With daffodils about to burst into bloom, now is the best time to list your home for sale. A small investment of time and money can make your house stand out from the crowd and help attract multiple buyers, increasing your chances for a quick sale.
What to do first? Check for problems and make repairs. Potential homebuyers will immediately notice what is wrong with your house, and assume that any small problem indicates a much larger hidden issue. As this can become a negotiating point, take care of all repairs before your house hits the market. First impressions are key, so fix any exterior blemishes such as peeling paint or cracked walkways; replace missing door handles or broken windowpanes; and clear debris or overgrown plants from your yard.
You may also want to consider updating any rooms painted in dark colors or heavily wallpapered, especially if your interior décor is over 10 years old. Fresh, neutral colors can help a buyer feel right at home, and are much easier to photograph.
Hiring a professional stager to look at your home with a critical eye can be well worth the investment. A stager can refresh your home by simply rearranging the furniture and room configurations to maximize a buyer’s positive first impression. The stager also can help you purchase small accessories or accent pieces to enhance your home's decor and give it that "wow" factor.
Also consider investing in a pre-listing inspection report to inform you of any potential problems, as this will give future buyers a level of comfort that there are no hidden issues to worry about. If you live in or near a flood zone and can indicate that you have no water problems, get a copy of your CLUE report to prove lack of insurance claims.
One last note: if you know you will be listing your home for sale in the next year, consider taking photos of your home and property. Spring, summer, and fall photographs will help your agent successfully market your home.
You can also do some simple and effective home-staging tips yourself:
- De-clutter by removing at least half of the items you have on display in your home, including photos, collectibles, personal awards, and ornaments. This helps to depersonalize your home and allows buyers to picture themselves living there.
- Replace or remove any worn or damaged furniture or carpeting.
- Remove any cat or dog litter from view and eliminate pet odors. Install air fresheners or candles to give your home a pleasing scent.
- Clean your windows − it helps to make your house sparkle!
- Pay special attention to landscaping: pull weeds, mow the lawn, wash walkways, and put fresh, bright potted plants out to greet your potential buyer.
- Prior to an open house or a showing, open the blinds and curtains and switch on the interior lights. Think about playing soft music in the background and baking some cookies that will give off a warm and inviting aroma. A bright and cheerful house will make a great impression!
Fiona Dogan is a Licensed Realtor® in the Rye office of Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty. She is a Westchester Five Star Real Estate Agent, Platinum Award winner, and an Accredited Buyer Representative. For more information, please contact Fiona Dogan at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at www.fionadogan.com.