There are a number of factors that influence the sale of your home. These factors include price, terms, condition, location, and exposure. While your real estate agent is responsible for gaining exposure, all the exposure in the world won’t bring a buyer to your doorstep without the help of the remaining factors. Since land can’t be moved, the location of your home is a factor beyond your control, however price, terms, and especially condition, are all factors that can be determined by you, the seller. We, as your agents, are here to give you as much information as possible to choose a competitive price and terms, but the condition of your home is solely your responsibility. While your price and terms may seem competitive to you, only 5% of buyers can see past clutter—meaning if your home is in disarray, significantly fewer people are going to make an offer, and when they do, it wont be for your asking price.
Well, how do you remedy this?
First, declutter, declutter, declutter! The average person needs to remove more than 30% of their decor to make a home seem fresh and ready to sell. Don’t just move all of your extra things to your closets, though. Buyers want to see the space each closet and storage area has. Closets are another area that needs to be cleaned out. If your closet is jammed packed from wall-to-wall and from top-to-bottom with clothes and shoes, you need to bring out the storage bins and really purge items that aren’t in season. Consider having a yard sale before you put the house on the market, this way you can get rid of the items you don’t use and have the space necessary to showcase your home to its best.
Next, deep clean! You would be shocked by the amount of buyers who notice cobwebs on the ceiling fans and in the corners of closets. Make sure everything is scrubbed down and shiny. If rugs are old and stained, consider replacing them, or at the very least get them professionally shampooed. If walls show wear and tear, repaint them to make the room seem fresh. Also, while you may love bright blues, reds, and greens, the potential buyer may not, and unfortunately wall color can play a huge role in whether or not someone places an offer on your home. Consider painting rooms a more neutral color, but NEVER paint a room white. White walls can make rooms seem cold and unwelcoming and remind potential buyers of a hospital. Some smaller items people notice are burnt out light bulbs, shower/tub grime, and a gross refrigerator. Lastly, if you are a smoker, have pets, or dirty kids, make sure all odors are eliminated. This may mean throwing out carpets, scrubbing walls and floors, and airing out your home. A lot of people are allergic to pets, and the smell of wet dog or cigarette smoke can be a huge turn-off to a potential buyer, so please make sure your home smells nice and clean.
After you’ve mastered the interior, it is time to tackle your yard. Lack of curb appeal is the ultimate deterrent for most buyers. If the outside of your home is in disarray, many people won’t even take the time to look inside, assuming the interior is just as messy. Irrigate your lawn and plant grass, go to the nursery and purchase plants to add color and greenery, and consider placing two potted plants beside the front door to draw the buyer towards the home. Power-wash the entire house and fencing. If your roof is dirty many people will assume it is because its old, which will raise fear and may cost you a contract. Put a fresh coat of paint on your door, railings, and shutters, considering these items dull overtime from weathering. Finally, re-stain porches and decks, and make sure these items are splinter free.
You don’t ALWAYS need to upgrade your appliances and update your decor to get your home sold, however a home with great curb appeal and a clean, shiny interior will increase your chances of getting the job done quickly.