Make the most of that first impression
A well-manicured lawn, neatly trimmed shrubs and a clutter-free porch help you put your best foot forward and make potential buyers feel welcome. So does a freshly painted – or sparkling clean - front door. If it's autumn, rake the leaves. If it's winter, shovel the walkways. The fewer obstacles between buyers and the true appeal of your home, the better.
Invest a few hours for future dividends
Here's your chance to make a great impression. Tidy, tidy, tidy and pay particular attention to the kitchen and bathrooms. If your woodwork is scuffed or the paint is fading, consider some minor touch-ups and redecorating. You can benefit from updating the hardware on kitchen cabinets, adding new slipcovers to sofas and keeping a vase of fresh flowers in the entryway or on the countertops. These are some of the simple touches that can go a long way. If you're worried about time, hire professional cleaners or painters to help get your house ready. Remember, prospects would rather see how great your home really looks than hear how great it could look "with a little work."
Check faucets and bulbs
Dripping water rattles the nerves, discolors sinks, and suggests faulty or worn-out plumbing leaving the impression that the home isn't cared for. Burned-out bulbs or faulty wiring leave prospects in the dark - make sure everything is as lit as possible inside and out and don't let little problems detract from what's right with your home.
Don't shut out a sale
If cabinets or closet doors stick in your home, you can be sure they will also stick in a potential buyer's mind. Don't try to explain away sticky situations when you can easily plane them away. A little effort on your part can smooth the way toward a happy closing. Is handywork not your area of expertise? Create a list of those little things that need doing and hire a professional handy person to get all the jobs done at once.
Home owners learn to live with all kinds of self-set booby traps: roller blades on the stairs, festooned extension cords, slippery throw rugs and low-hanging overhead lights. Make your residence as safe as possible for visitors.
Make room for space
Remember, potential buyers are looking for more than just comfortable living space. They're looking for storage space, too. You should make sure attics, basements, closets and cupboards are clean and free of unnecessary items.
Consider your closets
The better organized a closet, the larger it appears. Now's the time to box up those unwanted clothes and donate them to charity.
Make your bathroom sparkle
Bathrooms sell homes, so let them shine. Check and repair damaged or unsightly caulking in the tubs and showers. For added allure, you might want to display the best towels, mats and shower curtains. A clutter free countertop and a vase of flowers wouldn't hurt in making the bathroom appear more spa like.
Create dream bedrooms
For a spacious look, get rid of excess furniture and make sure to open all blinds. Stylish bed and window coverings can go a long way in helpng buyers imagine relaxing there themselves.
Open up in the daytime
Let the sun shine in! You should pull back curtains and drapes and open venetian blinds so that potential buyers can see how bright and cheery the home is. You might want to turn on lights in any particular darker areas within your home.
Lighten up at night
Turn on all of your lights for evening showings. Turning on all exterior lights and interior ceiling fixtures and table lamps creates such a welcoming feel and adds color and warmth to your property. You may even consider doing the same during the day as well.
Avoid crowded scenes
You should ensure your home is vacated for showings.
Watch your pets
Dogs and cars are great companions, but not when showings are underway. Pets have a talent for getting underfoot. So do everybody a favor: keep Kitty or Spot outside, in a kennel or better yet, away from the property.
Having "mood" music on quietly in the background throughout different areas in your home will help in creating a lived in, warm feel.
Never feel it necessary to apologize for what you perceive to be shortcomings in your home. They may not be shortcomings to a buyer unless pointed out. Showing feedback sometimes points out perceived negatives with your property - we might be able to address concerns but some things aren't fixable such as location etc.
Keep a low profile
Nobody knows your home better than you but Realtors know their buyers – what they need and what they want and are adept at articulating the virtues of your home.
Defer to experience
When prospective buyers want to talk price, terms or other real estate matters, let them speak to your expert - your Realtor. As the seller, you might feel tempted to weigh in, but your two cents could cost you much more.
Help your Agent
It's often tempting to allow your neighbor in to have a look at your property "on behalf of their friends" but this can often create problems for you in the long run. It's best to take the contact info and offer to pass it along to your Realtor who will then contact them to arrange a showing if in fact there is desire to see your home.
Using some of these suggestions as your guideline will allow you to reap the benefits of your home sale!