15 Steps to a market ready home OUTSIDE: Before buyers ever make an appointment to see the inside of your home, they will likely drive by. If the drive by is lackluster – they will probably never come in. Go outside – step back and look at your house from the street. Take note of the impression it leaves. To maximize the exterior appeal of your home:
- Clean up the yard. If kid’s toys, piles of leaves or sticks are all over the yard, it’s time to clear these items away.
- Get the lawn in tip top shape. Seed and fertilize the lawn or repair patches if needed. Rake the leaves. Cut the grass.
- Examine your home’s exterior thoroughly. Could it benefit from being powerwashed? Is paint chipping? Are there cobwebs under the overhang? This is the time to address these issues.
- Clean up the landscaping. Eliminate weeds, cut back overgrown bushes, mulch if needed.
- Make the entrance welcoming! Is the front door in good shape? Are railings in good repair? A welcome mat and flowers add a nice touch. Your prospect buyer will linger here for a few minutes as their agent opens the lockbox…You’ll never get another chance at this first impression! Make it count!
INSIDE: So you made it through the drive by and they made an appointment. Now – their impression of the inside of the home will lead them to either move on to the next home, or hopefully write an offer on yours! To make the inside of your home shine:
- Declutter! Decide what items you can live without for the next several months and pack them away. You’re moving anyway! Consider it a head start.
- Remove all personal photos and memorabilia from your home. Family photos and the kid’s drawings on the refrigerator are special – but only to you. You don’t want buyers to focus on your life. You want them to see the space and imagine their own lives there. Don’t give them any distractions.
- Eliminate extra furniture. Take a look at every room. If rooms seem to be lacking floor space eliminating unnecessary furniture and putting them in storage will make the rooms feel larger.
- Clean out the attic, garage and closets. If these are overflowing, buyers will surely feel the home lacks storage space.
- Touch up paint or repaint if necessary. Stick to neutral modern colors that anyone would like.
- Finish those small household projects you’ve been putting off for years. That leaky kitchen pipe you’ve been ignoring for three years? Now is the time to fix it. While it may seem trivial to you – a buyer may feel this is a sign of a poorly maintained home.
- Clean. Clean some more. Clean like you never have before. Wash the windows, wax the floors, shampoo carpets. Every nook and cranny needs to shine.
- Organize – the dishes, the closets, the toys, the paperwork strewn about your home office. Rearrange furniture setting in rooms that have awkward flow.
- Eliminate evidence of pets. Stow away the litterbox and remove all pet hair and toys. Hide the dogs sleeping pillow and water bowl (at least during showings).
- Eliminate odors. CLEAN is the only acceptable smell. Most homeowners become immune to the odors in their own home. Pets, smoke and food all cause odors. Bring an honest friend to the home and have them tell you the truth. If you have an odor –eliminate it.
When I meet with home sellers we usually set the listing start date out far enough that the owners have ample time to get the house market ready. The goal of any home sale is to sell for the highest price, in the shortest amount of time. While it is my job to set the proper price for the home, it is up to the owners to get the home to show worthy shape! Pricing right and showing well are the two main ingredients for a quick and profitable sale of your Connecticut home!