According to the National Association of Realtors, properties in the US sell in an average of 39 days, for an average price of $219,400. How well you prepare your property for sale is a crucial factor in getting the best price … Fast! Even in a seller’s market, you shouldn’t cut corners when getting your home market ready. Nothing beats good presentation.
One Texas woman pulled out all the stops to make her home more buyer-friendly. Some internet research revealed simple strategies that she adopted and they proved to be unbeatable …
• Closets were organized and every item folded like a store display.
• Kitchen counters were cleared after each use.
• All family photos taken down and replaced with generic prints.
• New towels with matching mats were bought for each bathroom, coming out of the
cupboard when prospective buyers arrived for viewings.
• Carpets were vacuumed starting upstairs, backwards out of each room, eliminating
footprints on any carpet in the house.
Hard work pays off
Clean and ruthlessly declutter, tackle any small repairs to make the property more appealing. Hiring professionals like painters and cleaners save you time but can be costly. Home stagers make a house look awesome but if you are creative, you can arrange your home attractively yourself.
Organizing a good presentation starts the moment you decide to sell your house. Ideally this should be three to six months before the home goes on the market. This way, repairs, updates and decluttering can be strategized and done in a planned manner.
Talk to the experts
Get some input from a local broker or estate agent. They’ll give you info on comparable homes in the area, pricing trends and how you can showcase your property. Take a walk through the house to define what’s attractive, not so appealing and what needs fixing. Assess, according to the cost, if certain repairs or renovations can boost a sale.
Sellers hesitate to make improvements before listing a home — like replacing kitchen counters or carpeting — thinking the buyer will want to do their own decorating. Buyers are often looking for move-in ready homes with minimal changes and improvements needed. Replace that ugly worn carpet — with something neutral – but don’t spend too much. You should be able to recoup the costs if you spend on features that buyers in your area expect.
The price is right?
What you paid when you bought your home is beside the point. Markets change, along with the value of your property. Pricing too high is a common mistake – getting it right is key to a fast sale.
Good presentation makes it easy for a buyer to picture themselves living in the home. This starts with removing your personal paraphernalia; family photos, trinkets, collections, trophies should all be put in storage.
An Internet search for ‘staging a home’ will produce a wealth of tips on positioning furniture, the best light for a room or how to fix a difficult corner. If you need some help, a professional stager can give a consultation if cost is an issue.
Don’t forget the basics
Decluttering by packing things in closets isn’t a solution; serious buyers look in every nook and cranny. Good presentation is thinking of closets as if they are small rooms in your home and decluttering them also.
Because first impressions are everything take a good look of the front of your home. Simple landscaping can really create a wow factor for buyers.
Your home may be a buyer’s dream, but a layer of dust indicates there may be hidden dirt potential buyers will notice. Your home must be spotlessly clean.
Keep your home in the best condition you can. Even if you’ve shown the house dozens of times, keep making the beds, shining the sinks and cleaning bathrooms before buyers arrive. The next would-be buyer may be the one.