Your house will sell faster and for a better price if its in tip-top condition.
Condition Your House to Sell
Your house has been on the market for 27 days now and you havent received any offers.
If your home is in a good location and you priced it competitively, then odds are you need some tips to improve its condition.
The process of selling your home will be easier for you if you step back mentally and view it through the eyes of the buyer. Disconnect from the good memories and focus on the task at hand, selling it.
Lets start at the curbside; its the first impression buyers will get of your”housekeeping”. Is the grass cut and the shrubbery trimmed? Did you plant colorful flowers along the entry? The front door can be a depository for dirt, clean it. If the door handle is outdated, replace it. Place a new mat at the entrance. Remove the clutter from the front porch. The kids bikes and toys should be put away. Wrap the hose up and replace the mailbox if it needs it or save some money and spray paint it.
Setting the Mood
As the agent and buyer enter your house, whats the first impression they get? Remember the buyer forms an opinion in the first 60 seconds; if that opinion is positive the buyer will seek to enforce it throughout the remainder of the tour, the same for a negative opinion. Have music playing softly in the background. Set the dining room table for guests. A vase of fresh flowers will add a graceful touch.
Did you have the carpets steamed cleaned in the week prior to putting the house on the market? Youd be totally turned off to see the condition of some folks carpet and so are the buyers. Did you remember to wash the windows? If there is too much furniture in the room it will give the impression the house is too small. Rent a storage unit for the listing period, deposit all the excess there. If money is tight use the garage as a catch-all space while the house is on the market.
Romancing the Room
Its okay to have computer desks in the kids rooms but not okay to have one in the Master Bedroom. The master bedroom is viewed as a romantic oasis from the daily grind. Clear off the top of the dresser. Leave the lamp/s and either a vase of flowers or one nice decorative piece.
Make the beds upon waking. There should be NO evidence of clothes other than in the closet. It would be impossible for me to emphasize the importance of making the kitchen and bathrooms sparkle. Any evidence of dirt or odors is a huge turnoff. Some buyers will leave without even touring the rest of your house.
Bring In Mr. Clean
In the kitchen, remove the clutter from the countertop. Let the buyers see the amount of counter space they are purchasing. Bake some sweet smelling cookies in the oven or if time is limited put some cinnamon in an oven safe bowl and put it on low heat. The pleasant aroma will waif through the house.
NEVER leave dishes in the sink. Empty the wastebaskets around the house. If the grout needs cleaning and replacing, do it; ditto for the bathtub and shower enclosure. You can replace the grimy shower curtain liner for less than $5.00. Examine the sink and shower fixtures? Are they original to the house? You may want to consider updating them as well as the interior door handles. If your house will be vacant, paint it after you move out. It will show much better.
Just Like the Model
If you want to see some examples of how to put the best “face” on your house, go visit some model homes. There are also local companies that will “stage” your home to derive the greatest impact during the listing period; $150.00 will get you a 90-minute to 2-hour consultation. HGTV has a new show “Designed to Sell” its another good venue for ideas.
Buyers purchase on emotion, its difficult to get emotional over a messy house. Your house will sell faster and for a better price if its in tip top condition.
Susan Saurastri, a Fountain Valley resident is a Realtor with Star Real Estate. Contact her at 714-962-8136.