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Selling your home can be tough if you don’t take the right steps before you put it on the market. Most people have trouble because they do not see anything wrong with the colors they love, the things they collect or how their cleanliness affects the ability for them to sell their house. Many have the opinion that they are not going to repaint or such because the new owners are just going to paint anyway. Let’s rethink this thought process and go over 5 things that you can do right now to help your house sell quick and for the most money possible.
1. Freshen up the curb appeal
This is super important because the curb appeal is the first impression potential buyers have of your home. If it is overgrown and dirty with a ton of stuff laying in the yard, you have potentially lost a buyer before they even get inside. So trim the bushes, pull the weeds and keep your yard mowed and clear of bikes, lawn chairs and coolers. Make sure leaves are raked and cleared out of landscaping. If you have vinyl siding on your house, make sure it is not moldy and dirty. Take a power washer and wash off your siding. While you have it out give your concrete driveway and any concrete walkways a good cleaning. Power-wash your deck too. You will be amazed at how much better your curb appeal will be by doing these simple things! (If you don’t have a power-washer, you can use soapy water and a heavy duty broom to scrub with.) If the paint is peeling off your house or your front door, get out the paint and fix it. Your curb appeal is really, really important to attract potential buyers.
I know you love all of your collections of things–ball caps, Precious Moments, glass bells, decorative plates, vintage fans (in my case!) or stuffed animals. Whatever it is, know that most people do not share your love of whatever it is you collect. Box up your collections and get a storage unit and move them out of your house. Box up your trophies that line the walls of the man cave. Move out over-sized or extra furniture to a storage unit. Clean out all of your cabinets and closets and leave only the essentials! You want to make your house appear as big as possible and extra or over-sized furniture, collections and random clutter (think stacks of magazines and such) limit your buyers. Not every buyer can see past your stuff and envision themselves in your house. Help them out and get rid of the things they can’t see past.
This is the one I get the most push back on. The argument for not doing this is almost always the same. The new owners are just going to pick out their own colors, I’m just going to let them paint. Why should I do it? I firmly believe you should live in your house with the colors you love but when it comes time to sell, paint over them. I also firmly believe that not everyone loves the same colors as you or me. Here are a couple examples. When I sold my house in North Carolina to move back to Kansas, my youngest was 2 and loved Monsters Inc. I did her room in Monsters Inc including the paint on the walls. In case you don’t know, these are the colors:
What great colors, right? Great for us but maybe not so great with potential buyers that have no kids and see that room as a potential office. Let’s face it, most grown ups don’t want a Monsters Inc. themed office. I painted over it to neutralize the room and make it more appealing to a wider pool of potential buyers. Fast forward to current day and my downstairs bathroom is painted in a Caribbean blue color:
While I love this color, potential buyers may not. l can guarantee you as soon a decision is made to put our house on the market, I will be painting over this in a nice gray. Again, some people cannot see past your taste in color or mine so your best option to sell your house quickly is to neutralize. You can use your color personality in accents such as pillows or toothbrush holders.
4. Clean, Clean, Clean!
If you are going to sell your house, clean it. Listen, I don’t care how you live on a day to day basis but when you sell your house, it has to be clean and really clean. I mean clean like you should deep clean your floors, wipe down all your baseboards and clean all the windows. You should clean your oven and clean out your refrigerator. Why? Because potential buyers look everywhere! Empty out every cabinet and drawer and wipe out all the dust. Wipe off all of the ceiling fan blades and clean out all your lighting fixtures. Scrub your bathrooms. Once you do it, keep it clean. Sweep and vacuum every day. If you have pets, keep pet hair and smells to a minimum. You never know when a realtor will want to show your home and you want to be able to straighten up really quick and get out while they show your house. Sometimes you have very little notice. Doing all of this will really help potential buyers be able to envision themselves in your home.
5. Price your house right
We all think our house is worth top dollar. Guess what? It probably is but you have to know what top dollar is. In my neighborhood we live in $150,000 to $250,000 homes. We want the most money out of our home but we need to do the right research and look at the comps. The house down the street may have sold for $250,000 but if it has two more bedrooms, one more bathroom and 1,000 more square feet than mine, that is not a comparable property. Because my house is that much smaller, it is a good indication that I am not going to get $250,000 out of my house and pricing it that high would just turn off buyers. This is really an important step. One of the things you can do is hire an appraiser before you put your house on the market. Do that, and then listen to them when they give you the worth of your home. Remember that buyers can only finance a certain percentage of the appraised value so going over the appraisal value doesn’t benefit you.
If you do all of these things, you will open yourself up to a much wider pool of potential buyers and the more potential buyers you have, the quicker your house sells!
Until next time–Cheers! Jodi
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