How to get Top Dollar for your Home – without breaking the Bank
How to get Top Dollar for your Home. First of all, your home has to be in tip-top shape. Therefore, make your home show like a model. The first impression is important to make buyers want your property and pay more to get it. If they can bitch about a lot of things, you will most likely end up lowering the price or losing the deal at all.
“So, what can I do?” you may ask yourself. You love your home and you think it is absolutely flawless. Correct, that’s what every home seller thinks about his property and it is far from unusual. However, this approach gets you nowhere. You need to step back a little and try to forget that you are the owner of this lovely house. Of course, this home full of memories, but they are your memories and nobody cares.
Try to look at your home through potential buyers’ eyes. For them there is absolutely no sentimental value; this home will cost them x-amount of dollars and if they don’t see the true value they will walk and decide to buy another home.It is as simple as that.
Imagine you are on house hunt. You are pulling up in front of your home. The first 10 seconds will already be crucial. A lot of things are happening – even in your subconscious mind. You will immediately recognize the overall appearance of the home. Without having inspected the property thoroughly your guts know already if it is right or wrong what you see.
Is this prejudice? Is it unfair? Maybe, but that is how our brains work. So, what happens. Your subconscious mind says:” Stop! Something smells fishy!” Now you are on alert and you are looking for clues. If you see the messy and overgrown landscaping – you will conclude that the interior is messy, too! You notice that the exterior paint is bad and has cracks – you will automatically assume that the interior is also not well maintained. When the first impression was bad you will probably not have the chance to make a second good impression.
How to get top dollar for your home: Solution Step 1
You need to work on the curb appeal. A well- groomed exterior will tell the buyer that the inside of the house is also well maintained. Repaint the house, paint the mailbox, paint the front door, wash aluminum and vinyl sided homes, check the garage door and try to keep the lawn spotless. Brown spots are either an indication for pest infestation (chinch bugs) or a problem with the sprinkler system. Both will knock a dent into your “first good impression”.
People buy with their eyes, ears and noses. Remember, you’re not alone on this planet. You are competing with other resale homes, and you are competing with brand new homes, too. Many baby-boomers are buying brand new because they do not want to buy other people headaches. They like warranties and they like the fact that they do not have to deal with roof issues until the end of their life.
How to get top dollar for your home: Solution Step 2
Step #2 is all about “removing and replacing”. Remove dust and pet hair, shampoo the carpet, remove odors, and clear out unnecessary furniture to make the rooms bigger. You want to feel the “flow”. Is there anything obstructing your way when you walk through the home? Does it look clean? Can you smell that there is a pet in the home? Check again and again. Ask friends, neighbors, whoever comes into your home what the feel/smell/see.
Clear off kitchen counters, remove the tacky refrigerator magnets, and scrub the counter tops, cabinets and oven. Don’t forget to clean under the sink. Yes, at least 50% of home-buyers will open the under sink cabinet and check for leaks and bugs. We have noticed that for some people this is kind of an obsession. Clean the bathrooms and replace the shower curtain if possible. If you can afford it, update the lighting. Paint walls in neutral colors and remove as much wallpaper as possible. People hate wallpaper! Those wallpapers with flowers on are a real deal breaker. Fix things that need fixing and polish up your lighting fixtures.
De-clutter and organize closets and remove excess stuff. If closets look too small you lost most likely already the deal.
Try to remove your pets during the showings. If people are allergic to cat hair they may freak out when three room tigers are peeking around the corner.
Can you do more to accelerate the sale? Of course you can. After you went through the first two steps you can look at the overall picture again. Does it still look camped, busy, tired? If you are not sure what to do ask an independent person what he/she would think.
How to get top dollar for your home: Solution Step 3
Step #3 is called “stage your home for sale”. By rearranging the furniture you can establish a focal point of the room and you can create clear pathways through your home. If you have a budget you should replace that old couch or table with something inexpensive but newer. Window drapes are crucial. If they are outdated and look tired do yourself a favor and invest in new ones. Dress up your dining room table as if you were having guests for dinner.
Do you need to remove all personal items, such as family photos, unusual artwork and the collection of things you designed with loving attention to detail? Yes and no. The answer to this is not so clear. If it detracts and if it can be offensive (nude picture etc.) it should be locked away. First of all, buyers tend to try to “read” from the pictures why the seller is selling. Does he look old? He probably needs to sell. “Oh, look here, here he is with a shiny new Mercedes. That guy is filthy rich and has already enough money.” Yes, that happens! We have actually dealt with people like that. Are they idiots? Morons? We don’t know. It is probably the nature of us humans. We try to find clues, we like to investigate, to evaluate. Otherwise nobody would watch reality TV or read those tabloids.
It may simply be distracting because of what you see in the picture. Trying to figure out where the picture was taken and who is on the picture and when it was taken is a popular game. Well, some people are bustling with curiosity.
Last topic: Does my home sell faster when I bake cookies before a showing or an open house? Maybe, at least it doesn’t seem to hurt….and Realtors like cookies, too.
Now, if this sounds like a lot of work,….. it is. But every hour you put into preparing your home to put it on the market will result in a faster sale at a higher price. If you want Top Dollar for your Home your home needs to be in Tip Top shape.