Get Ready to Sell: 8 Tips for a Faster Sale
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Put away family photos, trophies, and cute little name plates by the front door. When prospective buyers see things like that, they have trouble picturing themselves living there.
2. Lose the clutter.
While your home may be beautifully decorated it still looks like your home, not the Buyer's. If you are going to be moving, it makes perfect sense to start packing and put alot of your current belongings in storage. You don't have to pay to have your home staged, but if you do not buy into the concept that 'less is more', you'll pay when it comes time to sell. Trust me. Buyers want to see space, not jammed closets and crammed countertops. Clutter makes them think there won’t be enough room for their stuff.
• Put away knick-knacks and photos. Leave tabletops, dressers and kitchen counters clear.
• Store extra clothes to make closets look spacious.
• Get rid of the junk in the garage and the attic so buyers can really see the storage space. "Hold a Garage Sale" or "Donate it" and put the rest in storage.
• If you want to keep your grandmother’s heirloom chandelier or your expensive window coverings, replace them with something you don’t mind leaving behind. If buyers don’t see it, they won’t ask for it.
3. Clean, clean, clean.
Show your house at its best with sparkling windows, spotless carpets and shining bathrooms. In bathrooms, re-caulk tubs, bleach dingy grout, remove mould, polish faucets, and clean mirrors and glass. Clean the kitchen from floor to ceiling, including walls, cabinets (inside and out), stovetop, backsplash, de-grease inside the range hood and appliances. Keep things show-ready by hiring a service to come in a few times a week until the house is sold, or give every family member specific duties so you can get the house in shape fast for showings.
4. Freshen up.
Odors are an instant turnoff; they make buyers think the house isn’t clean. Every REALTOR has had the experience of taking Buyers to an affordable home, walking through the door, only to about face and leave immediately. Open up the windows, clean the carpets, use air fresheners, change cat boxes every day, use a dehumidifier in the basement, and stop smoking inside.
5. Stage it.
Make your space look bright, spacious and modern with a few simple touches:
• Make up the guest room with fluffy pillows and a pretty comforter.
• Hang your nicest towels in the bathrooms.
• Paint the main rooms in a fresh, neutral colour.
• Put new hardware on outdated kitchen cabinets.
• Wash your curtains or hang new ones.
• Arrange your furniture to maximize space, then store whatever doesn’t fit.
6. Fix it. Stop hiding things from me.
Leaky faucets? Dryers which have clothes in them but do not work; An air conditioner that barely blows cool air to name a few items. Make sure taps are easy to turn and don’t leak, check for toilet leaks or dampness in the basement, ensure windows and doors open and close easily, fix broken appliances and replace burned-out light bulbs. Replace the trim the dogs scratched up. Clean the scuff marks off the walls. Power-wash the algae off the old deck or replace it. To you it's perfectly normal because you've lived with these issues for years. To Buyers, these will look like expensive repairs, which means they will have to low ball you, or not make an offer at all, because 'your house needs a little of work'. Even if it actually does not. You might have to spend a few dollars to make your home look its best. If you don’t fix the small stuff, buyers will assume it’s a sign that you haven’t taken care of your home, and the big stuff 'in their mind' isn’t in good shape either.
7. Up the curb appeal.
Cross the street and take a good look. How does your house look when you compare it to your neighbors? What needs to be done to give it that “wow” factor?
• Nice landscaping can really sell a house. Trim the bushes, and keep your lawn green, evenly cut and freshly edged.
• Refresh the front door. Clean it, polish the hardware, and give it a coat of glossy paint.
• Rent a power washer and clean the exterior. Replace damaged shingles, loose siding and old caulking.
• Paint the house if you need to – a few hundred dollars worth of paint could add thousands to your selling price.
• If you have a pool, keep it clean and well-maintained.
• Got kids? Put away outdoor toys, and if you have a play structure, take it down so your yard looks roomier.
8. Do not "OVERPRICE" it. Set a Fair Price.
While listing at a high price and then coming down as necessary seems like the best way to avoid leaving any money on the table, you could actually be harming the sale. If you over price your home buyers may not catch that, but the Buyers Agent will. When a home is overpriced, buyer's agents will AVOID bringing their buyers or, worse yet, they will use it as an example to sell another property: "See how much nicer this one is for the price than the last one we saw?"
If you set your price too high, then drop it, if not your house will be “old news” and will end up being much harder to sell, even at the lower price. Talk to this REALTOR® about a realistic asking price that will help your residence sell quickly – and help you maximize your investment.
Buyers like houses that are clean, well taken care of and up-to-date. Don’t break the bank on big fixes, but remember that small improvements can make a big difference. You may have some work ahead of you, but every bit of “elbow grease” you put into your place will pay for itself.
Need more help making your house sale-ready? Your REALTOR® knows what buyers want and can help you figure out exactly what needs to be done.
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