In addition to right pricing, condition, condition, condition is the watch-word for selling a home faster and for more money. Simple fixes and staging practices can focus buyers’ attention in the right places and keep them from getting sidetracked by personal items in the home.
Remember, you are preparing your home to become a product for market; one that appeals to the broadest market. Don’t feel offended that your REALTOR® insists your coveted widget collection is stored, away from view. How your live in your home and how you prepare and keep it market-ready are very different. The 10 minute rule applies: if you (or the kids) can’t put it away in ten minutes, reevaluate whether you must take it out.
The front yard and door are the buyer’s first impression of your product. If buyers won’t leave the car, you can’t make the sale. Clean the gutters, paint the front door, pull weeds and spent flowers, polish the hardware, and power-wash walkways and siding.
Be prepared for a white glove inspection. Prospective buyers pull open drawers, look in closets and peek behind the shower curtain, and inspect the oven. Mop, dust, vacuum, clean baseboards, wash windows. Make sure the house looks fresh and smells neutral.
Remove furniture that makes rooms feel crowded or décor that will distract buyers from your home’s architectural features.
Use furnishings to give each space a logical identity. If it worked best for your family to use your formal dining room as a home office, get rid of the desk and computer, and bring back the dining table and chairs.
Eliminate countertop clutter. A countertop covered with small appliances and utensils looks crowded, not spacious. Store personal items, including toiletries; stash family photos and team and religious memorabilia. Make the place look suitcase ready.
Dripping faucets, burned-out light bulbs, and squeaking hinges become a distraction and can falsely magnify a home’s need for routine care and maintenance and tend to make the buyer question the condition of other items that can’t be seen, such as the HVAC, roof, and other expensive items.
The buyer is mentally subtracting thousands of dollars from your list price with every flaw he sees.
Finally, ask yourself, “Is this property’s condition what I would like to see when I go house hunting this afternoon?”
For a checklist on how to prepare your home for market, or a list of preferred and proven vendors, email your request to: firstname.lastname@example.org