The Three Most Important Things To Know When Presenting A House For Sale
As a Realtor, I hate to admit that I can be swayed by the way a house is decorated or presented when valuing or viewing it, but like anyone else, I can be. Buyers are often swayed by things sellers have no control over, but there are some things that sellers can do to increase their buyer pool, and their bottom line, by presenting the house well.
NUMBER ONE: Decorate it. A well dressed home is, dollar for dollar, a wise investment. When conducting a price opinion for a seller, what I see in a house that’s well decorated is an owner who takes pride in their home and the way it’s presented. Pride usually equates to maintaining a house well, which usually equates to more money when selling it. You can’t change the location or the style of your home, but you can change the way it’s presented. You have the ability to make your house worth more and appeal to the greatest percentage of buyers by taking pride in the way your home shows. If design isn’t your thing, consult a stager or home decorator for ideas about how to upgrade your look before selling.
Buyers need to be able to picture themselves in the house, so tasteful but neutral design is usually best. That doesn’t mean you can’t show your personality, but it’s best to do that in an awesome painting or colorful pillows and a throw rather than with chartreuse walls. Look at current design trends on Pinterest, or in any of the design magazines or online sources. Remember that you’re not selling your house to yourself, so take an objective approach by putting your seller’s hat on do what you can to attract the buyers who may have very different taste than you have.
NUMBER TWO: Clean it. The same goes for cleanliness. Buyers want and need to be able to picture themselves in the house, which means they don’t want to see your dirty laundry or a yard that needs to be cleaned up. You might love Rover and allow him to sleep on the couch and chew up the Magnolia tree in the back yard, but the buyer might hate dogs – hard to believe, I know!
Personally, when I view a home, I don’t want to look up and see the cobwebs or stink bugs dangling from the light fixtures, or the toilet seats left up, or smell and/ or see last night’s dinner with the dishes sitting on the counter. They don’t want to see your rumpled bed because it just feels too personal – too yours, and it makes it that much harder for them to envision themselves in the house. Do yourself a favor, if you can, and have a top to bottom cleaning done just before listing your house. Clean the windows, carpets, closets, every inch of the kitchen and bathrooms as well as the lighting fixtures and all the vent covers in your house. Clean every door knob and sticky light switch – think like an objective buyer and not a homeowner. Often it is the overlooked spaces that make a buyer want to leave a home quickly and want to go home and take a shower.
NUMBER THREE: Remove it. I would also advise that you rent a storage space for anything unnecessary that’s causing clutter in your home. I believe you can never err on the side of doing too much cleaning or prepping your house for sale. While it might feel sterile to you, it allows the buyer to see a house and not your home. They can envision it as their future home if it’s not too personal to you.
You really do have only one chance to make a good first impression, and this goes for both Realtors and buyers. If a Realtor doesn’t get a good feeling from your house, he or she may not think of it when choosing houses to show their client. If a buyer feels that a house shows poorly or that it didn’t illicit good feelings in them, they’ll move on to the next house that does.
I have an extensive checklist that I give my clients when they list their home with me, and even the cleanest neat freak is often surprised by what they forgot to clean. Check out my Pinterest board called “Clean It” for a good place to start!