Accurately determining property value is the most critical task to getting your property sold. Of course the marketplace and location are major factors, but some factors are within your control to improve.
Less is always more! Remove unnecessary furniture to open-up walkways, creating a home that feels spacious and lighter. This is truly an important step because photographs show the space differently than in person. Bulky or too much furniture is not flattering in the photographs displayed on the MLS, and we want to showcase a space that compels buyers to schedule a showing. At the very least, I encourage you to move furniture prior to having photos taken, and then put the furniture back in place if you wish. Pack up everything you can live without and store the boxes in the garage, shop, or a storage facility.
The best showings are when buyers see less of you and YOUR home, and more of them and their new home. Galleries of personal pictures on walls or the refrigerator distract buyers. Create an opportunity for the buyer to mentally place themselves and their furniture in your home. Selling your home is not about you – it is about your buyers. You are not showing off your possessions or family, instead you want buyers to envision themselves in your home and to imagine what they could do with your home-canvass.
We are all comfortable with different levels of cleanliness and no one expects your home to look and smell like a hospital. However…cleanliness is important when you’re selling your home. Pet smell counts! If your house is clean but has an overpowering pet smell, it will turn buyers away. I have arrived at homes to photograph them only to be nearly knocked over by pet smell, or floors so dirty I was afraid to set my purse down. This is especially true of rental homes being sold while occupied with tenants. Routinely, tenants are not happy about the property being listed for sale and they make little effort to clean. I suggest that rental owners hire a professional cleaner to clean the house for the tenants prior to photographs being taken. It matters.
Condition of the home begs these questions:
Is the home ‘dated’ or ‘updated’? It is a sad reality that a state-of-the-art home today can be harshly criticized 10-15 years later. Homes have become like wardrobes; you do not have to update them but it will be noticed if you do not, and talked about negatively.
Is the property well maintained? Except for investors who are eager to improve homes for large profits, most buyers want a home that has been loved and cared for. Deferred maintenance issues frequently kill deals during the inspection phase, or cost the seller money to fix problems before closing. Unfinished remodeling or overdue maintenance is expensive to a seller.
Is the home attractively decorated and furnished? Proper staging is an art. Not staging a home will cost you showings, perhaps offers, and likely money during the negotiations. A well-presented house may net you more money, or it could just make the home more saleable, meaning it will sell quicker because it competes better against other properties. Appropriate condition correlates to the market expectations for the price range. You do not have to follow every home fashion or trend, but you should do what is expected for the price range.