Selling a home may be more difficult today than it was in the go-go years of the mid-2000s, but it’s still very doable even in today’s recouping market. The key is to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and ask what qualities you would want if you were looking for a new place. Then make your current residence meet those expectations as much as possible. Here are some specifics:
- If there’s a “build on site” or pre-fab home dealer in your area, then take an hour or two to tour their display models. You’re not looking to buy one necessarily. You simply want to observe how the dealer arranges and decorates those properties, to draw inspiration for your own home-selling efforts.
- De-clutter your home as much as possible. Remove family photos and other personal memorabilia and put them in storage. While this may be emotionally difficult, it’s important from a sales viewpoint. You want prospective buyers to imagine their own pictures and keepsakes in those places.
- For the same reason, remove as many furnishings as possible, placing them in a rented storage unit if necessary. You want those who tour the home to imagine how their own sofa, loveseat, recliner, etc., would look in those spots.
- Organize, organize, and then organize some more. This can mean labeling spice jars and putting them in order, keeping kitchen counters as clear as possible, making sure your closets are neat and tidy, and straightening up any messes in the attic or basement. Buyers will poke through every nook and cranny of your home, looking for little details or signs that you’re trying to hide problems with the structure. Don’t hold this against them; you would do the same thing in their position.
- Shine, polish, and dust, then repeat over and over. This means keeping the windows sparkling clean, vacuuming daily, and making surely that bathtubs, toilets, and sink glimmer.
- Little things like missing cabinet knobs can kill a sale. So tend to cosmetic details, no matter how minor.
- Walk out to the curb and give your home’s exterior a good looking-over. Do you see anything that might give a bad first impression, like drooping gutters, peeling paint, bushy hedges, or brown spots in the grass? If so, then those things need to be tended to ASAP.
- This isn’t the time to pay for remodeling or other renovations. But, if you have had such improvements done in the last few years, be sure to mention them in your real estate ads.
- Pictures of the home will either entice people to check it out or turn them away. For this reason, make sure that the photos you display are as flattering as possible. If you lack photographic equipment or talent, then you might want to find a skilled amateur or even hire a professional to take those all-important pictures.
- Almost as important as the photos is the description of the home. For inspiration, look through ads currently in place in publications or on the Internet. Note how they describe properties and use the techniques that sound good to you (using terms such as ‘Energy-Efficient’, ‘State-of-the-Art’ or ‘Gourmet’ can help draw in prospects).
Selling your home will require a great deal of effort and devotion on your part. But all the work and patience will pay off when you close the deal and can look towards the future. Best of luck to you!