First and foremost… Do plan to LEAVE! No…that’s not a joke. Potential buyers don’t like to feel that they are a GUEST in your house. They need to feel (and you WANT them to feel!) that ‘yours’ could be their home. With the homeowner present, they are (at best!) just guests.
Before you leave… here are my 12 favorite tips for you … for “SUCCESSFULLY SELLING YOUR HOUSE”.
GETTING YOUR HOUSE READY TO SELL… 12 TIPS TO LURE IN YOUR BUYER … besides pricing it competitively!
1) Declutter… Clear away everything (Kitchen counters should be cleared off as though they were part of a model home … No appliances… No nicknacks… No dishes in the sink). – How we live … and how we sell are quite different. Houses that feel like model homes are the houses buyers connect with… and buy. Just pretend yours is a model home … Take all your stuff (including personal items and photos).. box all of it and hide it! (You’re going to be moving anyway, so this will give you a headstart). Toss what you don’t want, and donate to a good cause, or hold a “moving sale” for whatever someone else might want.
2) Reduce the amount of furniture in any given room… Having less furniture somehow makes a room seem bigger. Believe me… It really does. Create easy-flow traffic patterns… Allow visitors easy access through every single doorway, hallway without having to navigate around furniture.
4) Repair… Fix or replace any leaky faucets, oil or lubricate any squeeky doors or gates. Re-grout. Make sure the doorbell works.
5) Wash, Scrub, and Let the Light In: Clean the windows (the mirrors/shower doors). Dust. Sweep. Open the blinds, drapes, curtains…. Add bright light bulbs. Let every bit of natural light in that you possibly can.
6) Don’t cook! Unless you’re baking cookies, cake or pie … truly…Don’t cook! If there’s even the slightest hint of food odors from your last meal, throw open the windows, squirt Febreeze, light a scented cande, or toss cardamom, allspice or cinnamon sticks in a pan of boiling water for 15 minutes.
7) Create curb appeal: Plant cheerful, colorful flowers and greenery by the front door (in pots or in the ground). Mulch or put down decorative stones. Cut the lawn. Trim the bushes. Water the potted plants. Sweep the entry.
8) Organize kitchen cabinets, the pantries, closets, and drawers. Just know… buyers will open them.
9) First impressions matter and buyers need to be able to FIND the house: House numbers should be readily visible from the street. And the front door and entry should be picture perfect. Buyers will spend a minute or so waiting for the door to open… and in those few seconds, will notice everything within eyeshot. So, change the hardware … and get rid or touch up any peeling paint, cracks, nicks anywhere around the front entry area…Remove shoes, bikes , gardening tools, toys and garbage cans from the front yard. Sweep or hose down the driveway, walkways, porch, and patios.
11) Put valuables away: Jewelry, watches, collections… put them in a safety deposit box, remove them entirely…or hide them really well. (Do not tuck them away in drawers… Strangers will be coming to see your house. Avoid any potential risk or temptation.)
10) Set the Stage : Light candles. Add plug ins. Turn on all the lights… every light in the entire house. Put the laundry away. Close all the toilet lids. Put out fresh towells.
11) Do a Walk-Through: Ask a friend or neighbor or your Realtor to give it a last minute run through for you. Something may have been overlooked (a dog bowl in the corner perhaps?). That’s key. Someone else may offer insight/ advice that you might not have thought of… It might just make a difference.
12) Turn on the music… and leave. Allow the buyers see your house without you (or your pets) there.
By leaving, you allow potential buyers to question and criticize anything about the house they need to get off their chest (without you having to hear it!). Let them have those conversations with your Realtor. Overcoming objections is a process… And that’s one of your Realtor’s many roles.
So, go out and have lunch while I show the house… Let those potential buyers “emotionally” move in … because the first step to buying a house is imagining living there… and your buyers can do that… IF… you’ll just step aside and let them.