When selecting an agent to help you sell your home, make sure he or she knows that you can’t just put a home on a market. There are steps to follow in order to get the highest market value for your home. If you haven’t had a chance to pick your agent yet, but you want to get a head start, follow the 10 steps listed below.
1. Thin Out Your Furniture- This means that any furniture that doesn’t serve a real, functional purpose needs to go. It can be sold, or just in storage, but it needs to get out of the house. Freeing up space will give your home an open and large feel.
2. Declutter- If you have kids, hide the toys. If you have miscellaneous things like paper, magazines, bottles etc.. lying around put them away, whether it’s throwing them out or into storage. This is a must before taking listings photos. Buyers don’t want to see your mess, even if you don’t think it is messy!
3. Open doors/ Curtains- If you are gone during the day while showings are going on, be sure to open the curtains to let in all the natural light as possible. It also gives the buyer a more open and welcoming feel as they walk in. Interior doors, be sure to keep them open. Closed doors may stand out to the buyer as something you are trying to hide. Showing a home is all about first impression. The potential buyers need to be able to easily walk from one room to the next.
4. Turn on lights- Even though you have the curtains open, you will still want to turn on all main lights before you leave. Especially during winter when it becomes dark earlier. I have had listings that don’t have as many windows and when the homeowners didn’t turn on the lights before leaving, the feedback was usually “the home was too dark for the buyers”. The last thing you want the potential buyers to do, is search for your light switches. By having the lights on, it makes the home feel brighter and more cozy.
5. Good smells- The smell of your home will be one of the very first things that the potential buyers register in their brains when looking at your home. Be sure it is a good smell! Vanilla spice is a smell that is proven to change the mood of the buyers. It makes them essentially “fall in love” with the home. Who doesn’t love the smell of baked goods in the oven!
6. Take good photos- Make sure your agent uses a high tech, SLR camera. It’s the kind of camera with the detachable lense. If they don’t have it, demand it. There are companies out there that take fabulous listings photos for a small fee. Photos go along way and can make the difference between a sold listing and an expired listing.
7. Fix up the curb appeal- Clean up the leaves, replace the dead plants/trees and make sure the grass is green. In California, we have a severe drought which limits our watering. In this case, add more brown space that allows for landscaping with drought tolerant plants. When done right, it can really make a difference! Say no to brown lawns!
8. Clear off counter tops- I mean it! Nothing on the counter tops. When I do listing photos, I even remove the pink hand soap from the counters. Why would you want to cover up those beautiful granite counter tops you spent top dollar for? You want potential buyers to feel like there is plenty of counter space. While you are at it, take down the cutter off of your fridge to make your kitchen feel fresh and clean.
9. Clean doorways and trim– Our hands touch a lot of things during the day and many times we don’t realize the dirt we are leaving behind. Make sure if your trim around the doorway is supposed to be white, is white. Even if this means you touch it up with the same paint you first used. It seems like a small issue, but trust me, buyers will notice.
10. Clean your windows- We all notice when the windows outside get dirty, especially if they are on the second floor. Take the time and clean them. If you do have a second story, hire a company. What they charge will come back in ROI. Buyers will notice and appreciate it. It gives the home an overall feeling of clean. If you have a window screen that is ripped, get it fixed. Not only is it a FHA requirement, it can really detract from the beauty of a room.
These are just a few things to do before listing your home. All these things will bring in buyers, and hopefully multiple offers!