So you’ve made the decision to sell this spring. You’ve chosen the right agent, the "For Sale" sign is up and you’re waiting for the right buyer to make a great offer before the grass turns green, what’s next? It’s time to work your magic.
Below you’ll find all the key ingredients you’ll need to set yourself up for success when it comes to selling your home in a timely fashion, and for the best possible price.
First and foremost- always put yourself in the shoes of the buyer. That means there’s no room for sentimentality when selling. Even if that disco ball in your basement brings back awesome memories when you had hair and a 32” waist… in short, stay objective!
The outside of your home drives drive buyers inside
Like speed dating, the ability to make a great first impression goes a long way when attracting prospective home buyers as well. Remember that buyers will often visit the area before scheduling an appointment to visit your home. So be sure to keep the grounds, structures, tress and scrubs outside your home as attractive as possible. That includes:
- Trimming the hedges
- Mowing the lawn
- Planting tulips (they will grow in the spring!)
- Removing weeds
- Pick up lawn furniture, garbage cans, toys, etc. to avoid clutter
- Repair, replace or paint damaged windows and doors
- Repair any damaged siding, including shingles on the roof
- Apply acrylic sealer on the asphalt as needed
- And again, neutrality rules the day… remove any flags or political posters, etc.
The interior of your house has to be perfect
Good news! You’ve made a great first impression with a potential buyer, but remember… that the exterior of your home attracts buyers and the interior of your home sells it to them. The ultimate goal here is not to increase the value of the house, but to reassure buyer's that they are making the right choice. Because nobody wants to buy a house that’s been neglected or not maintained. Here’s a checklist to ensure the inside of your home is as attractive as the outside:
- Repair or replace defective equipment, including toilets, showers, water heaters, central vacuum, air conditioning, etc.
- Clean the entire house, including under the beds, behind the furniture, toilets and fridge
- Wash the curtains and blinds
- Clean the windows
- Create space - get rid of any large objects and avoid placing heavy furniture in small spaces or corridors
- Repaint to walls (avoid dark colors that might make your space look smaller)
- Wash the floors and clean the carpets
- Finally, do everything possible to eliminate any odors-animal, cigarette and especially garbage
Is using a professional home stager worth the cost?
After you’ve attacked the low lying fruit outside and inside your home, be aware that professionals are available to help you separate yourself from other sellers by creating the perfect vibe needed to resonate with potential buyers! Home staging is a valuable attraction strategy for sellers that when leveraged properly works extremely well. The goal is to create a neutral decor, but with an inviting and warm atmosphere.
Put simply, home staging aims to democratize and depersonalize your decor. Because even if the family photo from your summer vacation in Ogunquit sitting on your fireplace mantle makes you dream of a sunny August afternoon by the sea in the comfort of your home, it may underscore to a potential buyer that they are NOT home!
When choosing a home stager, we recommend you work with someone who can describe in clear and simple terms what they want to do to enhance your space, decor and how much it will cost you.
When it comes to home staging, the more expensive the service doesn’t necessary mean the better the job. We suggest you keep your costs under $1,000 when using a home stager. This does not include items purchased, rented and additional work done to the property like painting.
And when you consider that utilizing the services of a home stager can sell your house 73% quicker than normal*, it may be worth your worth the investment… wouldn’t you agree?
Find the right recipe
Finally, the cold and dark days of winter are a great opportunity to experiment on finding the best apple pie recipe. Without a doubt, the irresistible smell of baked goods right out of the oven puts buyers in the perfect mood to fall in love with your property. That may not guarantee an offer to purchase, but will surely create a lasting impression.
*Real Estate Staging Association, 2014.
- A well maintained home will sell faster and better
- Guarantee a great first impression. Take the time to make the minor renovations needed on your property today, or be prepared to discourage potential buyers tomorrow
- Look to democratize and depersonalize your décor as possible
- Home staging helps sell a property faster