When you think about selling your home, of course certain factors like organizing, and finding an agent come to mind. However, there is actually a psychology behind having your home be prospective-buyer-ready and before you jump the gun, take a few minutes to make sure that you are doing these "musts" in order to successfully sell your home in no time.
- Keep It Clean...All the time: Whether you travel more days than you are home, work long hours, or have a bunch of kids running around your house, keeping your home clean and tidy while trying to sell it is arguably one of the most challenging factors on a day to day basis. With the housing market moving pretty quickly these days, your home could be on the market one day and under contract the next, so every time you leave your house to sit in rush hour or run to the grocery store, it must be in prime showing condition. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, pay extra attention to tips #2-4.
- Make Your Home a House: Warning- for all of you mushy and sentimental homeowners out there, this may be hard for you to hear. When you’re in the process of leaving a place you have called home, regardless of the number of years, it is easy to get caught up in the memories made within the walls, at the kitchen table, and in your. However, unless you want to extend the process of selling your home, you must make your home more of a house. What do we mean? Taking down excessive family portraits, lower school art that should never be displayed anyway, and making sure your little critters are gone without any evidence left behind (leashes, food bowls, toys). You may think prospective buyers want evidence of your little happy family, but many researchers have found that your memorabilia makes it harder for others to picture their own family in your home. Like most things, however, there must be a balance of having an inviting and personal place versus making it simply a house that anybody can live in.
- The Kitchen Impression is the Only Impression:This is very similar to professional interview studies. Just as employers will make up their mind in the first 30 seconds of meeting potential employees, a prospective buyer will make up their mind as soon as they see the kitchen. You could have an open floor plan, brand new carpet, the most amazing patio, but if your kitchen is dated, not only will this seriously damage the prospective buyer’s view of the home as a whole, but if they do choose to go through with the sale, they will most likely offer $10,000-$15,000 off the asking price.
- Light It Up: Lighting, although it can be easily changed, is another make or break it factor for prospective buyers. In their mind, it is much easier to add shade and a dim feel to the house and a lot harder to make a “dark” house look and feel lighter. Give them that “good light” feel by opening your shutters, replacing your light bulbs, trimming outdoor bushes that block sunlight, and changing lamp shades. You would rather give them a bright and cheery vibe 100% of the time then give them the opportunity to misinterpret or stress about what they could do themselves to improve the lighting situation.
- Find the Best Agent (for you): The process of buying and selling your home is not one intended for you to do alone. In the scary world of real estate, there is an agent out there (and for you buyers, right here) to listen to your concerns, give you expert advice, and walk through what should be a painless process with you.
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