When getting ready to sell your house, it’s a useful exercise to think like a “buyer” and evaluate your home from this perspective. You want prospective buyers to walk into your home and feel comfortable.
Most importantly you want to make it as easy as possible for them to see themselves living there and that your home offers great value.
Here are a few things to consider when getting your home ready for sale:
It's important to clean away dust and grime throughout your house, both in visible areas and not so visible areas. Buyers will open closets, cupboards, and some will even open appliances. You want all these areas to be clean so they leave a buyer with the impression that the home has been well taken care of. As part of the big clean, you should also remove as much clutter as possible.
Storage and closet space are important to potential buyers and the larger these spaces appear the better. A buyer will notice closets and cupboards packed with “stuff,” and assume there isn’t enough storage for their own things.
When reviewing your house for potential issues that will catch a buyer’s attention and possibly be considered a negative, look for things that are broken, leaky faucets, doors and windows that don’t open or close properly, cracks in the walls, missing handles and lights that don’t work.
Buyers will notice these types of issues, and while the cost to repair them may not be significant, a person thinking of making a purchase worth thousands of dollars tends to magnify the actual costs. This may be reflected in their offer price, or even worse, they may not make an offer at all.
In addition to your own review of your home for small fix-ups and cosmetic improvements, you might want to consider a pre-home inspection, particularly if you live in an older home. The home inspector will review all the major mechanical systems of your house, as well as the structure and building envelope for any potential issues that might be identified by a potential buyer.
Having this information will allow you to either address issues in advance of putting the home on the market, or factor them into the asking price.
Everyone has heard that you have to depersonalize and neutralize your home when getting ready to sell and it's true. You want your house to appeal to the largest number of potential buyers. By depersonalizing it you make it much easier for a buyer to visualize themselves living there.
A person may spend more time looking at these things and commenting on them, rather than focusing on the actual house. You don’t have to go to the extreme with this process as people like a place that feels warm and inviting, but you don’t want it over crowded with personal items.
Neutralizing your home may include painting bold colours with more neutral tones. There are many buyers who just want to move into a house and begin enjoying it from day one. If they have to do a lot of painting or changes to remove your personal touches, this can turn them off.
It’s never safe to hope people will visualize how your home could look, because most won’t look past their first impression.
The front of your house and yard is the first impression a buyer gets when they walk up to the front door. You need to have any flowers or greenery looking their best, the front of the house should look well maintained. If there is a deck, make sure it’s in a good state of repair. If it would look better with some paint or staining, it’s a worthwhile investment. If you don’t have plants in the front yard, consider adding some.
Giving a potential buyer a good impression of your home before they even walk through the door can only help sell your home faster and for maximum value.
Before making a final decision to buy a house, many buyers will drive by the home with friends or family to show them and get their approval. These people can often make or break a deal, so you need to impress them and any other potential drive by buyers with great curb appeal.
Click here to receive a free checklist with tips that will help you go through your house through the eyes of potential buyer in preparation for it going on the market.