You love your house, but it’s time to break up.
Whether you’re moving to a new city, your family house outgrown the space, or you simply want a fresh place to come home to, you’re ready to sell your house. But it probably won’t be easy. Buyers today are more informed than ever, and if you’re not on the top of your game, they’ll look right over your listing until they find a home more impressive and better suited to them.
There are ways for sellers to counteract this, though. These include improving the value of the home, positioning it as attractively as possible, and helping potential buyers place themselves within the walls of your home.
Check out these eight tips before moving ahead with selling your home.
1) Add Crown Molding
Adding crown molding to your home is one of the least expensive ways to upgrade the value of your home, as far as cost of materials goes. Assuming it won’t stand in stark contrast to an otherwise outdated home, crown molding gives a more spacious and elegant feeling to a room.
Be careful, though: it has to be done right. There are many circumstances in which crown molding won’t raise the value of your home or will only help you break even with what you paid for it. Plan carefully before trying it out.
2) Spend Time on Your Online Display
If you’ve done any amount of house hunting in the last 7-8 years, you know a simple fact: it’s incredibly frustrating not to be able to see enough pictures of a house online.
It’s hard to exaggerate the importance of the online impression. According to Reader’s Digest, 92% of homebuyers start their house hunting online.
Therefore, in order to make the best impression, your online display needs to be the best you can make it, with high-quality, well-lit images that clearly show the major rooms in the house, especially the living areas, bathrooms, and kitchen. It may even be worth dishing out a few dollars to have a professional photographer capture your home at its best.
Your agent will likely be responsible for online display, so work closely with them to make sure your home is positioned online as attractively as possible.
3) Leave Certain Items With the House
Any amenities you’re able to add to (or keep with) your house will obviously help its value. One great and easy way to do this is to offer to leave some of your stuff behind.
This especially includes larger appliances like refrigerators, washers and dryers, or even unexpected items like TVs or vehicles such as bikes and golf carts. Only do this if such items are in very good condition, however. Otherwise, such offers can actually hurt the impression and perceived value of your home.
4) Pay Attention to the Details
For homebuyers, the little things matter—a lot.
Take a walk through your house and note any little thing that seems “off” or not up to standard.
Replace any cracked wooden thresholds, frames, lattice, etc. Look for chipped paint on your wall or cabinets where a fresh coat is needed. Test your door handles to make sure they’re not squeaky, loose, or rusted.
Prospective buyers who walk through your home probably won’t notice every last detail, but they will be looking closely. The best way to avoid their running across a detail of your house that isn’t to their liking is for you to address all of them ahead of time.
5) Help Buyers See the Future
That’s right: As a seller, you’re basically a “life and family clairvoyant.” You have the ability to set your house up in a way that helps potential buyers see glimpses of what their lives could look like in it.
There are a few things you can do to help that vision along:
- Clear as much closet space as you can. The fewer clothes you keep in your closets, the more spacious they appear (and the more house hunters will be ability to project their own wardrobes into the space).
- Take down highly personal decorations. As much as your pictures, quotes, icons, and statues mean to you, they don’t do anything to help you sell your house. Actually, they’re hindrances to prospective buyers placing themselves in the house. It’s jarring, after all, when you’re looking at a place that may be your home and you see pictures of someone else living there. Buyers know the reality that you currently live there, but the illusion of the home being theirs alone is powerful enough to redirect the conscious mind.
- Pack up ahead of time, and put excess furniture in storage. You’re going to be moving anyway, right? Might as well get a head start and get your house closer to a blank canvas in the process.
6) Make Sure Your Kitchen Is Top-Notch
If you’re going to undertake any big project to improve the value of your home, make sure your kitchen is at the top of the list. One HGTV article puts quite strongly: “You’re not actually selling your house, you’re selling your kitchen.”
It’s the centerpiece of the whole home. A beautiful kitchen covers a multitude of ugliness in a house, while an outdated kitchen can spoil even the most spacious and elegant homes. Gauge where your kitchen falls on the spectrum; if it’s lower, you may find that getting into a large project will be well worth your time and money in the end.
7) Keep Your House as Near to “Showable” Condition as Possible
Clean regularly, and keep the house picked-up and de-cluttered. Optimize the lighting, too: great lighting is surprisingly important to people looking to buy your house.
8) Plan Your Next Move Carefully
Janice B. Leis, of Berkshire Hathaway has this to say: “If coinciding with a closing and purchase, make sure there is a contingency in your purchase contract. Otherwise you owe on two properties or will be in default on [a] new purchase due to lack of proceeds from the sale of your existing home.”
Don’t slap a price onto your home, put it online, hold your breath, and hope for someone to love it as it is. As active as you were in buying the home, selling it will require you to be even more proactive and engaged.
Still, this doesn’t mean you have to make your house perfect. Follow the major tips listed here, and you’ll put yourself in a position to have your home snatched up by a successor.
By: Ryan Drawdy
June 15, 2017