Jan likes to ask, "Why give a Buyer a reason to say 'no' to your house before they even walk through the front door?"
The first thing you can do is address your home's curb appeal and any exterior cosmetic or maintenance items that are readily apparent (and easily fixable most of the time).
As a homeowner, it can be hard to see your property the way a potential Buyer would.
Maybe you've grown used to that dead spot in the yard that never seems to grow grass, or that squeaky front door. Let us help give you some fresh eyes with which to see your home the way a potential Buyer would.
Adding Curb Appeal
If your sod and landscaping need help, pay attention to items that are dead/dying, overgrown, and not manicured-looking. You may need to spend a day or two putting in some new pieces of sod, trimming those wild-looking hedges back into shape, and doing some weeding and mulching. As well, some bright flowers can help bring color and life to your front yard.
Here are some other questions to help you with the exterior appearance of your house:
- Is the yard mowed, weeded, trimmed and watered?
- Does the structure need painting or washing?
- Is there a new welcome mat on the front porch?
- Can I read the house number clearly?
- Are the windows clean—inside and out?
- Are there damaged windows or missing screens?
- Are there extra vehicles in the driveway?
- Are fences and gates in good condition?
- Are the rain gutters and roof in good condition?
- Are any exterior light fixtures rusted out and need to be painted or replaced? Are bulbs working?
The Four D's of Showing
We know that the hardest part of selling your house is the day-to-day interruptions to your schedule for showings. It can be especially challenging for Sellers who have a houseful of kids and pets. It is crucial to keep your home in show-ready condition, especially on days when an agent calls to say, "I have customers in town at the last minute and want to see your listing today. Can we come today at noon?" You can always count on us to get a call like this, no matter what we write in the showing instructions!
If you can think of these four D's to prepare for showings, your potential Buyers will have the best first impression of your home possible.
#1: Declutter: Most listing agents would agree that clutter confuses buyers. They can’t see the home’s “bones” for all the furniture, toys, & other things. You have to pack up to move, so start dividing your things into 3 categories - keep, donate, throw away. For things you want to keep, get a storage unit for out-of-season clothes & holiday dishes that you won’t need for a while.
#2: Depersonalize: While you’re decluttering, store personal items such as photos, albums, figurines and collectibles. Accidents happen, so pack up and store as many breakable items as you can.
#3: Detail: Just as you detail your car to help it hold its beauty and value, you should detail your home with the most vigorous cleaning it’s ever had. When you know your home is being shown or to get it ready for an open house, get your helpers to grab a basket and pick up anything that doesn’t belong out, like dirty clothes, wet towels, and tablets and smartphones. Go ahead and get a Mr Clean scrubber to remove scuffs on walls and trim, and pay extra attention to cleaning baseboards and ceiling fans.
#4: Decamp: It’s harder for Buyers to imagine themselves in your home if you’re still there, so take the kids and the dog to the park while your home is being shown. Buyers need to feel free to speak their minds and weigh possibilities.
Get everyone on board to keep things clean and neat, and your showings are much more likely to result in your home being sold.