Thursday, February 17, 2022 / by Jeannette Johnson
Spring is recognized by real estate professionals as “the season” to sell a home. That means that there will plenty of buyers searching the real estate market for their next home. But it also means that you will face plenty of competition from other sellers who will be listing their homes. Read on to learn some of the best tips for preparing your home for a spring sale and making it stand out from the crowd. Doing so will help you sell your home in less time and help you sell at an above average selling price.
Tip #1: Curb Appeal
The old adage that you never get a second chance to make a first impression is true. No matter how fabulous your home looks inside, if the exterior is lacking in appeal the buyers will drive right on by to the next house. By putting a little time and money into the exterior, you will invite the buyer into the home to see what is inside. All it may take is a fresh coat of paint on the front door, maybe a new welcome mat, or possibly a pot of colorful flowers on the doorstep. Of course the flowerbeds and walkways always need to be neat and tidy and the grass needs to be kept neatly trimmed.
Tip #2: Complete Project Leftovers and Neutralize Wall Colors
Buyers are willing to pay more for a home that they deem to be “move-in ready”. If there are any remodel projects that you have started but not completed, now is the time to finish them up. Pay particular attention to any non-neutral wall colors. That accent wall may be beautiful to you, but be a complete turnoff to the potential buyer. A fresh coat of neutral, or light colored paint, will enable the buyer to picture how his or her own colorful items will fit into the space.
Touch up any scuff marks on baseboards, doorframes, or window trim. When a buyer notices these things, all they think about is another small project to do if they buy. Another easy and inexpensive “fix” is to replace scratched, cracked, or dull light switch and electrical outlet covers with shiny new ones.
Tip #3: Declutter and Depersonalize
First of all, less is more. Getting rid of cluttered countertops, tables, and “extra” furnishing is critical to make the home appear larger. Don’t forget to organize closets, pantries, and cabinet drawers. Curious buyers will open everything during a home tour.
A messy garage can also be a buyer turn off. The garage is not the place to temporarily locate boxes and storage containers. Some buyers will consider the garage to be more important than an updated kitchen or bathroom. That store-and-lock around the corner is well worth a couple of months’ of storage fees to keep your home from looking too cluttered.
Remove personal, or mismatched items that may distract buyers. These would possibly include: too many family vacation photos, your collection of figurines, stacks of magazines, books, or newspapers, even mismatched silverware (buyers are going to open that drawer).
Tip #4: The Smell Test
Odors can be gotten used to. Something you no longer notice may be offensive to someone touring your home. Fido or Fluffy are part of your family and you may be used to their smell. That may not be the case for many buyers. The same can be said for kitchen odors. Some cooking smells can become part of your kitchen. Ask someone who doesn’t live in the home to help you conduct a smell test. If something is detected, don’t cover it up with scented candles or air fresheners, do a thorough cleaning. The scent of those air fresheners can be just as offensive to the buyer as the original odor.
Tip #5: Consider Hiring a Staging Pro
Stagers know the current styles that will impress buyers. It may not take a complete redesign, just some gentle reorganization. A recent survey of real estate professionals reported that staged homes sold for 6-10% more than non-staged homes and sell in an average of 9 days.
These 5 tips can make a profound difference in selling your home this spring. Starting now will make for a much smoother selling experience. A quicker sale and extra money in your pocket will make you a happier seller.