Your home is likely your most highly valued investment and you have a very good chance of appreciation in value if you properly maintain your home. When you are ready to sell at the best price possible, you want to take some very serious and detailed measures to make your home stand out above the competition and there is always a lot of competition for the limited pool of buyers.
Just like you want to sleep at a clean hotel and eat at a clean restaurant, most buyers want to buy a clean home. Not only do you want it to look clean, you want it to smell clean also.
Most of us have too much stuff packed into our homes. A packed home appears to be smaller than it really is. To maximize your buyer’s first impression, follow this proverb: A place for everything and everything in its place. Look at Home and Gardens magazine for ideas on how to declutter and decorate. If you have too much furniture, sell some or give it away. Remove all debris, old newspapers and ALL trash from view. Leave room in the closets for more clothes by removing some if your closet is packed. Minimize trinkets, bric a brac. A table needs only one trinket if any at all. Compare your home to what you see in the magazines if you want to maximize your price and minimize time on the market.
You have one chance at a first impression and that happens when the prospective buyers drive up to your home. If the grass is growing, mow and trim weekly. An overgrown yard suggests neglect to a buyer and suggests the interior is also neglected. Plant some live flowers near the front door. Keep the porch clean and put a fresh coat of paint on the front door if needed. Remove any insect nest on the porch. Small things separate your home from the competition.
Many buyers are doing their best to have a down payment, and do not have repair money after move in. If you want to sell more quickly at a better price, do all needed repairs. 95% of buyers will require a thorough inspection prior to closing and will ask for the repairs to be done as a condition of closing. Head that off by doing the repairs now. Even if you have to borrow the money to make the repairs, it is recommended to do so IF you want the maximum price possible. If the home needs repairs, do not expect to sell at market value. Market value is based on “move in” ready homes.
I cannot over emphasize this one. I know your love your pet but your prospective buyers do not want a growling dog or lurking cat hindering their viewing of the home. Your Realtor cannot guarantee a pet will not escape the home during a showing. It happens and the Realtor is not responsible. Cage your pet or board your pet during showings. Failure to do so could result in dog bite, an escaped pet and a lost sale.
Most of us are just not experts at staging a home. We know what we like but may have no idea what appeals to the general public.
Realtors are highly trained professionals and they know what it takes to sell a property. The better the condition of the property (inside and outside), the more quickly it will sell and at a better price.