Putting your home on the market means more than sticking a "For Sale" sign in the yard. You want it to sell fast and bring a premium price. To accomplish this, it needs to show well. What will buyers like? Have you maximized this? Before you pull the trigger, make sure these eight things are in action.
Selling a home begins before buyers walk through the door. A neglected yard and overgrown shrubs encourage them to drive right past. Either do it yourself or hire a landscaper to keep it mowed. Trim trees and hedges, weed flower beds, and dispose of any leaves or debris. Plant a few pleasing flowers and add some potted plants in front to create a nice look. But don't go overboard.
Create an Inviting Entrance
The entrance sets the stage for how well your home shows. Clear any mail, coats, or shoes out of the entry way so it doesn't look like the house lacks storage. Paint your entrance a neutral color and add interesting artwork on the walls. A nice rug and some candles lend an elegant touch.
De-clutter Every Room
Before putting your home on the market, walk through each room and note the junk or non-essentials. Have a mammoth garage sale, donate it to charity, or rent a temporary storage unit and move them there; anything that remains should be cleaned and organized neatly for maximum appeal. The less clutter in your house, the bigger it looks and the easier it is for buyers to picture themselves living there.
Repair and Replace
Getting a house ready to show demands mowing through a list of what needs to be done to improve your house. Replace burned out light bulbs, leaky faucets, chipped paint, and all other surface issues. These improvements help the house look well-taken care of.
Organize Hidden Space
Buyers will look in the cabinets and closets. Messy, overcrowded spaces are a turn-off and make a home look smaller than it is. Invest in some cabinet organizers and put them to work. Hang your clothes in an organized fashion in your closet and get rid of anything you have stuffed in the top and bottom of your closets.
Don't make potential buyers peer through a layer of dirt to see your home's potential. Even if your home is in a great community like the Magnificent Mile, cleanliness is still an expectation. Pay attention to corners and windows that don't get cleaned often. Clean the oven and shine the appliances. Dust the baseboards and make sure the bathroom mirror sparkles.
Follow Your Nose
Scents can sabotage selling a home. Strong smells are big negatives and should be addressed while you are getting your house ready to show. You may have gotten used to them and don't notice them any more, so ask an honest friend or realtor to walk through your house and identify any unsavory scents. Clean your carpets and purge any ill smells, and avoid cooking fragrant food on days your house shows.
Use Lighting to Your Advantage
Buyers love bright spaces. Rip down dark curtains and invest in light colored ones, or blinds. Keep them open during showings so the space looks larger and brighter. Remember that even little improvements pack a big punch when putting your home on market. Getting a house ready to show takes a bit of thought and elbow grease, and a little cash. Happily, the return on investment is big in terms of the house selling faster and for a higher price.
Ted Guarnero, REALTOR® is a full-time real estate agent with over 1000 homes sold and $400 million in sales. Working with Compass real estate offering professional and effective real estate services to help you succeed in the local real estate market. Visit www.seeChicagorealestate.com for information on downtown Chicago real estate and to get in touch with an expert in the Chicago real estate market. Before you hire your next Realtor call Ted Guarnero 855-See-Chicago, it's on the House !