Preparing your Property to Sell
Often times the consumer doesn’t realize that selling a home takes some effort on their part too. Heads up! This process is one that requires full cooperation between the consumer and the Realtor in order to achieve the best result.
A Realtor needs to be able to have candid conversations with this client about making the home show 100%. Remember that buyers are highly critical, and every perceived flaw reduces the perceived value of your property. Whether this is reasonable or not is another story. It just is what it is; again try to look at your property through a buyer’s eyes.
Michael Kooistra has a keen eye for detail, and will gladly consult with you in preparing to get your home listed. Michael also has a vast network of contractors, carpet people, cleaners, stagers, and so forth, should any of those services be needed. The broader range of people you appeal to, the greater likelihood of success. With this in mind, Michael will walk through your home with you and discuss what will achieve the best result, appeasing the greatest number of people.
First impressions are everything! Some helpful tidbits:
- If the outside of the home, the walkway, the yard, etc. is a mess, a buyer will immediately turn up their nose. Your lawn should be cut regularly and in especially lovely condition for showings. It should be edged, trimmed, raked. If it’s snowing, make sure your walkways are clear (and salted if slick).
- Hedges and landscaping should be in great shape. Lawn equipment should be stowed away and out of sight. The addition of flowers where feasible adds a nice fresh touch, and is also nice inside the home.
- As the front door is the first and last thing the buyer will see, it should be in good condition.
- The interior of the home should be spotless. Or at least reasonably so, and tidy. Surfaces throughout should be clean and clutter-free. “Less is more” when it comes to having “stuff” on counter-tops. No dishes in the sink, toys on the floor, etc. All beds should be made, clothes in their proper place. Special attention should be given to kitchen and bathrooms; everything should be clean as new and sparkling. These are big selling features and you want to display them at their best.
- Also watch for odors. Strong smelling foods may be a turnoff to many buyers. Try to avoid this when possible. This also applies to certain types of air “fresheners”. If the smell is too intense, many buyers will think something worse is being masked. Use light and airy scents. Candles are fine, but choose something light and not overpowering. Pet odors and smoke are two big no-nos; avoid these at all costs.
- Fresh paint is a hugely effective and cost efficient way to spruce up a room. If walls are nicked and dinged, spackle and paint is a great solution. Often times wallpaper and wallpaper borders are a turn-off. Keep this in mind if you plan to sell soon. Think “neutralize”. This does not mean “sterilize”. Some color is fine, just avoid the wild side of the color palette.
- Windows should be free of clutter and clean. Heavy drapes and anything else that blocks out natural light is not advisable. Ideally, any window coverings will still allow lots of natural light into the home.
- If your carpets are in need of cleaning, have them professionally cleaned. In some cases it may be smarter to replace them, especially if they are an awkward or dated color. Again remember the buyers will notice.
- DE-CLUTTER. The less “stuff” in your home, the easier it is for buyers to envision their things in those spaces. Any non-essential items should be removed from closets, counters, cupboards, packed in boxes, and stored somewhere. The garage is a fine place, but so is something off-site. All this stuff will have to be packed at some point anyway, so get a jump on it and you’ll thank yourself later.
- If anything needs repairs, repair it! It would be a shame to have a deal die because of minor issues like leaky faucets, sticky doors and windows, cracked drywall, clogged drains, etc. Remember buyers will likely have inspections, and all such items will be revealed. The goal here is to lessen the likelihood of any objections or re-negotiating based on inspection results.
- Make sure all light bulbs are functioning. This is painfully easy and makes a huge difference. Fixtures should also be clean and in good shape. Don’t forget the exterior.
- Be ready for last-minute showings. It’s impossible to predict every showing, and often there are last minute additions a buyer might want to include. It only takes one buyer, after all, so be ready for it. You should leave each day assuming the home will be shown. In a perfect world, that would be a reality!
- Prepare yourself to be gone during showings. Unless there are special circumstances, there are a number of reasons why staying around is a bad idea.
Michael’s primary goal is your happiness, peace of mind, and ultimate success. All his actions will be geared to that end.