I have taken
buyer clients through A LOT of houses over my real estate career and there are
some things that can immediately turn off a buyer from your house. There are also things you can do to create
more interest in your house.
One thing to
keep in mind while you are getting your house ready to put on the market is
that a house that has been well-taken care of is more appealing to a buyer than
one that they will have to put a lot of work into.
Go out to
your mailbox, turn around and look at your house from there. Are your shutters and front door faded and peeling? How does your mailbox look? Is it dented up and falling over? Do you have weeds in your landscaping? Could your driveway, sidewalks or siding benefit
from being pressure washed? The outside
of your house is the buyer’s first impression.
You know what they say about first impressions, right? You only get one!! If a home looks dilapidated from the outside,
chances are that it hasn’t been very well-maintained on the inside either.
move inside. One of the biggest
turn-offs to buyers is clutter! You are
selling your house to move, right? Pack
your things up. Pack all of your
personal items including family pictures.
If you don’t need it to live with, you need to pack it up for your next
home. Too many knick-knacks, large over-crowed
furniture and clutter, in general, can make buyer walk right back out the door. Believe me, I have done it many times. The buyer needs to come in and imagine
themselves living there. They need to feel
like your home is large and will comfortably fit all of their belongings. Also, keep in mind, that many buyers have
little children with them when touring these houses. I try very hard to keep everyone together and
tell everyone not to touch your things, but this is a daunting task
sometimes. Little kids are curious. It is much better to pack your treasured
things up than to risk them getting broken by quick little hands.
Now that you
only have essentials left in your house, CLEAN!
Deep-cleaning can go a LONG way. Scrub
your floors, windows, blinds, counter tops and appliances. Make sure the bathrooms are sparkling clean. How are your carpets? Can they be cleaned? If not, you may need to replace them. Get the dust off of ceiling fans and refresh
the paint throughout the house. Make
sure that there is no odor in your house.
The buyer will want to see what the closets, electric panel, HVAC and
water heater looks like. Make sure that
the buyer can easily access these areas.
Finally, do you have unfinished projects or small repairs that need to be made? Finish them up. Don’t leave anything half-done. Do all of your outlets have covers? Do you have a leaky faucet or toilet? Change your HVAC filters. Replace any burnt-out light bulbs. Repair or replace ripped or torn screens.
goal is to sell your home quickly for the highest amount of money possible,
right? If you complete this list, you will have a much
greater chance of getting an offer on your house. And a higher offer, at that. If a buyer comes in and sees tons of things
that will need to be done or replaced, they will deduct their estimate of those
costs from their offer. And, just
between us, the buyer’s estimate for repair/replace costs are often higher in
their heads than they are in reality! You
can complete the majority of these items with hard work. The costliest suggestions on this list were
replacing carpets and painting. That
means that putting in some hard work will equal some equity for you!