Tips and Advice
Ways to Make Your House More Salable
- Get rid of clutter. Throw out or file stacks of newspapers and magazines. Pack away most of your small decorative items. Store out-of-season clothing to make closets seem roomier. Clean out the garage.
- Wash your windows and screens to let more light into the interior.>
- Keep everything extra clean. Wash fingerprints from light switch plates. Mop and wax floors. Clean the stove and refrigerator. A clean house makes a better first impression and convinces buyers that the home has been well cared for.
- Get rid of smells. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke and pet smells. Open the windows.
- Put higher wattage bulbs in light sockets to make rooms seem brighter, especially basements and other dark rooms. Replace any burnt-out bulbs.
- Make minor repairs that can create a bad impression. Small problems such as sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet may seem trivial, but they’ll give buyers the impression that the house isn’t well maintained.
- Tidy your yard. Cut the grass, rake the leaves, trim the bushes, and edge the walks. Put a pot or two of bright flowers near the entryway.
- Patch holes in your driveway and reapply sealant, if applicable.
- Clean your gutters.
- Polish your front doorknob and door numbers.
Ways to Speed Up Your Sale
- Price it right. Set a price at the lower end of your property’s realistic price range.
- Get your house market-ready for at least two weeks before you begin showing it.
- Be flexible about showings. It’s often disruptive to have a house ready to show on the spur of the moment, but the more often someone can see your home, the sooner you’ll find a seller
- Be ready for the offers. Decide in advance what price and terms you’ll find acceptable.
- Don’t refuse to drop the price. If your home has been on the market for more than 30 days without an offer, be prepared to lower your asking price.
Low-Cost Ways to Spruce Up Your Home
Make your home more appealing for yourself and for potential buyers with these quick and easy tips:
- Trim bushes so they don’t block windows and cut down on light.
- Buy a new doormat.
- Put a pot of bright flowers (or a small evergreen in winter) on your porch.
- Put new doorknobs on your front door.
- Put a fresh coating on your driveway.
- Edge the grass around walks and trees.
- Keep your garden tools out of sight.
- Be sure kids put away their toys.
- Buy a new mailbox.
- Upgrade your outside lighting.
- Use warm, incandescent light bulbs for a homey feel.
- Polish or replace your house numbers.
- Clean your gutters.
- Buy new pillows for the sofa.
- Buy a flowering plant and put in a window you pass by frequently.
- Make a centrepiece for your table with fruit or artificial flowers.
- Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones that let in more light.
- Buy new towels.
- Put a seasonal wreath on your door.
More Tips: Steps to Preparing for Showings
- Hire a cleaning service. A spotlessly clean home is essential; dirt will turn off a prospect faster than anything.
- Pay attention to the outdoors. Mow your lawn, and be sure toys and yard equipment are put away.
- Serve cookies, bottled water. It creates a welcoming touch.
- Lock up your valuables, jewelry, and money. Although the real estate salesperson will be on site during the open house, it’s impossible to watch everyone all the time.
- Turn on all the lights. Even in the daytime, incandescent lights add sparkle.
- Send your pets to a neighbor or take them outside. If that’s not possible, crate them or confine them to one room (a basement or bath), and let the salesperson know where to find them.
- Leave. It’s awkward for prospective buyers to look in your closets and express their opinions of your home with you there.
Make Your Home Irresistible
- Add a touch of color. Use fresh or silk flowers to breathe life and color into the main rooms. A colored afghan or throw on the couch will jazz up a dull room.
- Make the bathrooms feel luxurious. Put away those old towels and toothbrushes. When buyers enter your bathroom, they should feel pampered. Add a new shower curtain, fresh towels, and fancy guest soaps.
- Does it smell good? Set out potpourri or fresh baked goods for a homey smell. Make sure that there are no lingering scents from cigarettes or pets.
- Help them envision living there. Set the table with pretty dishes and candles, and create other vignettes throughout the home to help buyers picture themselves there. For example, in the basement lay out a chess game.
- Beautify the entrance. Buy a fresh doormat with a pretty pattern or a clever saying.
- Make the rooms feel bigger. Take one or two major pieces of furniture out of every room to create a sense of spaciousness.
- Accentuate counter space. Put away kitchen appliances and personal bathroom items to give the illusion of more counter space.
- Lay logs in the fireplace, or put a basket of flowers there if it’s not in use.
- Depersonalize the rooms. Put away family photos, mementos, and distinctive artwork.