Tough love time, people! We meet a lot of clients who want to sell their home, but not many are open to what they need to do to sell it faster. People tend to think that once they’ve made the decision to sell, the home is no longer worth any investment of time or money. You’d rather save for your next house, right? While that might seem logical, you could be prolonging the time between listing your house and actually selling it. Read on to find out what to do to sell your home fast:
Cleaning and Clutter:
It’s amazing how much we accumulate over time. Bath towels, Tupperware lids, and stray socks seem to multiply in the dead of night. I’ll spare you the lecture on mindful living for now, but if you want to sell your house fast, you’ve got to clear out the clutter. That stack of mail and random paperwork on the counter? You probably don’t even notice it because you walk past it every day. Potential buyers; however, will notice it. Every pile of stuff sitting around in your house is a subtle indicator to potential buyers that the home doesn’t have enough storage space. People love storage space. The truth is, most homes have plenty of storage; their owners just have too much stuff. Start somewhere small and don’t try to finish the whole house in one day. Clear out a junk drawer, the linen closet, under the beds. It doesn’t really matter where you start. It just matters that you do. As an added bonus, you’ll be heading to your new home with a lot less baggage and a fresh start.
Sure, most clients make sure that the floor is swept and the counters are wiped down. Don’t forget about dusting and clearing the cobwebs out of the corners. Cleaning the windows also makes a huge impact. Clean windows let in so much more natural light and immediately make the house seem bigger, brighter, and fresher. Buyers love natural light. Bring as much of it into your home as possible.
Once you’ve cleaned the house, keep it that way! If you keep the house clean, you don’t have to worry about it being buyer-ready. Each showing is a potential offer. Even if you slip on the housekeeping a bit, never turn one down.
Now that your house is nice and clean and you’ve cleared out some clutter, it’s time to look around from an outsider’s perspective. This is really tough to do in your own home. Your Realtor should be able to give you some perspective on this, but you could also ask a trusted friend or family member to come take a look.
You want to look for things that are a matter of personal taste. Did you paint the kids’ rooms bright colors that match their bedding? Keep the bedding, but change the wall color to something neutral. Greige is a very popular choice right now. Plus it’s fun to say.
Wallpaper is another deterrent for a lot of buyers. People know how hard it is to take down and it’s usually very personalized. That happy sunflower border in your kitchen might not match the style of a potential buyer. Do the work for them, take it down, and paint. It seems crazy that little things like paint and wallpaper could turn people off to a property, but you’ll probably notice yourself turning your nose up at the same things when you start looking.
When it comes to decor, take a look at your furniture too. I’m not saying you should get rid of it, but moving some stuff out while your home is on the market will make it appear more spacious and appealing. Look for anything over sized or cramped looking. If you have two overstuffed sofas, two recliners, 3 end tables, a coffee table, and a huge t.v. console in your living room, chances are that it looks much smaller than it should. Consider taking out one of the sofas, one of the end tables, and the coffee table. The room will instantly look big and airy. Same thing with practically any room. A king sized bed is going to make a 12 x 15 bedroom look small, especially if there are dressers and night stands too. An eight person dining table takes up a lot of space in a small dining area. Consider taking out some leaves. There are tons of ways to create the illusion of more space without purchasing new furniture. Ask your Realtor for ideas.
This inside of your house can be absolutely amazing, but lots of buyers could skip right over your property if the outside doesn’t look good. Tall grass, bare spots, overgrown greenery, and barren landscaping are all red flags to potential buyers. If the yard isn’t kept up, they wonder if you’ve maintained the home itself. Plus, nothing says “go away” quite like overgrown bushes and weeds choking out the front entrance.
Take a weekend, clean up your landscaping, and we promise it will pay off. Re-seed any bare spots. Plant some flowers. Annuals are usually cheap and a great addition in the spring. In the dead of winter, be sure that your sidewalks and driveway are always shoveled and de-iced.
If you take these steps, your house will get more views online. It will have more showings and it will sell faster. You don’t have to invest thousands of dollars in fixing it up, but make it as appealing to buyers as you can. It will be worth it when you’re at the closing table and moving on to the next home of your dreams.