2018—a new year and the perfect opportunity for a fresh start. If selling your home was put on the backburner with the hassle of the holidays, the New Year provides a great opportunity for taking that next step and selling your home. Before you gather up all of your New Year’s motivation and undertake the endeavor of selling your home, it is important you are prepared and informed. Whether you are selling your family home, a vacation rental, or anything in between, you want to put your house on the market in a timely manner and for the right price. There are a few simple, yet critical tips to ensure the that selling your home goes as smoothly as possible.
Everyone has heard of curb appeal, but this phrase is more than just an industry buzz word. Numerous statistics have shown that investing in the curb appeal of your home significantly increases the value and piques potential buyers’ interest. If the outside of the house is appealing, buyers go into the showing with a positive attitude. Before they have even entered the space, buyers have subconsciously decided if they are truly interested or not, and curb appeal plays an astronomical role in this decision.
One curb appeal experts recommend is investing 10% of your home’s value into landscaping and the outdoor appearance. However, this is a large number and in addition to taking time, it also takes money. If this is an investment you do not foresee doing before selling your home, there are minor changes that can give your house a major lift. A clean coat of paint on the door and porch, a new batch of annuals (pick colorful flowers that will be blooming when you sell), and a fresh lawn or even mulch to cover dry areas can work wonders. If you focus on the aesthetics of your home’s exterior, it will start the buyer off on the right foot.
The same can be said for what buyers see when they immediately step into your home. You may not have a large front yard, so you want to think about the focal point as they enter through the doorway. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and walk into your home—what might be an eyesore and what can you replace it with?
When the buyer walks into your house, you want them to be able to envision their future home. Although this can be a hassle when you are still living in the space, this means potentially downsizing in terms of both furniture and personal memorabilia.
Potential buyers do not want to see a crammed home. The more space, the more they can envision their own items fitting into the room. Think about how to best showcase the space and its functionality. On the other hand, buyers also need to have the picture painted for them, which is where staging comes in. By hiring a professional staging company or working with what you already have, create a picture-perfect scene in each room.
Another way to create space is by eliminating personal items. Your house should always be ready to show, which means keeping evidence of your day-to-day routine to a minimum. Remember, you want buyers to picture this as their home, not your house. To do this, tuck family photos, grocery lists, shoes by the front door, and other knick-knacks out of sight. Another key part of the process is keeping pets out of the house along with their beds, toys, and food dishes. Regardless of if you have the friendliest pup, evidence of pets often leads people to think the house is less clean. All of these steps help the buyer imagine themselves living in the space.
Even a large room can feel small when it is dark. Brightening up your home will make it seems cleaner, bigger and more welcoming. There are a number of ways to accomplish this. The first is to up the wattage on your lightbulbs and consider adding supplementary lighting in darker rooms. Additionally, all lampshades, windows, mirrors, and curtains should be regularly cleaned. Although it may not seem like it, a fine layer of dust can make a big difference in terms of brightness. You may also consider repainting dark colored rooms in a light, neutral color. Finally, trim back any outdoor plants that are blocking the light from coming into the room. The cleaner, brighter, and lighter—the better.
Even if you think your house would look great with new hardwood floors, it probably is not worth the investment. Costly upgrades are less likely to pay off than simple fixes like fresh paint and a good deep cleaning. Instead of spending your money remodeling your home before putting it on the market, invest in any visible signs of wear and tear. This means deep cleaning, attending to any deferred maintenance, and making small updates your home needs such as doorknobs and the address numbers outside your home.
It is impossible to guess who will walk through your door and what type of home they are looking for, so do not invest your time and money into a huge project. Fix any glaring problems and leave major home renovation decisions up to the buyer.
Selling your house can seem like a daunting task. However, by tackling these tips one step at a time, you will be well on your way to your first open house. Prioritize these tips, and your house will be ready to sell in no time.