You’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but the truth is that the majority of home buyers DO. They almost all base their decision about a house judged on how it looks, so it’s important to make your home look good, or you could end up settling for a much smaller price than you’re looking for come sale time.
Here are some things you can do to ensure that your home will sell for the most money possible…
Increase Pavement Appeal
If your home doesn’t look good from the street, many buyers won’t even get out of the car. Try to look at your home from a buyer’s perspective and make sure you consider each of the following items before offering your home for sale.
- Remove anything that looks messy or doesn’t need to be in the garden, like kids’ toys, tree branches, rubbish bins, or stray garden furniture.
- If you have a pet, be extra vigilant in picking up after it while your house is on the market. There aren’t many things that will turn a buyer off faster than stepping in a pile of dog pooh.
- Trim all your trees and bushes neatly, weed the plant beds, and put down fresh compost.
- Plant some inexpensive seasonal bedding plants for a pop of color.
- Rent a power washer and spend an afternoon washing your home’s driveway, gutters, doorways and pathways.
- Take a close look at your front door and outside entry area. A fresh coat of paint and new hardware will go a long way towards making your home look fresh and inviting. When a potential buyer arrives at your home, there’s always a moment spent waiting at the front door. Don’t let the buyers see spider’s webs and chipped paint while they’re waiting.
Beauty ISN’T Just Skin Deep
Presenting a well-maintained exterior is critical to getting the most money when you sell your home, but you can’t stop there. You still need to “wow” buyers after they step inside. Walk through your home, looking at it as though you were seeing it for the first time. Consider each of the following items to see if they need attention…
- Attack clutter. If you don’t need it, put it away. Box up all non-essentials and store them in the garage or a storage unit. Even if your garage is stacked high with boxes, buyers understand that. They know that you’re preparing to move and most garages look pretty much the same anyway. If the rest of your HOUSE is stacked high with personal items, that’s another matter. Many buyers will assume that your house is too small to accommodate their stuff.
- Clean like crazy. Cleaning your house doesn’t cost much, but it can dramatically increase the amount you’ll make on the sale. Wash the windows, wipe the boards and dust every horizontal surface.
- Paint. Most homes would benefit from a fresh coat of paint. Take your cue from show homes: paint everything a neutral, non-offensive color.
- Rearrange. The way you’ve had your furniture arranged for years isn’t necessarily the most appealing way. Experiment to see if moving a couch or removing a chair might make a room appear more open.
- Get rid of any odours. If you smoke or have a pet, ASSUME that your house smells like it. You may not notice it, but others will – and it can cost you thousands of pounds. Clean the carpets, install subtle air fresheners throughout the house, and do whatever you must to eradicate all unpleasant odours.
Your goal isn’t to just make your house look nice, but to plant a seed in the buyers’ minds. Let them imagine that if they lived in THIS house, their lives would be better. If they bought THIS house, it would be clean all the time, the lawn would be beautiful, and their cupboards would be meticulously organised.
Of course, that’s not likely to happen in real life, but you can’t help it if that’s what they IMAGINE? That’s the sort of thinking that allows them to justify paying more for it. And that’s EXACTLY what you want to happen…
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