You see your home through your heart. To get the highest price and have your home show its best, you have to appeal to potential buyers who will see your home through cold, calculating eyes. If buyers have the choice between two comparable properties that are similar in price, they will choose the one in the best condition.
The following list will help you give the interior of your home its greatest presence.
1) Get the home aired out. Someone who lives in a place is the last person to notice any peculiar odor that may be obvious to visitors. However, if you do notice any bad odor, search for and destroy its source.
2) Wash all the windows inside and out. Clean the window sills and the bottoms of the window jams. Wash the blinds and vacuum the drapes.
3) If your carpets look dirty or have not been cleaned in over a year, clean them. Buyers only know what they see .. not the way it is going to be. Unless your home is a “fixer”, badly worn or very out of date carpets should be replaced before coming on the market. Offering a buyer a credit to pick their own new carpet or discount off the price is far less effective and usually ends up costing more money and slowing down the selling process. Pick a light colored short plush or Berber carpet. Realtor beige is a safe color.
4) Clean or polish all floors.
5) Clean all the closets, cabinets, and drawers. Get rid of things you have not used in the past five years and pack everything that you have not used the past year (this will also give you a head start on moving).
6) Make sure the closets look like they have enough room to hold additional items. Make sure doors do not stick and nothing will fall out when opened. Get everything off the floor (unless very neatly arranged) and do not have the shelves piled to the ceiling. If necessary, box up off-season clothes (this is another head start on moving). All coats should be facing in the same direction.
7) There should not be too much furniture in the rooms. You will be far better off selecting the pieces that look best and putting the others in the garage or in storage.
8) Make sure fireplace mantels are not overloaded with items on display. A couple of well-placed items like a vase or small flower arrangement are all that is needed. ,
9) Make the fireplace a focal point, the star of the room. Arrange seating to face the fireplace. Remove the television, if large and in a formal living room.
10) Clear the ashes out of any fireplace if it is not being used.
11) Clear out family photos and all other items that say “You do not live here” to a potential buyer. Fill any holes and touch up paint from taking them down.
12) Put maximum safe wattage of light bulbs in all fixtures.
13) Clean all wall switches and replace broken plates.
14) Make sure that any pull-down staircase is strong enough to be used safely.
15) Consider whether the posters currently in your children’s rooms are likely to offend any buyers. If so, store those posters for now.
16) Remove all ashtrays. If there is a smoker in the residence, all smoking must be outside (not in garage) while property is on the market.
17) Invest in some new and luxurious bedding (comforter, sheets, and accent pillows). You can take them when you move, and they will improve the look of the bedrooms while your current house is on the market.
18) If your house is the least bit dated, consider changing items that will increase your home’s desirability such as dated wallpaper, light fixtures, etc.
The kitchen may be the most important room in the home. Clean this room like your sale depends on it- because it does!
1) Clean the oven and keep it clean; even if this means eating out (or getting deliveries) more often.
2) After cleaning the range, put new drip pans under the burners or foil over the old ones.
3) Clean around the seal of the dishwasher door.
4) Look at the kitchen as if you were a health home inspector. Paying particular attention to:
- Garbage area
5) Make certain you get rid of all junk, broken or cracked dishes. Also remove disorganized items that have accumulated in the kitchen drawers and cabinets.
6) Keep everything put away that can be put away, especially on counters.
7) Check the cabinet doors and door handles for fingerprints.
1) Put soaps and supplies in cabinets or containers.
2) Keep counters and sink clean and empty.
3) This is one room to take special care with lighting. Many laundry rooms are way too dark. Upgrade wattage in light fixtures if safe to do so.
Make sure that any pull-down staircases, such as to an attic are working. Be sure that there is a working light in the attic, if equipped.
1) Repair all leaky faucets.
2) Caulk bathtubs, showers, and sinks.
3) Coordinate towels in one or two colors. Fold clean towels in thirds and hang onto racks each day. Purchase new towels if necessary.
4) Clear all items out of shower stalls and tubs except for necessities.
5) Clean or replace shower curtains.
6) If necessary, remove the shower door for cleaning. Use solution of one part muriatic acid to 10 parts water (use goggles when mixing), then scrub with plastic scouring pad and rinse clean.
