This is the time of year people get the itch to sell their homes. Whether you have been waiting for spring to come, or the beautiful sunny days have you thinking about making a big move, here is some wise advice on what to focus on while you are getting ready.
I have been selling real estate for 18 years in the CSRA and I have seen a lot of homes. Back some years ago, I remember having a home for sale that I felt was less than desirable in so many ways. I vividly remember the smell of dog urine that BURNED my nose and I definitely had to throw my shoes away after visiting it, yet, these wise words from a colleague still ring true, there’s a buyer for every house.
Can you believe this Columbia County home, which was full of chihuahuas, sold for OVER the asking price and within 1 week of hitting the market?? It smelled terrible, but they had a few things they had done right, and it made the difference. Side note, they asked us to remove all the floors and replace them and treat the subflooring to get the smell out, and we did it. I am guessing this was back in 2014 or so.
So, what was done right?
First thing I can say is that it was on a large Harlem lot, and they had the most beautifully maintained yard with a horse stable. Everything outside was immaculate. The yard and all the “desirable” things about this home were maintained and cleaned. So, if your yard has no appeal, start today to get it fixed up right! Great curb appeal takes years to develop, but there are always things you can improve right away. Having nice curb/yard appeal is top on the list of things to focus on.
Next thing they had done well was the inside was clean. It just smelled bad! Most people think cleaning is just straightening up and putting things away, but that’s not really cleaning. Buyers will overlook clutter, even though I don’t recommend you leave your home cluttered. Mainly because it looks terrible in pictures, but they cannot look past a gross and dirty home. To really clean a home, you need to go room from room and clean everything – baseboards, walls, door trim, windows and window frames, HVAC vents, under and behind all your furniture, switch plates, cobwebs, and anything you see that looks greasy or grimy! Honestly, you can watch a video on “how to” clean anything these days.
The last thing I can say they did well was keeping the home updated and in style. The inside was very timely decorated. They had the most popular colors for their decor and their things were not dated. This is a hard one because not everyone cares about this personally, but if your furniture is old and dated, people naturally feel like the home is old and dated. Let’s be honest, most people have a hard time envisioning something other than what is right in front of them. I don’t want you to get rid of Grandma’s favorite chair, I just want you to cover it with a blanket that is trendy or put it in storage until you’ve sold your home! This is the hardest part to get right, but if your home is clean and your yard is well-manicured, you should be able to minimize some of your home furnishings and boom, you have a super desirable home for sale.
I know it is hard to make these decisions on what to do and what not to do to sell your home, and lucky for you, there are about 3000 local realtors who would love to give you a free consultation and some advice on what to do. Just promise me one thing, take their advice!
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