There are a few easy tips that home sellers can use and follow that should help in showing and selling their home.
The National Association of REALTORS(R) put together a comprehensive list, and I will take them on below.
1) Clear off the counters! That little pile of mail. That unused juicer. The cute nicknacks that make the kitchen yours. When you decide to sell your home, you have decided it will no longer be your home. Personal items, clutter, magazines — all of it needs to go!
2) Clean your windows and screens. Have you seen those homes on HGTV or other shows? Ever notice how much light comes in the windows? If you have TiVO or other system where you can pause the show, try it. Look carefully. Notice anything missing? Usually the screens. To brighten your home, wash your windows and store the screens. Make sure to keep them for the new buyer, though!
3) Keep your home extra clean. If you have a family or pets, this will be hard, I don’t deny this. The small things can be very noticeable. Fingerprints and dirt around light switches and door latches tend to build up, and are easy to miss when you are using them daily. I love my Mr. Clean eraser. Works wonders fast.
4) Oust the Odors. Back to those pets. You love them, right? But sometimes they aren’t the cleanest. Be honest. Sometimes they smell, or create some nose-unfriendly odors. If you have friends that don’t have pets, ask them to be honest. Does your house smell like cat? Dog? Get the carpets shampooed. Wash or dry clean drapes & curtains in rooms where there may be smells. Buyers will appreciate the effort!
5) Make rooms bright! How? Higher wattage light bulbs help (but follow instructions on the lamp – don’t risk fire!) Paint dark walls. Remove dark curtains.
6) Make minor repairs. You know what I am talking about. Back to those pets we love, right? Well, Fido wanted to come in, and he tore the screen on the back door. That closet door that comes off the track? It needs to be fixed. That door that doesn’t close right? Fix it! Buyers will assume your house isn’t well maintained if they see too many things.
7) Fix up your yard. Toys should be put away. Edges trimmed. Beds filled with mulch. Bushes trimmed. Fences repaired. “Curb Appeal” is a real thing, and may be the difference of a buyer even entering your home if they are out looking at a lot of homes with their agent.
8) Fix holes and cracks in your driveway. Goes with the Curb Appeal theory.
9) Add a touch of color in the living room. New throw pillows can make the room pop.
10) Add a small plant to a window. This one I would recommend with caution. Only buy one & put it in the window if you will remember to water & feed it. Otherwise, pretend this wasn’t in the list.
11) Add centerpieces to the dining room table. The list recommends flowers or fruit. Again, I say only to use live things if you are good at remembering to change and/or water them!
12) Set your dining room table. I laugh because we haven’t seen my china since we sent thank you notes at our wedding. That being said, this is a good time to get the good stuff out, wash it, polish the silverware, and set the table. Make the dining room feel like a party waiting for the buyer to join in. Other ideas are to set up card games in the game room, music playing in the living room, a tray with a book and tea in the guest bedroom.
13) Remove heavy curtains. (See #5. 🙂 )
14) Showcase your fireplace, if you have one. Put fresh logs in, open the doors, make sure you’ve had it cleaned by a chimney sweep if you have used it.
15) Spruce up the bathroom. New rugs, towels, shower curtain, and pretty hand soaps — make it feel spa-like! Put your toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other personal items away. If you have a cabinet under the sink, put them in a container for ease to take out & use.
16) Make sure pets are not home for showings. Can you come home & take them out? Can a neighbor take them? Family? Friends? Don’t let buyers be distracted by your family members.
17) Remove or lock up jewelry and prescriptions. You never know who is coming into your home.
18) LEAVE. Yes. Leave. Buyers want to imagine themselves in their new home. You being there will remind them it’s not theirs.
Here is the list as the National Association of REALTORS(R) imagined them before my interpretation.
For more ideas on how to sell a home in Towson, please contact me. I would love to help!