You have undoubtedly read some tips on how to de-clutter and stage your home for sale. I recently read an article that reminded me of some important basics. For those that don’t have a staging budget, here are some basic selling tips for your home.
Remember Curb Appeal
Sweep the front of your home, the walkway and even the street in front of your home. Walking through leaves and other debris will take away from a buyer’s first impressions of your home.
Mow your lawn and water if necessary. Plant flowers, and trees and bushes as needed.
Wash the siding of your home as well as your windows. Clean windows make all the difference in the world.
Consider freshening up the paint, particularly on the front door, shutters, and trim.
Make sure there is a place for visitors to park. This sounds so basic but it’s important. If buyers can’t find a place to park, they will just drive away…I’ve seen it happen on open house days!
Put away any items that typically live on the front or back lawns. This may include bicycles, your kid’s toys, and/or gardening equipment.
Inside Your Home
Create space or at least the illusion of it. Remove clutter, and put things out of sight. Do what you can to create counter space, shelf space, and space within your cabinets and closets. (Yes, buyers look in these spaces.
Remove odors. This includes pet odors, strong smells of food from the kitchen, and smoke. I’ve shown homes where the odor was so overpowering that we left within 30 seconds.
Wipe everything down with disinfectant and cleansers. People respond well to lemon scents, and the feel of ‘clean.’ Bake cookies, make popcorn, or burn candles the day of a showing or open house. All of these are desirable odors that most people enjoy.
Make Information Available
I’ve shown homes where a ‘house binder’ was left. This can be very useful and conveys the impression that the sellers are organized.
I’ve long liked the idea of getting a pre-listing home inspection that you can then make available to prospective buyers. This is useful on two fronts: 1) It gives a prospective buyer a ‘heads up’ as the to the condition of the house, and 2) It provides the seller with valuable information about what repairs are needed in their home.
The binder is a great place to leave a copy of the home inspection, school and neighborhood information, and relevant homeowner information. Interested buyers will indeed take the time to review this material.
Don’t Forget Your Neighbors
Neighbors can make or break your home sale. If you’ve been involved in your neighborhood, let the locals know you are selling.
Make sure that either you or your agent notify 100 homes around you that your home is on the market. Neighbors may have friends or families that would like to live nearby.
Invite the neighbors in a private viewing of your home either before or after your first open house. Neighbors are fondly referred to as ‘nosy neighbors’ by agents because they often want to see what you’ve done to your home. These folks can be your ally when selling your home. Get them involved.
The important part I want to leave you with is that most of these selling tips for your home cost little or no money. It’s about your time, your pride of ownership, and your desire to garner top dollar for your home. Lots of sellers do none of these things. The more tasks however you take on, the better your home will show, and the more easily it will sell.