Make Your First Impression Last… Preparing a House to Sell
It is said that selling a house is as much of an art as it is a science. (Check out: Feng Shui and the Art of Residential Real Estate) With that in mind, there are an array of things that a seller can do to prepare their house to sell. The beauty is that many of the time-tested methods are inexpensive. So, what are the secret ingredients that go into getting a house ready to sell?
Curb appeal: Buyers have judged your home before they walk through the front door, therefore cleaning around the front of the house is so important. You should: mow the lawn, cut the hedges, roll up garden hoses, sweep up around the house, plant seasonal flowers, replace missing shingles, reseal the driveway, hide garbage cans. You should replace outside lights and keep them on as many perspective buyers will drive by at night to see the house.
Clutter free: It is almost impossible to have too little stuff in your house. Therefore, you need to systematically remove things from your house. This includes bulky furniture, clothes from your closet and items in the bathroom. There should not be a single piece of paper lying around the house while it is being shown.
Depersonalize: A picture tells a thousand words or this case nine words: “No one wants to see pictures of your family.” It is nearly impossible for a buyer to imagine living in a home if there are pictures of your family all over the house.
Clean: Have your house cleaned by a professional cleaning crew. Every little nock and cranny needs to be scrubbed. The house should shine. Start with the windows! (inside and out).
Paint: Painting the house is a great, cost effective way of adding value to your house. However, don’t use this as an opportunity to get in touch with your creative side. Choose light, neutral colors throughout the house. Save the reds, purples and greens for your next house.
Let there be light: Light makes all the difference when showing a house. That is true for natural and electric light. Any window treatments that are blocking light should be moved to allow in as much natural sunlight as possible (through those nice clean windows.) Every broken light fixture or light bulb should be fixed. Leave as many lights on as possible when someone is previewing the house.
Carpets and Floors: Another sound investment although slightly more expensive than painting is to remove old carpets and either replace them or refinish the wood floors beneath.
Good Sense: The house should smell inviting but not over-powering. You could light a mildly scented candle and open the window to let in some fresh air. It’s also a good idea to put a box of baking soda in the refrigerator. You would be surprised how many people will open your refrigerator when looking at your house. It’s a natural thing for people to do.
Peace and Quiet: Make sure there are no barking dogs, screaming children, loud music or other sounds that could be disturbing to the home shopper.
Flowers: Adding fresh cut flowers throughout the house is the icing on the cake.
For more information, or if you need a referral for a knowledgeable Realtor© in your area, contact:
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
211 South Street
Morristown, NJ 07960
(O) 973-267-8990 x153