I recently came across this article and I think it makes lots of sense. Selling a home is hard work. The author offers some common sense suggestions to getting you home ready for listing and a quicker sale. I would also point out that they will require little money but make no mistake there will be some hard work. Just think of this way; if you were selling or trading you car you would spend some time getting it ready for sale doing many of the things that are listed below. The pay back will be the same more money and quicker sale. (Win! Win!)
· Clean the house needs to be, clean, clean, from top to bottom, including windows, inside and out, floors, the inside (and outside) of fridges, microwaves, ovens, etc. Everything needs to be sparkling!
· Remove ALL clutter...this is a head start in getting packed for the move to the new home! Remove at least half of the clothes from each closet...this makes the closets look much larger than if everything was stuffed in there. Closet organizers are great to give a roomy feel. Kitchen cupboards, pantries, china cabinets, etc. should also be roomy and organized, so again, remove lots of 'stuff'. Remove EVERYTHING off kitchen counters, except for a bowl of fruit, or a vase of flowers and/or another simple accessory.
· De-personalize everywhere. Remove family pictures, diplomas, etc. from walls. Remove any collections that may be on display (plates, china dolls, etc). These items make the home personal to you and make it more difficult for the buyer to visualize themselves living in your home. Also, it can be distracting for the buyers. They will spend the time looking at your STUFF instead of looking at the good features in your home.
· Simple repairs... leaky faucet, crack in plaster, squeaky door, windows that don't open properly, etc.
· Update things that won't cost too much. New faucets/counter tops/ handles fixtures in the kitchen and bathrooms can really update the room. Replace worn floor/carpet. Install new lighting fixtures, etc.
· Extra storage areas wherever possible and highly visible ....storage is one of the top three things buyers are looking for according to a recent poll.
· Paint in a neutral color. (And there are lots of neutrals besides beige!)
· Curb appeal is of utmost importance. Many people do a drive-by of the home before they decide if they want to see it or not. If there is nothing inviting about the outside, many potential buyers won't even bother to look inside the home. Mow the lawn, plant colorful flowers, hang baskets of flowers, put two urns by the front door with plants/flowers in them. Give the front door a fresh coat of paint in a color that will stand out from the rest of the house. If you can't decide what color will look good, a glossy black is always classy. Make sure the hardware on the door is in good repair, as well as the doorbell/knocker, house numbers etc. Trim any trees or shrubs that may be blocking views from any of the windows or that hide the front of the house. Do not have children's toys or garden utensils, garbage containers, etc. in view.
· Lighting is also very important. Make sure all rooms are well lit. Replace any burned out bulbs. Remove or reduce the number of window coverings where possible to let in as much natural light as possible.
· Remove odors. Studies show this is the biggest turn-off for buyers. The smell of cigarette smoke/pets/cooking has to be removed. It may be necessary to have carpets, upholstery, drapes and other soft furnishings professionally cleaned or replaced. Put out a bowl of lemons or oranges, or a vase of fresh flowers to introduce a natural, subtle fragrance.
In today’s market the listings that will sell the quickest are the ones that stand out and that buyers can see themselves making your house their home. Do the hard work and “get her SOLD”.