but only if set up in certain ways.
Before you open up your home to the meticulous eye of a potential buyer, take a tour with an expert. You may love your paint colours but your realtor will know what buyers like – and don’t like – to see. While foregoing your personal preferences may be difficult, the expert advice will help you maximize your offers.
Realtors will struggle to sell what they can’t show and even more so if they can’t show it well. While it may seem like a lot of work to consistently have your home ready for viewings, the work will be worth it when it comes with a higher price tag for your home.