To do or not to do, that is the question?
Well CONGRATS on taking that exciting step. You have decided to go for that 5 bed 3 bath overlooking the water. But before you do, you have to sell your current home.
So before you put that FOR SALE sign up in your yard, allow me to give you a few pointers to help you on your way.
Interview a few agents.
Don't just go with uncle Fred or auntie Mary (no offense auntie Mary) You really need to find and connect with that agent that will be in your life for the next 60 days. Make sure they listen to you and have some questions ready for them when they visit you as it's easy to get thrown off by BIG NUMBERS and STATS. At the end of the day, you guys really need to be on the same page from day1 and know that this person is out to work hard for YOU!
Ok, so you have found your agent.
Great! Now it's time to get your home ready for its DEBUT!
Let's face it, first impressions are important to us aren't they? So before a buyer steps foot in your home, give it that little face lift it always needed. Give the door a fresh coat of paint. Add a few potted plants at the entrance way. I always find that one pot on either side of the door really makes a statement. Re-do that mulch and I know it's not easy, but get that sprinkler system working so that your lawn looks nice and green. Trust me, you want that "ooh!" effect to hit that buyer as soon as they enter your driveway.
Sweep away all that "stuff" from your counter-tops, tables and desks. Get all of your personalized belongings into boxes and just put them in the garage. Don't worry about buyers looking at it, as long as they are all organized in boxes and neatly put away then that's what a garage is for. (sorry guys) Get your closets organized, your book shelves scaled back and keep things to a bare minimum in every room. Buyers do not want to feel like the place is too small or claustrophobic. We want to give the impression of space and light so that they can imagine what their furniture and belongings can look like in the home.
I know, I know, it's still your home and you are still living there. But trust me, by doing this you are really helping the buyers connect with your home and enabling them to envision themselves living there. It's like giving them a blank canvas to paint on, and we want them to paint!
Again it's easier for buyers to walk through a home which is painted in soft neutral colors as apposed to rainbow walls and decor. It's distracting and the chances are those colors, although you may love, may not be to the buyers taste and so when they leave, all they will remember is rainbow walls and not that beautiful breakfast nook in the kitchen or the stunning open plan living room overlooking the pool area. Sad but true.
Get busy with touching up those scuff marks on the walls and baseboards. Fix that broken tile and those leaky faucets too. It makes all the difference and it definitely helps with them finding less things to pick at, at the negotiating table.
Clean! Clean! Clean!
I know, it's so much work and we are still living there. But the last thing you want is for buyers to be "grossed out" by dirty bathrooms and kitchens and stepping over personal belongings and then leaving and wondering..."what was that thing growing out of the bathroom sink?" I know I am exaggerating a little, but you get the picture. We want buyers to not be distracted and to really look at the home and it's potential.
Yes light bulbs. Check that all your light sources have bulbs that work. We agents like to light up your home and make it inviting for the buyers to walk through.
Ok, we may have pets. We may have adorable little soccer players with those sweaty shin guards. You know the ones I am talking about and we may have cooked fish and chips the night before a showing. But we want your place smelling nice and inviting, so get those candles out, room deodorizers or just don't cook fish and chips before a showing.
Last but not least....Staging!
Yes it is super popular these days and I know that it is an added cost but if you have your furniture in the home then consider having someone come and stage your home for those very important Photographs and 3D Matterport Scans that will be placed on the MLS and Social Media Sites for everyone to see. Photography is very important. A nicely decorated, organized home really does help the buyer see/understand and ultimately connect with the home. It can be very difficult for some people to interpret an empty space and understand what goes where, so I would definitely invest on staging your home and making sure it stands out from all the rest, because let's face it, there are a lot of properties on the market, so whatever you do to make yours the 'beauty' that stands out amongst the rest, will get you offers. Hopefully multiple offers, which will lead to having that SOLD sign up in no time.
Hope this was both informative and fun to read. Stay tuned to next weeks blog........
Interior Design, BA/Hons, ASID