As we all know, the real estate market has been relatively slow for the past year or so - especially when comparing to the housing bubble of the early to mid-2000's. The homes that are selling fast these days are A) priced right and B) in immaculate condition. Here are some tips to getting your house in tip top shape to hopefully get your home sold in under 90 days:
1) The Basics - As the saying goes, "You never have a second chance to make a first impression!" This could not be more true! The first few things a buyer sees when they pull up to your house is the front yard and entrance. Make sure your yard is spotless - rake, weed, add some new flowers (whether in the garden or in hanging baskets), etc. Also, give the front door a fresh coat of paint if needed and replace the house numbers, mailbox and outside light (if necessary). If not, at least make sure they are all clean.
2) Clean the Windows - Consider having them professionally cleaned or save money and do it yourself. Use Windex, then wipe the windows off with newspaper to avoid streaks - it works wonderfully! Also, remove dated window treatments, unless they are wooden blinds or Plantation shutters. But make sure these blinds are open if you've got a view - a stunning view is a huge selling point!
3) Clean & Declutter - If you want your home to sell fast, clean everything! This means you might have to get up on a chair or ladder to clean hard to reach spots like chandeliers, ceiling fans, and shelves. Be sure to wipe down any grimy light switch plates and to keep your bathroom mirrors spotless. Have your carpets professionally cleaned as well and if that's not enough, have them replaced. Don't forget to clean out your closets, guest room, and garage too! These spots are notorious for collecting random junk. Have a yard sale or donate unwanted and unneeded household items. Minimizing your belongings will also make your future move much easier! Make sure your kitchen is spotless and that the counters are bare by removing unnecessary appliances such as toasters and coffeemakers.
4) Depersonalize - If you remove most of your personal items from various rooms, prospective buyers can better visualize their personal belongings and decorations in the home. Remove knick-knacks, personal photos, collections, paperwork, etc.
5) Paint - Use neutral colors that will appeal to more people. Again, it's all about making it easier for buyers to imagine your home as their new home.
6) Staging - Home stagers have become part of an entourage to help real estate agents and sellers get homes ready to be someone else's. That frequently means depersonalizing the home and making it "model home" neutral. This will appeal to more buyers.
7) Check Out the Competition - Go online and check out some real estate websites - there are a ton of them! Realtor.com, Zillow.com, and Trulia.com are just a few popular sites. Look at photos of other homes for sale to get some ideas. These sites will also offer suggestions and questions to ask your agent.
Ultimately, your goal is to give your home that WOW factor that will make it stand out and be memorable for prospective buyers. This, along with a good price, will give your home value, which is what today's buyers are looking for. For more information, advice from a seasoned real estate expert, or to set up a free home consultancy/market analysis of your home, give Geri Reilly a call! 802.862.6677