So you’re selling your home. And you’ve had a real estate agent come to your home and say you need to get some things fixed, replaced, or cleaned. And you’re thinking, “I don’t have the time for this. I need to sell!” But yet, in your heart of hearts, you know the agent made some good suggestions. So what do you do?
There are things that I’m sure you’ve heard before, but they bear repeating. There are certain things that just simply turn a buyer off, and many can be avoided or eliminated. I’ve worked with numerous buyers over the years. Sometimes they just turn and walk out, or not even want to go in at all because of things that could have been easily fixed or tidied.
A day or two spent in the yard mowing, edging, pulling weeds, planting a few flowers, sweeping the driveway, walkway and porches would make a huge difference in what’s referred to as “curb appeal”. Simply stated, it just means how appealing your home is from the curb. There are many times, especially in this economic crunch we’re in, that a buyer will take one look and say, “Just take me to the next home.” This is because buyers see the home as needing cleaned up or repaired and they know there may be many other homes on the market to choose from with a better first impression. So if you have a mower and yard tools, or if you can borrow some, the yard may be one of the least expensive things you can personally do to help the appearance of your home.
This may be the hardest one to deal with. As a seller you need to remember that even though something may mean a lot to you because of who gave it to you or where you purchased it, the buyer only cares about whether or not their stuff will fit well in your home. It’s like this, when a buyer walks into a home they start mentally placing their things in your home. They place their furniture in your living room, their pictures on your walls, their clothes in your closets, their cars in your garage. So if there’s a lot of stuff in the way, they can’t see anywhere to put their stuff. You may be thinking, “But I live here! What am I going to do with my stuff?” The answer is to remove as much of your unnecessary stuff as possible and put it in storage. Leave your best furniture, and just enough pictures on the wall to add some color and warmth. Leave spaces open for your prospective buyers to visualize their stuff there.
Cleanliness and Smell:
This is something else that could be done in a day or two. A cleaned, dusted, vacuumed and good smelling home is always impressive. I’ve had buyers walk out of a home and ask as they were leaving, “What’s that smell in the back bedroom?” I later learned the smell was a pet odor. Unfortunately that was the only thing that stood out about that house, even though it had a great floor plan and nice features. A thorough cleaning and deodorizing can absolutely make your home stand out and leave a good impression.
This one is fairly simple. Patch holes, fix nail pops, and paint. Paint can be fairly inexpensive and it will make a huge difference in the overall appearance.
Other Simple Repairs:
Here’s a partial list, but maybe enough to get you thinking about what could be fixed or tightened with some simple household tools.
Leaky or running toilets
Loose door handles
Loose hardware on cabinets
Loosely fitting bifold doors
This article is by no means a complete list. But hopefully there are enough things here to get you to thinking of things you can do for little or nothing that would make a huge difference in preparing your home to sell. You might walk out into your front yard, then turn around and face your home. Pretend you’re a home buyer. Now look at your home, walk through it and see if you can find things that could make a negative impression on a buyer. This will help you in preparing to make your home more pleasant, more attractive, and more marketable.
I wish you the very best of luck in overcoming these challenges, and in selling your home!