In all honesty, selling your home can be stressful – especially if there’s urgency. You want to ensure that it sells, both quickly and for the highest price possible. While hiring a great Realtor is the first step to selling your home, the next step is knowing what buyers are looking for. You want to make your home as appealing as possible to ensure that it sells quick and for top dollar. Let’s chat about the things buyers will notice when walking through your home, and what you can do to make these non-issues.
How a home smells is just about the first thing someone will notice when they walk through the front door. And the sense of smell is linked with memory more than any of our other senses, so someone can leave your house with memories of a musty or smoky smell, or a fresh and homey smell. To make sure it’s the latter, throw some cookies in the oven, plug in some air fresheners, diffuse essential oils or have a wax warmer going when you know there will be showings or an open house going on.
2. Brightness A dark home isn’t very inviting and won’t make potential buyers feel “at home”. Take advantage of the natural light your home gets by pulling up all blinds and opening drapes. Turn on all overhead lights, and even lamps to make the home feel cozier and more inviting.
3. Space This does not necessarily mean a “big” home, but rather making the best use of the space that you do have. A mansion can feel crowded and like there’s no room to maneuver around, and a tiny home can feel open and inviting. Remove bulky or unnecessary pieces of furniture, pick up small area rugs, and make sure surfaces are clear of clutter.
4. Personal Items Potential buyers will understand that there is currently a family living here and they won’t expect the house to be completely depersonalized, but certain wall décor and items lying around interfere with buyers’ ability to picture themselves in the home. Make sure rooms are clear of things like toothbrushes, laundry baskets, dirty dishes, medications, an excess of family photos, etc.
5. Distracting Paint & Window Treatments
Buyers know the wall colors won’t always be ideal and can always be painted over, but too dramatic or unique of a wall color can be distracting and make it hard to imagine yourself in the home. When they’re touring multiple homes, they may reference yours as “the one with the lime green walls”. The same goes for drapes and other window treatments – you may have had them custom made or they may be sentimental, but if they’re not everyone’s taste, it could be more of a hinderance than helpful. Opt for a neutral wall color and more generic window coverings.
6. Landscaping If your home is starting to look abandoned (as in, nobody’s mowed the lawn or trimmed the trees in ages), that’s probably the first thing potential buyers will notice as they pull into the driveway. Before anyone stops by for showings, make sure the lawn is freshly-mowed and trees and shrubs are trimmed. Potted plants add a splash of color and a whole lot of curb appeal, too!
7. Old Appliances & Mechanicals
These are costly things to replace (which I’m sure you’re aware of if you’ve been holding off on upgrading them). While it may not always make sense to replace these things before you sell, just be aware that it may be a hinderance for potential buyers. It’s harder to commit to a house that needs a lot of work or updating right off the bat!
The selling process can be daunting, but with a few minor updates, some tidying and a little maintenance, your home will be appealing to any buyer who walks through! Good luck!