Top 10 Tips To Prep Your Home to Sell In This Changing Real Estate Market

Is the housing marketing slowing down where you live? As interest rates rise, the market tends to slow. How do you attract buyers during this slowdown? The key to create buyer interest is making your home stand out from the rest.

Here are my Top 10 tips for getting your home ready to sell.

1. First impressions are the only impressions: No matter how wonderful the interior of your home looks, buyers have already judged your home before they walk through the door. You never have a second chance to make a first impression.

It’s important to make people feel warm, welcome and safe as they approach the house. Spruce up your home’s exterior with inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers. Typically, you can get a 100-percent return on the money you put into your home’s curb appeal.

Think about all the potential buyers that do a “drive by” viewing, to decide if they want to see more.

2. Remove clutter: This sounds easier than it is. Many of us have become clutter blind in our own homes. What we may consider our collections, someone may think it is clutter.

The key is to neutralize your decor, by taking the “your” home out of the house. Remove your family photos and collections of knick knacks, and any other very “personalized” home decor. People want to imagine their things in the home and it is hard to do this with a big sign that says “The Coopers, Est. 1995”.

Secondly, storage is something every buyer is looking for and can never have enough of. Take half the stuff out of your closets then neatly organize what’s left in there. Buyers will snoop, so be sure to keep all your closets and cabinets clean and tidy.

3. Clean, Clean Clean: Clean and vacuum every surface. Make sure to concentrate on the kitchen and baths. You want all the hardware and plumbing fixtures to sparkle they are so clean. Nothing is a bigger turn off than moldy dirty grout.

4. Take care of repairs: Make your home appear to be a low-maintenance zone. Repair squeaky doors, chipped or smudged paint as well as broken fixtures and fittings that you’ve neglected. When someoone sees a broken item, they may automatically assume that there will be other unseen problems with the house.

5. Apply a fresh coat of paint: It’s the best bang for your buck that will quickly refresh a dull, dated room. Slap a fresh, neutral color on the space. I know it is tempting to just paint it white, but that makes spaces feel cold and sterile, so do not paint it white. You could get 150% back on your investment.

6. Rearrange Furniture: Think about removing or replacing worn or outdated furnishings and get rid of extra pieces. The time has come to move beyond matching furniture, so break up your sets; dated can easily become eclectic with editing and rearranging.

Consider consulting with a professional for design direction and advice on rental furnishings to create an inviting home with broad appeal to a wide range of buyers. Displaying new artwork is a great way to breathe new life into a room. Create a homey environment with a few well-placed throws and new pillows. If you are planning on buying new furniture for your next great adventure, consider buying it now to stage your current house and help it look it’s best.

7. Don’t forget the floors: Get rid of worn carpets, and consider refinishing shabby hardwood floors. An inexpensive new area rug is a quick fix and can disguise the look of old floors.

8. Spring for new light fixtures: Renew the look of the room by replacing old or dated light fixtures, door hardware, light switches and outlets.

If it’s tacky and older than you, get it out of there. Lighting can be a quick way to update the look, that will be a great return on investment.

9. Conceal the critters: Buyers don’t want to walk in your home and see a bowl full of dog food, smell the kitty litter box or have tufts of pet hair stuck to their clothes. This will give buyers the impression that your house is not clean. Make sure you hide the “evidence” before a showing.

10. What is that smell: Make sure your home smells amazing. Use softly scented products throughout the house, or consider baking a pan of cookies prior to a showing.

Place a product like Damp Rid in basements to help eliminate any stray odor.

Now that you have your to do list, it is time for you to get to work. First concentrate on making your home appealing for those drive by shoppers. Give them a reason to want to come inside or call up their agent for a showing.

Pro tip: Just because you can put 13 photos on Zillow, doesn’t mean you should. You are better off choosing 5 really good pictures that accentuate the space, than choosing 13 that includes one with your undies hanging in the bathroom. There are FB and IG pages dedicated to bad real estate photography. Don’t let yours be their featured post.

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