10 Tips for Making Your House Appealing to Buyers

For many homeowners, selling their house can be stressful and somewhat confusing. Whether you use a real estate salesperson or sell it yourself, you have to be objective. As a former real estate broker in South Florida, I sold many beautiful homes and some that weren’t so beautiful. But, there are ways to make your home more appealing to buyers.

1. Set a fair selling price.

You have to be objective and take into consideration what the market is for similar homes in your area. If you are considering having a real estate salesperson handle it for you, they will provide you with a market analysis and explain how they arrived at a fair selling price. They do this by checking the recent sales of homes similar to yours within your area, using steadfast parameters, such as square footage, number of rooms and bathrooms, lot size and view. But, there are also variables that are taken into consideration. Did you recently add a new roof, modernize your kitchen or add a pool? These variables will increase the selling price. If you decide to sell your home yourself, there are websites you can access that will give you an idea of a fair selling price, or you can contact the Property Appraiser’s office in your county to access the sale prices of like homes in your area.

2. Be objective.

Most sellers find it difficult to be objective. You have lived in your house for years and have formed an emotional bond. You think that the new wallpaper in the kitchen or the new carpet in the living room should be considered when setting a price. Unfortunately, that new carpet may not impress a buyer who wants tile or wood floors in their house and they absolutely hate the wallpaper that you chose. Buyers find it difficult to walk through your beautiful home and visualize it without the carpet or without the wallpaper. Simple things like this can send a buyer away.

3. Thoroughly clean your house.

Bathrooms and kitchens, including appliances, should be clean. If there is rust in your sinks or tubs, have the porcelain repaired, and clean the sliding doors in your shower. Make sure your oven is clean and organize the inside of your cabinets. Buyers will always look at these things.

4. Have your carpets professionally cleaned.

Even if your carpet is a little worn, a good cleaning will help. If you feel that it needs to be replaced, you can always offer a reduced sale price equal to what you would have paid to replace the carpet. That way, a buyer who wanted a different color carpet or tile or wood flooring doesn’t have to rip up the brand new carpet you just installed.

5. Touch up your walls with new paint.

If you are repainting an entire room, use neutral shades. Pay attention to the paint on the outside of your house. Touch up if you can. Clean the brown stains from the walls left by your sprinkler. If not, paint the house in a neutral shade or a shade accepted by your homeowner’s association.

6. Light some candles.

Fragrance candles are good if they all have the same scent. Place one in each room of the house.

7. Outside maintenance is important for a good first impression.

Clean your pool and remove all leaves. Mow your lawn and weed a little, too. Buyers love nicely maintained lawns and clean pool areas.

8. Store clutter away.

Put everything that is on top of your dressers into drawers, including your jewelry. Put all of your bathroom toiletries inside drawers or cabinets and hang some nice guest towels on the rack. If you are in the middle of moving to another home prior to selling your home, please be sure to store boxes in the garage. A buyer would rather see a totally empty house than one with boxes stacked everywhere.

9. Pets and litter boxes should be out of sight.

Pets should be kept outside or in the garage while showing your house. Some buyers do not like animals, regardless of how well-behaved they may be. If you have cats, make sure the litter box is not in the house.

10. Try to schedule appointments for buyers rather than walk-ins.

It might not always be possible to schedule a showing, and invariably, walk-ins will always happen just when you’re in the middle of cleaning or cooking. If possible, try to schedule the viewing time around dusk and turn on some low lighting. Homes always look better when the bright sun isn’t shining on all your windows (in case you haven’t had a chance to thoroughly clean all the windows). This way, the buyer can still see the outside area of your home, and the inside will look clean and cozy.

Buying a home is the single largest investment a family will make. Buyers will be finicky and their designing tastes will be different from yours. Keep in mind, you were a buyer once and I’m sure you will remember what you looked for when buying your house. Good luck.

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