Tips for Sellers Before Listing
Figuring out what needs to be done in order to present your home to the market can be overwhelming.
My pre-listing consultations are free of charge and no obligation. The busy selling season runs from January through mid-August, so if you are even thinking about moving, it’s not too early to meet to and strategize.
De-Clutter, De-Personalize & Stow Away: One reason why buyers often think they want new construction is because they like the idea of a clean-slate. We all collect an amazing amount of stuff; getting rid of it now will make your move easier. Think of a furniture showroom and try to minimize your personal effects. Buyers have a hard time seeing past personal photographs and heirlooms and often are distracted by them. Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Leave just enough furniture in each room to show its purpose and plenty of room for buyers to move around. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. A friend of mine used to say to sellers “every trip to the dump is another $1,000 in your pocket.”
If oil was ever used to heat your home, you may have an underground oil tank on your property. In the not-so-distant past, it was the norm to “properly abandon” tanks by filling them with sand and leaving them in the ground. Abandoned tanks are no longer accepted by buyers (and their attorneys) and sellers should be prepared have any tanks on their property removed. If you have a working oil tank to heat your home, buyers will be testing it to make sure it is not leaking. Make sure to have tank insurance with your oil provider just in case there is an issue. Many oil companies will pay to have in-ground tanks moved to your basement as part of their policy.
Staging – A Must In Today’s Market: Web appeal is the new curb appeal – you don’t want buyers to think, “I wonder who lives here?” You want buyers to say: “I can see myself living here.” I am happy to offer my staging advice. In many circumstances, my professional stagers will do a complimentary consultation to help your home make the right statement. These staging pictures show the difference–which home would you want to see?
If you are looking to get started a little early, I recommend hiring a painter to patch and touch-up areas. Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have busy wallpaper or brightly colored rooms.
Worn bedspreads and towels are best replaced–this is a win-win. Once you have sold your current house, you’ll have fresh linens for your new home and buyers will have “bought them for you” by bidding more on your current property than they would have if it had been filled with dated possessions.
While the internet is now your “first showing,” pictures can be, and often are, touched up. If a buyer does’t like the exterior of your home, they won’t buy it. Go outside and see if the house looks welcoming to you? Painting faded window and door trim makes a difference. Examine the front path and steps. In Winter, keep sidewalks and paths shoveled. In Spring, plant flowers or group flower pots together — yellow has been rumored to evoke a buying emotion.