As I’ve said over and over, first impressions are everything when it comes to selling or leasing a home.
Most people make up their mind whether or not they like a house within mere minutes of stepping foot inside. That is why it is crucial to make sure that you (and your home) are putting your best foot forward. The late winter selling season is an excellent opportunity for sellers: the buyers are plentiful, but many sellers wait until spring is full blown to market their homes. As you know, less competition means a better price and terms for you. So let’s get ready now! Here are the top dos and don’ts for getting your home ready for the market:
Don’t overdo the heat.
Sellers tend to overcompensate when they know that potential buyers are coming to look at their home in the winter time. They crank up the heat to make the place warm and welcoming. But that can backfire. The air will be dry and stale, plus the buyers will probably be too warm as they will be bundled up in coats. So keep the heat at a reasonable setting and have your humidifier set between 40-60 percent. And just before the buyer arrives, light a fire, not for warmth, but for ambiance.
Do consider curb appeal.
Curb appeal is a huge draw for buyers, even in late winter. If your garden is not yet looking its springtime best, go to your local garden center and invest in some plants that are blooming now, or in some nice green plants, to make the yard and planter beds look more alive.
Don’t expect your buyer to use their imagination.
If you have an unusual color choice in one (or more) of your rooms, you might think that people will look past that. But that can prove difficult for buyers. Overly bright paint and unusual décor choices will make them uneasy, no matter how beautiful your home is underneath your collection of animal heads. Paint over those wild colors and put away any items that might garner strange look or a raised brow. Paint is always your quickest and least expensive improvement. Think neutral.
Do invest in updates that matter.
People will pay top dollar for homes with updated kitchens and bathrooms. But that doesnt mean you have to tackle a major remodel. If you can make even the barest improvements to these rooms, you will see a huge return. Update the yellowing tile in the bathroom or invest in new cabinetry. At the very least, purchase new shower curtains, bath rugs, and the like.
Welcome in the light.
Open all the curtains, and turn on all the lights, even if it is the afternoon. Replace all dead light bulbs. Crack open doors to the pantry or laundry room so people won’t be afraid to peek inside. And tidy up in forgotten places like inside the refrigerator, freezer, pantry or oven. People will be looking in there, and if they see mold, crumbs, or old food, they will be very turned off.