10 Tips Prior to Listing Your Home

gbarrett

  1.  Curb Appeal.  You don’t want to see a buyer pull up and pull away because of lack of luster on the exterior.  Cut back overgrown plants, weed, power wash drive way, mow the lawn, add some potted plants and beauty bark.  Remember first impression…
  2. Make it Sparkle.  Pretend that mom is coming over.  Mop, dust and clean.  Pet Odor is a HUGE deterrent for buyers.  Pet odor will deter about 25% of your buyers.  This may require you to shampoo carpets, furniture and eliminate odors.
  3. Pay Attention to Color and Light.  Lime green maybe you favorite color, but bright colors turn buyers off.  Neutral colors are best and makes the home appear larger.  If a room is dark or small, it is better to go with light natural colors.  Make sure the lights are on and drapes are open to allow sufficient natural light.  The abundance or lack of light will affect a buyers mood.
  4. Depersonalize.  Don’t feel bad…Everyone has clutter.  Buyers are coming to see your home, not your stuff.  If you go to a furniture store, take a look at furniture/rooms are staged.  They are simple and depersonalized.  In my experience, most buyers are not visual.  Excessive personal items like photos, electronics and collectibles are a distraction to buyers and they may not be able to see past your stuff which will deter a sale.  Taking yourself out of the picture allows them to visualize themselves in the home.
  5. Furniture…  You want to display a home that is inviting.  This is another big deterrent.  Most of the homes I list either have too much furniture in a room, dated/worn out furniture or better yet, big furniture in a small room.  All of these are a deterrant.  Remember, you want to display a home that will accommodate a buyer and their stuff.  Less is always more.
  6. Invest in New Artwork…Not a big one, but it is always good to have tasteful artwork to breath life into a new room.  Photography is good and can add a splash of color as well.
  7. Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint.  Nothing makes a home look/smell new like a fresh coat of paint.  Again, use neutral colors and make sure you have light colors in small/darker rooms.
  8. Make Repairs.  This is a big one with me.  Walk through every room in the house and create a punch list.  Fill in holes, paint, replace broken fixtures.  Look under sinks for leaks and make necessary repairs.  Make sure kitchen/bathrooms have new caulk.  When a buyer sees the attention to detail in the small things, they will be more at ease.  On the flip side, if a buyer can see visible defects,  they will consider the fact there are other defects they cannot see(electrical, plumbing, attic/crawlspace, etc.)
  9. Replace fixtures.  Fixtures whether light fixtures or door hardware, light switches, outlets are very inexpensive.  Make sure they all match and it will renew the look of the room.  I recently took on a home that did not sell.  The seller remodeled the home and then moved out of state, putting the trust of the sale of his home in the hands of a real estate broker.  After the home went off the market without a successful sale, I went through the house before the photographer got there.  Unfortunately, there were a total of 16 light bulbs that were out.  I ended up relisting the home at the same price as the previous broker and sold the home in 7 days with 2 full price offers in Kirkland’s Kingsgate community.
  10. Crawlspace/Attic…This is another big one.  Two of the biggest issues I run into in the Pacific Northwest…  Water in the crawlspace and rodents.  You will save yourself a lot of grief if you grab a flash light and do some investigating.  Because of the amount of rain we have, it is common for a buyer to peek in the crawlspace to see if there is any water accumulation, insulated pipes and the vapor barrier is in good shape.  A buyer may not find rodents on the first time through, but 80% of the homes in Western Washington have evidence of rodents.  Again, make sure you poke around the crawlspace as well as the attic to ensure you are rodent free.  If you see rodent droppings, make sure you call an exterminator.  They are very inexpensive.  Also, they typically leave it up to the homeowner to clean up the poop as they will seal openings and set/clear traps.

Hopefully this information will help you when you decide to sell you home.

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gbarrett