How to Sell a Difficult Home

As a seller, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to have your home too personalized.

Painting murals of Winnie the Pooh in the kid’s room, purple wallpaper in the master bedroom, or decorative orange stripes in the dining room were probably a good idea at the time, but most buyers will say, “What were they thinking?”

What most buyers want is a home that is move-in ready. There are four easy steps to make a house that is a liability and a non-mover on the real estate market into a house that entices people to place an offer.

Begin your improvements on the outside. It is not a myth when a real estate agent states that curb appeal is everything. Many first impressions are made before even getting out of the car.

Take a critical look at the outside of your home. Does it need a new paint job or just some touch up? Are the gutters clean, and in good working order? Does the landscape say ‘Welcome home’ or scream, ‘Seymour, feed me!’?

Some easy fixes are updating with modern outside light fixtures, new house numbers and a freshly painted front door. Trimming the bushes, tidying the landscaping, and putting in fresh annuals will add to the curb appeal for a house. Above all, mow the lawn. An uncut lawn raises warning flags in a potential buyer, if you don’t care about the lawn, then what does it say about the home inside?

The second step in helping your home sell is making sure the inside looks as good as the outside.

Clear the clutter. It’s just like our mother used to say, clutter makes the house look dirty. It also alerts the buyer to the fact that there is a lack of storage, more than likely making them head to the next home on the list.

Paint the rooms in the house with neutral colors. Light to medium colors are best, as they make a room look larger. If you’re overwhelmed by all the color choices, ask your real estate agent or your local paint expert at the hardware store. The best choices are neutral creams and light browns, as they tend to go with any dÃ?©cor.

Make sure that the ceilings do not have stains, and the trim is clean and freshly painted. Pull the curtains back and open your blinds to let the sunlight in, show casing the windows in the home. Make sure that the windows are clean, both inside and out, because sunlight will highlight any smudge or dirt, reducing the positive visual impact..

Check the floors, whether carpeting, tile or wood, and make sure that they’re freshly cleaned. Check the edges, corners, and behind the doors where dirt tends to accumulate. Buyers will notice!

The third item on the list is making the most of every room.

Take a good look at each room and decide where the focal point is, then arrange your furniture to showcase it. Place couches and chairs in conversation groups facing the fireplace or entertainment center, making sure that the traffic pattern makes for ease of movement through out the room.

The kitchen is the heart of the home. Clear the clutter off of the refrigerator and countertops. Clean cabinets, donating or selling or sell items you don’t use anymore, and throw the old and broken things away. Then arrange the items inside neatly to showcase that there is plenty of storage. For a bigger impact in the kitchen, update the faucets and lighting.

If finances allow, renovating your kitchen is the number one home improvement, and in real estate surveys show the most consistent financial payoff. Something as simple as new paint and countertops can result in thousands of dollars added in your selling price.

In the dining-room, place your table under the lighting. If the table is adjustable in size, use the smallest configuration to make the room look larger. Set the table as if preparing for a dinner party, placing fresh flowers in the center to add color and pizzazz to the room.

All bathrooms need to be spotless with freshly cleaned floors, bathtubs, showers, mirrors, sinks, and toilets. Place clean and neat towels in all bathrooms, and replace the shower curtains with something that adds style. If you have extra funds in the budget, updating fixtures in the bathroom will add to the overall condition and appeal to buyers. New faucets, updated lighting and even new cabinetry will all add money to your sale, typically returning more than the cost of these changes.

Bedrooms are a sanctuary, for both adults and children. Arrange the furniture so that the room looks larger, placing oversize pieces in storage if necessary. Make sure everything is dusted, the beds are made, and the floors are clean.

Check the closets, and take this time to get rid of outgrown, ripped or torn clothing. Rearrange the remaining clothing and shoes by color and style. Taking this extra step makes the closet look larger, and impresses the buyer.

Take a step into your garage. Is it cluttered and dirty? Can you get your car inside? Maybe it’s time to throw or give away the things that you do not use, like those old half full cans of paint, half inflated basketballs and boxes of broken toys.

Go through the garage and get rid of all of the chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, etc. that you do not use, or are no longer good. Most moving companies will not move these items, so it makes sense to get dispose of them beforehand. Hold a yard sale to get rid of the old bikes, clothes, tires, etc. or load up your car and take it all to your local charity, and get a well deserved tax deduction.

If the garage is dark and dingy, paint it a light color and rearrange everything to make the space look larger, and enjoy being able to park the car inside.

Where is the most popular spot that people play or relax during the summer? The backyard, of course.

The patio or deck is the jewel in the crown of a desirable backyard. Make sure it is de-cluttered, clean, and in good shape. You can rent a pressure washer, or hire someone to clean it. Then, stain and seal it, assuring it looks fresh. Place inexpensive pots of colorful flowers around and again, make sure that the yard is mowed and well trimmed.

Pets can be a liability, make sure that they are in the backyard, in their kennel or placed with a friend during any showings, and make sure their accoutrements are clean and out of the way.

The fourth and final step of getting your home ready to sell is to edit your accessories.

What this means is pack up your personal photos, your collections of knick-knacks and your kids’ toys. Keep the surfaces and walls uncluttered, it will make it easier for a buyer to imagine themselves in their new home.

Turn on all of the lights, then do a final walk-through and feel the satisfaction knowing that you’ve made the house into a home for some lucky buyer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


seven + 4 =