There are plenty of reasons why a house won’t sell, but how you present it is at the top of the list. So if your house has been on the market for a while, you may want to start looking deeper at what you can do to make it more appealing to buyers. While it may not be possible for you to invest large sums of money to completely overhaul your home, there are plenty of inexpensive and easy things every home owner can do to maximize the chances of a quick sale, and a sale that puts more money in your pocket.
As a homeowner, it's so easy to overlook little things that you've grown accustomed to that could be a major turn-off to a market filled with picky buyers with high expectations. If you're willing and able to walk through your house with a critical eye, you can likely find all kinds of things that you can easily change and that might just bethe difference between an offer or a pass. Don’t let something you can control potentially cost you the sale of your house.
To give you some idea’s we’ve come up with a list of the top 7 things you can do to get your house ready to sell:
1. Declutter, Declutter, Declutter:
When it comes to getting your house ready to show, less is more. Clutter can make a space look smaller than it actually is and messy. Potential buyers might worry there may not be enough room for their belongings if your house is overflowing with stuff.
Take the time to go through each room in your home and remove unnecessary objects and furniture. Buyers are curious and virtually no area of your home is off limits, therefore it’s important to make sure every inch of it is presentable. Keep surfaces empty, organize all closets, and clear out the “junk drawer.” Sell the excess to make some extra money, donate it to a homeless shelter, or rent a storage space.
2. Add Curb Appeal:
The outside of your home is the first thing potential buyer’s see, so make sure it entices them to want to see more. I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Well most buyers do, so it’s important to pay as much attention to the outside of your home as the inside. Make your home inviting by planting some colourful flowers, touch up any missing paint spots, clean the windows, and make sure all pathways are clear of debris.
These quick and easy changes can have a big impact on the impression buyers get when they first walk up to your home, and could increase your chances of selling. Buyers won’t mind spending top dollar for a home that doesn’t need much work.
3. Paint Neutral Colours:
Red might be your favourite colour, but it could be a potential buyer’s least favourite and could scare them away. Neutral colours are typically a safer choice to go with; it’s commonly known that less people dislike neutral colours.
It’s easier for buyers to imagine what the walls would look like with their preferred colours when painted in softer tones. Another benefit is lighter, more neutral colours will make a smaller space seem bigger, visually adding more square footage to your home.
Paint colours that can increase or decrease your homes value
A fresh new coat of paint will make your home feel new and fresh again by removing any scuff marks or scratches. Don’t forget the trim! Freshly painted walls can be completely overlooked if the baseboards and window/door trims are in rough shape.
Buyers will be mentally keeping tabs on how much work needs to be done if they were to move in so try to minimize it as much as you can.
4. Clean, Clean, Clean:
Give your house a major spring cleaning from top to bottom! Go through each room in your home and make sure every inch of it is spotless - even the closets and under the beds.
Bathrooms and kitchens are usually the main focus, they need to be flawless. Buyer’s will most likely open every door, drawer and cupboard they see - nothing is off limits.
Get rid of unnecessary items. Keep things simple, organized, and most importantly presentable. Give carpets a good cleaning/shampoo.
The cleaner a space looks the more appealing it will be to potential buyers, making it feel like this could be their home. Consider hiring a professional cleaning company to stop by every couple of weeks if you don’t have the time to do it yourself, or if you’ve already moved out.
5. Make Minor Renovations:
Is your home outdated or has it seen better days? Small, inexpensive repairs can have a huge effect on how quick your home will sell and for how much.
Change old-fashioned light fixtures, get new hardware for your kitchen cupboards, update plumbing fixtures throughout. These and many more are all easy fixes most homeowners can do themselves.
Go over your home and make sure everything is working properly. Replace any burned-out lightbulbs and fix any loose handles.
Buyers can be pretty fussy, don’t give them something to complain about. Ensure that anything buyers come in contact with is functional and up to date. Ask a friend for input, sometimes an “outsiders” opinion can help point out things you may not have noticed.
6. Stage Your Rooms:
Real estate experts recommend you stage your rooms, arranging them in ways that highlight their best features. Decluttering and cleaning isn’t the only part of staging; you want to define the purpose of each space and make it visually stimulating for buyers.
Buy fresh flowers, get new hotel-like sheets for your bed, pick up new towels for the bathroom, and some fresh pillows for the sofa and chairs. These are simple staging tips that can help your home look its best and make buyers feel “at home”.
Arrange furniture so that it’s easy for buyers to distinguish what the room is used for. That extra bedroom you were using as a craft room should be turned back into a bedroom, letting the buyer envision how they would use the space.
Potential buyers aren’t interested in seeing your family portraits or your collection of porcelain dolls. Buyers can’t envision themselves living there if all of your personal belongings are staring back at them.
Try to make your house a blank slate as much as possible. Put away knick knacks, private family photos, bold artwork - anything that will take the buyer's focus away from the space itself. Keep things simple and neutral, enhancing your house’s architectural features, not your stuff.
Disassociate yourself, this is no longer your “home”, it is now an asset for sale. If you want to get top dollar, it’s crucial that you’re willing and open to do whatever it takes, even if that means packing away favourite items.
Is your home ready to sell? Check out this helpful checklist.
The thought of selling your house may sound a bit daunting, but with a bit of work and an open mind, you can really increase the chances of a quick sale. The better condition your home is in the more buyers will be willing to pay top dollar for it. The use of a Realtor can also be beneficial since they know a network of people which could open the door to more potential buyers.
Ultimately it’s up to you how much or how little you’re willing to put in to your home before you put it on the market. Keep your end goal in mind, do as much as you can, and before you know it, you'll be hanging a sold sign in your yard. Best of luck, and here's to a quick (and profitable) sale!
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