When selling your home, it is important to understand that a first impression is a lasting impression. When a buyer enters your home, you want them to be awe-struck. You want them to remember your home more than any other. There are few simple things that you can do to prompt that reaction.
The first thing a prospective buyer is going to see if the exterior of your home. Therefore, you want to create a warm and inviting entrance. An added benefit to dressing up the exterior of your home is that it will create free “word of mouth” marketing. People driving by who have friends or family looking for a home will likely tell them about the beautiful home that just came on the market.
What to do:
The House Exterior
• Paint or replace the front door if its faded or worn
• Paint the trim, shutters, and any other outside features that need it.
The House Interior
• Keep the windows and floors clean
• Replace or remove faded wallpaper
• Repair worn woodwork
• Paint interior walls in neutral colors.
• Steam clean carpets or replace them if it’s necessary.
• Repair loose, knobs, sticking doors and windows, warped cabinet doors, broken light switches, and any other minor flaw.
• Check and repair caulking in bathtubs and showers
• Remove all unnecessary clutter from the attic, basement, and closets to better display spacious rooms (consider a garage sale to dispose of unnecessary items).
• Arrange all your rooms neatly and remove excess furniture.
• Keep fresh, clean towels in the bathroom
• Avoid overhead lighting, using lamps make a small room seem larger and a large room will seem more intimate.
• Remove the magnets and notes from the refrigerator and clutter from the countertops.
Once showing begin, there are things you should do before the appointment.
• Open draperies and curtains to let the light in during the showing
• Put on some background music at a low volume like jazz or classical music.
• If you have cats or dogs, remove the litter box and feeding dishes from sight. Ideally, they should be taken outside.
• You can also create a pleasant aroma by baking cookies or bread prior to the showing. Alternatively, you can place cornmeal in a pie plate in a warm oven to get the same effect.
• Keep the heat and air-conditioning at comfortable levels.
• If you have a fireplace, light it during winter-time showings.
It is never a good idea to remain at home during the showing. If you are home, never apologize for the appearance of your home. It is also a good idea to turn off the ringer during the showing.
Finally, have your records available. Even if a buyer doesn’t study them, the fact that your records are readily available indicates that you are a conscientious home-seller with nothing to hide. Have copies of your gas, electric, oil, and water bill from the last 12 months available. If you have town sewer, have those bills ready as well. It is also a good idea to have all your home improvement and repair bills ready.
By taking the time to follow these simple steps, you will create a welcoming environment that will entice more buyers. Home buyers will imagine seeing themselves in your home before any other.