Listing your home on the market? No matter where you live, you should definitely read these home selling tips before you list. Then stop. Read. React.
1. Keep it Minimal
When someone is on the search for a new home, they will find interest in spaces they can see themselves living in, which means it is important to remove any personal effects that may limit a potential buyers vision. Now is not the time to showcase your extensive troll collection. So stock away anything that may distract their future reality such as ties to religious beliefs, hobbies or political affiliation. You can even consider renting a storage unit while your house is on the market to eliminate clutter and bonus - this will get you on the fast track to packing and sorting your things before your move! Unsure of where to start? Consider looking at your local home decor stores like Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel or West Elm for inspiration. And remember if you have to question if it should stay or go - you already have your answer.
2. Inspect Now, Not Later
A failed home inspection is one of the top reasons a home sale falls through. Beat your buyer to the punch and get your home inspected before going on the market. This will ensure all problems are addressed before the deal, keeping you on track while also making the buyer more confident in the home your selling, resulting in earning top dollar for your property. Note that there are times where the buyer may also want to do an additional inspection from their end, but knowing you're already in the clear can result in a quick turnaround with the results you want.
3. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
Act as though your in-laws are dropping in for the weekend to generate the type of clean state your home must be in before putting it on the market. Unless you have an obsessive eye for cleanliness, here is where I recommend outsourcing a professional to guarantee your place is in top shape. Don't forget areas like storage space and exterior landscaping as these are great selling points to a buyer that will likely need attention. Also, don't forget to deep clean your common areas as there is nothing worse to a potential buyer than seeing last weeks spaghetti supper plastered on their dream kitchen's backspalsh.
Planning to tackle the cleaning challenge yourself? Check out these tips from Real Simple to get you started.
4. Smells that Sell
Because each home has a unique smell, sellers have been told that the scent of fresh baked cookies prior to an open house can mask those personal scents and also lure potential buyers into feeling at home, making them more likely to submit an offer. Contrary to this popular belief, according to Eric Spangenberg, Dean of the College of Business at Washington State University, says that complex scents such as fresh-baked cookies are distracting. They make our brains work too hard trying to figure them out. So now what - keep the lingering scent of Milo's dog treats in the air? Definitely not. The idea is to create a familiar scent that isn't too overbearing, scents like orange, lemon, vanilla or basil. So consider lighting a soft fragrance candle or incorporate fresh flowers that are not only visually pleasing, but freshen up the scent of your space.
MKREG TIP: Lure those buyers in with a fabulous aroma by replicating the incredible scent of a Williams Sonoma store using these DIY Home Fragrance recipes.
5. Take a Deep Breathe
Selling a home is stressful, not to mention buying a new home, moving, expenses and changing your routine from daily rituals to complete chaos. You should take a deep breathe, pour yourself a cup of tea and know that this situation is temporary and will not last forever.
Another way to significantly regulate your stress is by simply managing your expectations. In this New York Times Article, David Rock, author of “Your Brain at Work” (HarperCollins, 2009), believes that understanding what is within your control, what to expect from others, and what to expect from yourself is crucial for how we view our experiences. With that, make sure you're being realistic about the real estate process and consider scheduling a free consultation with me to walk through in detail what to expect, in order to help you avoid disappointment and frustration.