1. Don’t Make It “Taste-Specific” • That fluorescent green paint in the living room may look good to you, but is likely an eyesore to prospective buyers • Unless you plan to keep your house forever, any improvements or renovations should be pretty “standard” work • Unusual colors, features, or finishes can be a big turn-off to buyers.
2. Stage your house • It’s completely understandable if your house has lots of stuff in it – after all, you’ve been living in it! • However, too much stuff or personalization makes your home look smaller and leaves buyers wondering if it’s enough space.
3. De-personalize • Take down those family photos, diplomas, and other personal items on display • You want the prospective buyers to picture themselves living there, not you • Consider replacing photos with neutral artwork or a half- empty bookshelf.
4. First impressions • Regardless of how nice your home is on the inside, the exterior is what buyers see first • An unkempt yard, dirty siding, or cracked concrete can set a negative tone for the showing.
5. Offer freebies • A home warranty should cost between $300 and $400 for the typical home and goes a long way toward offering buyers peace of mind • An offer to pay closing costs can lure in buyers without lots of cash, like those using FHA loans.
6. Empty those closets! • By packing half the stuff in your closets, it creates a sense of much more space • If your closets are packed full of clothes, like in the photo, buyers will have a tough time picturing their things fitting in the house.
7. Let there be light! • A bright house just looks more inviting to buyers • To increase the light in your home, you can – Remove drapes and window shades – Clean your windows – Increase the wattage of light bulbs – Trim trees and bushes near windows.
8. Be flexible • Don’t be too strict when it comes to showings • Buyers don’t want to be limited to small time windows, such as between 1 and 4 on weekends • Even if it’s inconvenient, go out of your way to accommodate requests for showings • A good rule of thumb is to always keep your house in showable condition when trying to sell.
9. Be realistic about the price • Know what other comparable homes in the area have sold for (not just their listing prices) • Remember, it doesn’t matter what you think your home is worth • If your home has been on the market for over 3 months without any offers, chances are it’s priced to high, or something else is turning buyers off.
10. Defer to the experts • Your real estate agent knows the market better than you do • Not only is the agent’s market knowledge useful, but they are a third party with no emotional investment in the process • If your real estate agent asks you to do something, it’s most likely a good idea.
If you are considering selling your Seattle area home, give us a call, text or email. Let us show you how to prepare your home for sale to get it sold quickly and for top dollar. After all, we are the local real estate experts!
-Steve and Sandra
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner
Windermere Real Estate