Article By Suzie Wilson for Arrington Investment Properties
Simple Tips to Get Your Home Ready to Sell
Regardless of whether your home is already on the market or about to be listed, you may be wondering what you can do to impress the buyers rather than scare them away. When that first showing happens, you’ll need to make yourself scarce, but until that point, there is plenty you can do behind the scenes. As a buyer yourself, you know what things you pay attention to when viewing a home, so you really are at an advantage.
Find an open house and take note of everything you noticed. However, don’t be alarmed if your realtor prefers showings instead. Bret Arrington, owner of Arrington Investment Properties, LLC, buys and sells houses using his own team of professionals, including real estate agents.
“I believe the current house buyer now does all their looking online …These buyers can virtually do everything at home and then schedule a showing if they are really interested,” Arrington said. “I believe open houses still have a benefit, just not as much as in the past. The younger people now rely on the internet and virtual tools to do their shopping.”
So, what can you do to prepare your home for a showing?
Make It a Clean Sweep
You’ve cleaned your home before, but have you ever deep cleaned it? Buyers will be scrutinizing every inch of your home, and cleanliness is important. You might be wondering why a buyer is concerned with your cleaning routine. Buyers see beyond the mess to other potential issues such as pests, mold and odors. Some might even think the mess is a distraction from a larger problem. When you clean your home, no surface should be left untouched, including places you might not even think to clean such as ceiling fans, baseboards and appliances.
Tidy Up the Day of, Too
The big deep clean should be done well in advance of showings, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tidy up the day of too. There will be instances when a showing is scheduled last minute, giving you only an hour or two to clean up and get out of there. When this happens, focus on tidying up the entryway, clearing it of shoes, coats, umbrellas, toys, etc. Wipe down surfaces that buyers will be paying the most attention to including kitchen counters and bathroom counters, mirrors, and sinks. As you head out the door, spray a little bit of freshener and grab the trash.
Clear the Clutter
To you, your clutter isn’t clutter, but to a buyer, it’s a distraction. For example, your spacious kitchen with the granite countertops is a huge selling point, but it’s hard for buyers to see it underneath the piles of mail, bills, and kitchen gadgets. By clearing all surfaces, buyers can get a better idea of the space available, which is important if they have a lot of stuff themselves. Some “clutter” can’t be cleared away until the day of the showing, such as shampoo bottles, toothbrushes, and the coffee pot, so create a list of the everyday items that need to be put away before you head out the door.
Have a Yard Day
Don’t forget to give your yard some TLC, too, with some basic yard work such as mowing and weeding. Now would be a good time to trim back those shrubs and hedges, and add a new layer of mulch or pine straw. Buyers will be walking through the yard, so don’t forget to pick up after your pet if you have one. If you have the time, enhance the exterior of your home with some added curb appeal. Straighten up the mailbox and add a coat of paint, add potted plants to the entryway to add symmetry and color, or add a coat of stain and finish to wooden decks and patios.
Once your home is prepped and ready, let the professionals sell your home.
“The agent is there to answer any questions and let them know the great qualities of the house and the neighborhood and nearby conveniences,” Arrington said. In other words, your job is done so head out, and maybe even pamper yourself for a job well-done. Each showing requires preparation, but it’s worth it when it sells your house.