Why do some homes sell quickly while others sit on the market, or don’t sell at all?
There are a few factors that need to be taken in to account. Some of the more obvious things like: current market, location, time of year are all things that need to be considered, but are frankly things that you can't always control. You can't help if your city or town is going through a bit of a slump, and you can't help if your job moves you to a new location and now you need to try and sell in the middle of January. Those are things outside of your control. Luckily, there are several things that you CAN do to increase the salability of your home.
First, you need to ask yourself if I walked in to my house for the first time, what would I think? How would I feel? Does your home show well? Does it look and smell like three kids, two dogs, and a cat have just had a battle royal? The fact is, and you can probably relate with your own home-buying experience, that most buyers know whether or not the home they are viewing is going to be their next home within the first 30 seconds of being inside. Yes, that’s right. Before they see your magnificent ensuite bath upstairs, or your new washer and dryer in the basement, or the new patio in the backyard, they have already decided if it is, or it isn't, for them! That is why it is important to take the appropriate steps to get your home showing at its absolute best right of the hop!
Curb appeal – This is the look of your home from the front street. This is critical in that it’s the first thing people see. I’m not saying you need to run out and spend $20,000 on landscaping before you sell, but taking the time to make sure the current landscaping has been manicured and looks appealing, or making sure the peeling paint on the front porch gets a fresh coat, or fixing the screen door that is hanging off the hinges, cleaning out your gutters, or MOWING THE LAWN. These types of things go a long way when people first see your home. The truth is most people are fairly realistic as to what to expect. If they are looking at a 1980 built home, listed at $375,000, they likely aren’t expecting everything to be brand new. However, if you are comparing two identical homes and one has been well kept and maintained vs. another that has been somewhat neglected, the home that appears to be kept will sell first. That’s just the way it goes. In short, a little goes a long way. Take the time to clean up the front so that it can present well. It might just sell your home!
Front entry – Walking in the front door is the second point of contact any prospective buyer has with your home. It needs to have its own appeal. This means, not fighting through the family’s entire collection of shoes, school backpacks, and coats. It should be tidy, with no clutter. I also recommend having a nice air freshener close by so they are greeted with a pleasant aroma- but nothing over powering, and certainly not something that looks like it should be in your bathroom.
The rest of the home should be tidy with all clutter put away. The truth is, most people have a really hard time looking past other people’s stuff. It basically becomes a focal point and they no longer pay attention to what is important. YOUR HOUSE! They become too preoccupied with your stuff. It becomes a distraction. You want the furniture in the room to show off the space, not detract from it. If this means putting some items in storage for the time being, do it! Hiring a stager to come and give you an assessment should be something to consider. They don’t necessarily have to fill your home with other furniture and items, but they can certainly give pointers on how to adjust your current furniture and decorations to maximize the space and have it show its best, and they generally do so for a reasonable cost.
These are just a few helpful tips for getting your home ready for sale! For a more in-depth list of things you can do to sell your home, contact your local real estate expert. And if you happen to be reading this, that would be me :)