There are infinite reasons why people sell their homes, but every seller has one thing in common: the desire to get top dollar for their existing property and to obtain this goal as quickly and as hassle-free as possible. It starts with you! Make your first impression your best impression. You wouldn’t head to a job interview without making sure you looked great, so why would you put your home on the market looking anything but its absolute best?
Imagine walking up to your home as a potential buyer. What’s your first impression? Would you buy it? Does anything need to be cleaned, painted, repaired, or tossed out to make your house as attractive as possible? A small investment in repairs, decor, and organization can add many thousands of dollars to your property value.
You may be thinking, “People will see past the little imperfections to the solid house underneath! ” This is where it’s really important to remember your own experience when you went out looking at homes. Weren’t you turned off by the homes that looked run-down, even if it was just cosmetic? Didn’t you worry that if the owners couldn’t be bothered to fix their screen door, who knows what else they hadn’t fixed? It is natural for Buyers to think this way. Though cosmetic issues don’t necessarily mean anything deeper, buyers can be irrational when it comes to presentation. First time buyers especially are concerned with making such a big purchase and they want everything to be – or at least, to look – perfect.
See your home through a buyer’s eyes
- Now is the time to address your home’s little imperfections: the hole in the screen door, the chipped paint on the baseboards, and the mess in the basement.
Get rid of clutter
- Your house will feel a lot bigger and more inviting when you remove knickknacks, clear out those closets, pack away your children’s unused toys, remove bulky, unused furniture and rearrange the remaining pieces to make the best use of space. If you haven’t used something in the past year, toss it, donate it to charity or sell it.
- Cleaning is the single most cost effective way to make your home more attractive to buyers. Floors, windows, walls, doors, baseboards – everything! Give extra care and attention to the bathrooms and kitchen. Once it’s all clean, keep it clean! You never know when your ideal buyer will visit.
You may have gotten used to pet odours, food odours or cigarette smoke, over time; others walking into your home, haven’t! Smell is very important and odours should be aired out with fabrics and surfaces cleaned, not just sprayed.
Repair as much as you can, within reason
- Some repairs are absolutely vital like a leaky roof or basement and unsafe electrical problems. Otherwise, fix all the little things like leaky faucets, doors that squeak, and small cracks in the ceiling and even small things like replacing a burnt out light bulb.
Depersonalize your home
- You want buyers to walk through your house and envision their home, not yours! Things like a cluttered wall of family portraits or your trophy collection are guaranteed to prevent buyers from emotionally placing themselves in your home. Remove everything that’s too much about you.
Never underestimate the power of paint
- Strong colours on the walls or wild wallpaper make it hard for buyers to imagine their furniture in your house. Consider repainting your home in bright, neutral colours that will enhance a room’s size and look more inviting. Next to cleaning your home, paint is the most cost-effective and easy way to increase your home’s appeal.
Add some beautifying touches
- You don’t need to spend a fortune to make a big difference. Replace tattered old curtains with some fresh draperies. Mirrors on the wall are also inexpensive and can help rooms feel more spacious. New houseplants add undeniable appeal. On the outside of your home, trim the trees, weed the garden and consider planting a few new flowers to make a great first impression and boost your curb appeal. You’d be surprised how often potential buyers drive by and don’t give a property a chance if it doesn’t look appealing from the outside.
Weighing the cost of improvements vs. the potential return
- Don’t get so carried away with prepping your home that you forget why you’re doing this – to get more money! You need to consider two things before making any improvements.
- Will this make my home more desirable to buyers?
- Will this increase the value of my home more than it costs me to do it?
If you have any questions about adding value to your property and what will give you the biggest bang for your buck, it would be my pleasure to provide my professional advice.