If your home is on the market, but it’s not selling, consider putting in some time and elbow grease to make it more appealing to potential buyers. Here are five relatively inexpensive tips to help you market your home:
You want to show off your home to potential buyers, not your stuff. Even if you feel like your stuff is organized, the truth is it is still taking up space… space that will seem more appealing to buyers if it is empty, giving the illusion of more square footage. Here are some tips to help you:
- If you haven’t used it in over a year get rid of it – donate it or throw it away.
- Pack up knick-knacks, books, photos, etc. – you want potential buyers to envision themselves in your home, but they won’t be able to do that if they see your family everywhere they look.
- Get a small box for essentials (toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc) and put them out of site (like under the sink) when not in use.
- Rent a storage unit – all homes show better with less furniture. Remove pieces that are too bulky for their space, block walkways or doorways, or are not necessary. For example, take the leaves out of your dining room table and store extra chairs – this will make your dining room seem larger. If your guest room doubles as an office, either remove the desk and all office furniture or store the bed and other pieces of bedroom furniture. You don’t want potential buyers to walk into a room and wonder what it’s used for.
Remember, de-cluttering goes for all areas of your home, so don’t think that boxing up your stuff and putting it in the garage, basement, or closet is helpful. You want to be prepared for potential buyers to open every last door, drawer, and cabinet and scrutinize every last square inch of space. What kind of impression would it give to open a closet door and see piles of stuff jumbled up? At best this is distracting to potential buyers and at worse it can deter them. Get rid of your stuff, get organized, and get potential buyers thinking about the space in your home as theirs.
When a house sparkles it give buyers the impression that you are the kind of people that take good care of your things. Everyone wants to buy a house that has been well cared for, so keep your house clean and increase your odds of selling. In addition to daily cleaning, consider doing the following:
- Rent a power washer and spray down your driveway, sidewalks, and exterior
- Wash windows inside and out
- Dust for cobwebs
- Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks
- Polish all faucets and mirrors and keep them polished
- Get your carpets professionally cleaned and then vacuum daily
- Dust not only your furniture, but light fixtures, picture frames, electronics, fan blades, and anything else that collects dust
- Hang clean, fresh towels
- Replace any worn out bedding or curtains
- Eliminate any odors – all odors should be avoided, but be especially aware of pet odors. You are accustomed to them, so ask a friend or neighbor who does not have a pet to come over and let you know if there are lingering odors. As much as you love your pets, others may not and may even be allergic. If you want to sell your home, don’t alienate buyers who are not “pet people.”
- Wax floors
3. Check Curb Appeal
You don’t want potential buyers to walk away before they even come inside! Walk around your house and think about how it comes across to potential buyers. If you can’t be objective ask a friend or neighbor for help. Consider the following: edge sidewalks, trim bushes, plant flowers, add potted plants, mend fences, keep sidewalks cleared, keep the lawn mowed, paint faded trim, be sure that your house number is clearly visible.
4. Make Minor Repairs
Even inexpensive repairs can make a big difference in showing a home. Consider the following: tighten leaky faucets, patch holes in walls (even nail holes from those family photos you removed!), caulk or plaster where necessary, replace cracked tiles, fix doors that don’t close properly, fix windows or drawers that jam, replace burned out light bulbs or broken light fixtures, fix broken blinds, oil squeaky hinges or windows that get stuck, replace any window or door hardware that is broken or “tricky”
Painting is relatively inexpensive (if you do it yourself) and is perhaps the one thing you can do to make the biggest impact on the way your home shows to potential buyers. Paint all the walls in your home in neutral shades. Stay away from white which can feel cold and clinical, and instead choose from one of the lovely, warm beige tones that exist. Definitely avoid non-neutral colors – you don’t want potential buyers to remember your home as the “one with the green room.”
None of these suggestions require a large amount of money, but if you combine them with some time and elbow grease your home will be much more appealing to potential buyers.
Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County? Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.