You started prepping your home to put on the market. This is the time to consult a Realtor®. Why, you may ask? The professional Realtor® will help you with hints that will make your house a home to a potential buyer. A competent professional Realtor® will not try to list the home until it is ready. They want to see you get the most for your home and not worry about losing it to another agent, because they wanted to do what was right for you.
The thing I do with most of my clients is I take them out to the street in front of their home and put them in my car. I then tell them, "OK, you are a buyer who I have just pulled up with. Now let us get out of the car and evaluate your home and tell me if you would buy it?" This really scares most sellers immediately because they realize that the curb appeal that was there when they bought their house is no longer there. They thought they were selling their home, when what they were really selling is a picture. A buyer wants something that they can take a picture of and show their friends. "Look what we just bought!"
When you have lived in a home for a long time, clutter happens. No avoiding it! But now you want to move. Why not pack everything up except the essentials? Empty the closets, the garage, and even the kitchen. You are going to have to do it anyway, why not do it now? A buyer wants to see a home that has plenty of storage for all their clutter, but if you have every space filled to the roof in the home, they look at it and say, "This house doesn't have enough room for all our stuff." The sad part is, they end up buying the house 2 blocks down for $10,000 more that has 200 less square feet.
Time to have a painting party! Invite all your friends over for pizza and pop, and have them help you paint your home in record time! Paint your walls in white or off-white colors. The reason for this is it makes the home more inviting and seem more open.
This is a big one and is the most difficult for most sellers. Take down all the personal photos and colorings from all walls and the refrigerator. When potential buyers come into a home they look at that stuff and comment. Yes they like it, but it takes their mind off the purchase of you home. They see you in it, instead of trying to move themselves in mentally.
Finally, go to a new housing development and take a look at the model home. Does your home look like this? The reason model homes sell is because the home is staged. This means that they took the home and made it look livable, but not lived in. This is a major difference.
Remember a buyer needs to feel welcome, like they were walking into their own home. If they feel like they are home, it will be easier for them to imagine themselves living there.
Todd Clark - broker
Kastings & Associates