You can spend weeks thinking about budgeting and doing the right work, but if you don’t put your properties best foot forward when it is time to sell, it may all be for naught. Any work you do or changes you make should showcase the house, but if you are not careful you can give off the wrong vibe. Between adding to the exterior of the property and something seemingly small, every little thing makes a difference when you are selling your home. To maximize value and sell your home quickly, you need to focus on showcasing the property in its best possible light.
Start by giving off a good first impression before a buyer walks in the front door. Upgrades to the kitchen and bathroom are certainly important, but if the first impression is a bad one, it may not matter. You need to make sure the landscaping and exterior of the house are up to par with the interior. This means removing any old shrubs or trimming existing ones. New mulch, keeping the grass cut and staying on top of any weeds is more important than you may think. In addition, you should power wash the house to make it look nicer. Finally, if the front door or the fixtures are dated, you have to update them in line with the house and neighborhood. All of these items will add an extra expense, but if you are spending money on the interior you can’t neglect the outside.
Once any potential buyer walks in the front door, the first impression they will have is how the house smells. This may seem minor, but if the house has mildew, smoke or pet odors, it is what they will remember. Those are extreme smells, but even musky smells or bleach cleaning products can stick around the house and become unpleasant. Scented candles may seem outdated, but a nice cookie smell or something comforting can make a buyer feel at home. This is what they will remember about the house. If they see multiple homes in a day, they will remember yours.
After the wonderful scent of sugar cookie hits them, you want the quality of work to be what they focus on. This is negated if the house is cluttered or even dirty. With the help of your realtor, keep everything clean. Get everything out of the closets or garage that you or your contractor may have been keeping there until you sell. Look under the sink, closets and in the attic for any items that can take up space. You want your buyers to think about all of the wonderful storage they can use or where they will put their couch and their TV once they move in. If you can provide a blank canvas for your buyers to work with, they will let their imaginations run wild and consider making an offer.
The next step should be easy. You need to make sure that all of the sockets, door handles and switches are working. Put fresh batteries in the smoke alarms, as to prevent them from going off during showings. Change any light bulbs in the house so there isn’t one out of four on a light fixture that is out. Something as small as these inconveniences can give the impression that the quality of the house is not where it should be. If buyers feel that something small doesn’t work, there may be bigger issues that you are hiding. Take the ten minutes and walk around the house, try everything and make sure there is nothing left to chance.
Finally, you can consider staging the house if the neighborhood and price range warrants it. Staging is the process of having a professional company come in and decorate the house to give it maximum appeal. The reason this shouldn’t be done with every property is that this process is not cheap. On higher end properties, many buyers don’t want to see empty space and want to have an idea of what can be done. With lower end properties, most buyers have their own stuff and their own visions for where they want to leave their belongings. Also, smaller homes have fewer options, so staging won’t have nearly as big of an impact.
The days of listing your property and waiting for an offer are long gone. In today’s market, you need to do everything you can to attract buyers. This means doing the little things and putting yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Putting in a new kitchen or floor may make the house look great, but if the front door and landscaping are a mess, they may never even call for a showing. All the money, time and effort you spent to sell your property will go by the wayside if you don’t focus on the little things. When selling a house, the little things are much more important than you may realize.