7) Fresh flower arrangements do wonders for a bathroom, both in appearance and aroma. No plug-in air fresheners or scented candles.
8) If you have pets, be sure to clean around their food areas and empty litter boxes frequently. ·
1) Clean and sweep garage. Consider painting walls flat white and floors light gray.
2) Store any dangerous tools and arrange others neatly. Use containers and tool boxes as necessary.
3) Check garage windows and screens. Windows should be clean and screens free of rips and tears. Windows should be checked for cracks and holes. Replace as needed.
Remove all “junk” from the attic, closets, garage, and tool sheds. Large storage areas appeal to buyers. Rent a storage unit and clear out as much as possible to make your home feel open and roomy.
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It has never been a better time to sell a home, especially in San Antonio. Summer is upon us, school is out, and the South Texas heat is raging. Along with the real estate market. One benefit to home shoppers is the abundance of new construction communities popping up in what seems like every major area of the city and surrounding areas. Builders often allow buyers to take advantage of closing cost concessions, upgrade allowances, premium lots, and many more other incentives that come with the standard new home warranty.
How does it get better than that???
If you are one of the unfortunate few who purchased a new home recently in an incomplete neighborhood and you absolutely have to move, these new construction benefits can create a real challenge for you as you try to sell a home. It’s a tall task, but it can be done.
1. Price it right.
Many homeowners and real estate agents alike make the mistake of using a newly built home as a comparable to a home that sold a few years back. Although it’s tough for some homeowners to stomach, a buyer will pay a premium for a new build. It is imperative that the list price of the house be chosen based off of other pre-owned home sales in the area.
If there are zero pre-owned home sales to compare to, look a little harder, or choose to price the house below the new builds for a more enticing offer. In my opinion, pricing is the single most important factor when selling a home. Especially if you are needing to sell quickly.
2. Advertise any upgrades that have been made to the home.
When that beautiful new home was built two years ago, did you add any upgrades that don’t come standard to builder’s current offering? Any upgrades that have been made to the house since it was built or during construction should be openly advertised when selling the house. That pool in the backyard, the oversized covered patio, the outdoor kitchen, or those custom cabinets will all be a big plus to potential buyers. These upgrades are one less thing that the buyer will have to pay for on their own.
3. Offer similar incentives that the builders are offering.
Like we talked about above, one of the perks of new construction is that the national builders can offer to cover a large portion of the buyer’s closing costs, give allowances for upgrades, or give discounts on the original listing price for specials. Although you as a seller don’t have the capital to offer quite as much as the multi-million dollar companies that build these new home communities, you can offer to cover a portion of the closing costs. Advertising that you are offering $5,000.00 (or more if you’re willing) towards a buyer’s closing costs for the first two weeks only will be a huge plus for most buyers. This is especially true if your house is in the prime price range for first time home buyers. First time home buyers typically have less cash on hand to pay towards a new home.
4. Capitalize on being in an established section of the neighborhood.
More than likely, if you have been living in your house for two years or more, your section of the neighborhood, or at least your street, will be complete. This means no concrete pours at 5:00am, no tractor trailers driving past your house, no construction crews playing loud music next door, and less litter from those same groups. Utilize this in your advertising! This is a huge negative that I have heard from buyers considering to purchase new builds. One of the first questions I hear is, “When will the neighborhood be complete?”
5. Provide Buyer’s Agent incentives.
It is no secret that the buyers will look to their real estate agent for advice when purchasing their home. Some builders will offer to pay buyer’s real estate agents a bonus for their client purchasing a home. Can you guess which new construction communities most agents will take their clients to first? As a seller, you can capitalize on this too. Have your listing agent note in the MLS and the Agent Remarks that an agent bonus is being offered with the same two week deadline of the closing costs. Creating this deadline gives that sense of urgency to come see your home.
Selling your house in direct competition with new builds will never be an easy task, but it can be done. Take the approach that would most attract you if you were to buy this house all over again. Your listing agent will have the expertise of what works and what doesn’t in the area so be sure to consult with them first and foremost. At the end of the day, selling a home is attention marketing. Create a plan to have as many people see your house as possible and have the house prepared to impress when the buyer does schedule the showing.