Competition in today’s house selling market can be very intense in some areas. Your home is on in competition not in isolation. So its important no matter whether you are the only house for sale or needing your house to stand out among other houses that are for sale – that your house excels in the eyes of potential buyers!
Today’s buyers are super educated (thanks to the internet) and very time poor. This means that you can very quickly be ON or OFF their shopping list. As they say, you one get once chance at a first impression.
Here are nine quick and effective ways to ensure your house shines brighter than other homes. Selling a house is based on psychological factors, so its important to make sure you are meeting those factors by implementing these nine tips to impress home buyers and sell your house faster and for the best price!
1. Great listing photos
Over 98% of buyers look first online to determine the homes they want to see when getting ready to buy a home. Be sure your photos are top notch. Photos should be clear, with good lighting, no shadows, people or animals in photos. The more photos the better. Have at minimum at least 15 photos of your house – anything less gives the impression of indifference in showing your house to best advantage.
Even small homes need great photos and a lot of them! For example, if you list 4 bedrooms 3 bathrooms, every one of these rooms should be photographed. Why, because you don’t want buyers wondering what the other rooms look like and if there is a reason you are not showing these other rooms. Other important areas in and around the house to include: front, back and side lawns – living room, family room, kitchen, dining areas.
2. Enticing curb appeal
In just under five seconds people can like or dislike a house based on the curb appeal as they drive up and/or walk up to a house. You only get one chance at a first impression so make sure you have a winning curb appeal. The lawn and curb spaces should be neat and clean; any plants in front of windows should be trimmed down for buyers to see the whole window. Remove any stains or dirty areas on driveway, walkway or porch. Make sure all cobwebs and dust around front door are cleared.
Consider painting the front door with a fresh coat of paint (use an inviting color: blue, yellow, red, or black to set off the look of your house’s front entrance. If hardware on the front door and the lights by the front door are over 5 years in age consider replacing with updated hardware and new lights. TIP: a small investment in updated hardware and lights can pay off with a great first impression and help you get the price you want for your house.
3. Smelling Good
Be sure last nights dinner, or animal odors are banished. If your air conditioning is on, be sure the filter is clean and no mold or odors can be detected. Don’t burn candles to hide old odors, as the scent may seem fine to you, but could be overwhelming to a buyer. Buyers may wonder why you need to have a heavy scent burning, what is it covering up?
Don’t cook cookies in oven, because buyers may not like the smell you choose. Stay as close to a fresh air scent as possible – that does not hold animal or food odors. TIP: set out a fresh bowl of citrus on the kitchen counter and a vase of eucalyptus in the dining room or living room to help enhance with a fresh scent.
4. Create Good flow for Buyers Walking Through The House
Buyers should not have to be hopping over furniture or swinging around furniture to walk through the rooms in a house. Less furniture gives a more spacious flow and most buyers prefer a more open look. If your dining area is tight to move around in, remove and store at least 2 of the chairs to give a roomier feel as buyers walk around this area.
TIP: Make sure you have a floor plan included with the listing photos or as a handout when buyers visit your house, to make it easier for buyers to remember the houses’ layout and room sizes .
5. Lots of light
Open all drapes and window treatments so lots of light is filling each room. All lamps and other lights should be turned on even during the day when showing your house. Buyers react positively to a home that has lots of light and they can see every corner of each room. TIP: Use 100 watt bulbs in lamps and make sure they are all turned on when showing your house.
6. Appearance of being well maintained
Take care of any cracks, chips and marks on walls. These types of marks should be repaired and removed before your photographs are taken and a buyer ever steps foot in your house. Maybe you have maintained your home well, but just haven’t got around to that small crack on a step by the front door – don’t delay, do something about it. Buyers perceive small unmaintained areas such as cracks, chips or marks on walls as an indication of how a seller has maintained their home.
TIP: do not let small blemishes give potential buyers a negative vibe, take care of them, have an extra set of eyes look over your house either your agent or friend.
7. Looking Spotless
Check that all dust and cobwebs are gone, that skirting and corners look clean with no smudges. Be sure all fabric furniture, rugs, corners and areas of the every room are thoroughly cleaned. This may mean hiring a cleaning crew for a detail / vacant clean. Buyers review a house with a critical eye, and a clean house translates to a well-kept house.
TIP: a fresh coat of paint on the walls and skirtings is the cheapest way to give a very positive impression for a clean move-in-ready house.
8. Sparkling Large Kitchen Appliances – No matter what color appliances you have chosen, stainless steel, black, gray or white, make sure they sparkle. If your appliances are over five years of age, consider replacing them. It is not necessary to replace with top of the line appliances, however, large appliances should look new and sparkling and be the appropriate size for the area they are filling (in other words, don’t replace a double door refrigerator with a tiny version to save money, as it will look awkward and out of place, defeating creating a positive impression for potential buyers).
TIP: a home that is considered a luxury home needs appropriate appliances – the brand of large kitchen appliances are expected to look like appliances for a chef /gourmet style kitchen – be sure to match that expectation.
9. Get Rid Of the Clutter
Any collections whether they are family pictures, small sculptures, sports awards, certificates, etc. are distracting – remove and store them for your new home. Remember buyers want to see themselves in your house as their home, too much of your “stuff” takes away this vision and makes buyers move onto the next house where they can find that vision.
TIP: when packing and storing items for your move, do not put them in the garage or spare room – because that will defeat the buyer’s view that they will have lots of room in your house, store these items away from the house.