When buyers are looking at homes, sellers have about 30 seconds to impress them. There are a few standard things homeowners can do to make themselves stand out Then, there are some tricks of the trade that really make sellers’ homes stand out.
The standard things homeowners can do are to have their grass cut, to de-clutter the place, and to depersonalize the home, that is, to take away the family pictures from the house to allow buyers the chance to picture themselves living there.
So what are the tricks of the trade? Here are a few:
1. Bake Cookies: When you walk into a bakery that has just freshly baked something, don’t you love that smell? Everyone does. Baking some cookies and then leaving them in the oven is a perfect way to “Febreeze” your house in a natural way. The fresh and inviting smell is a subtle way of making visitors feel warm, cozy and comfortable. Starbucks does it all the time with their coffee beans.
2. Staging DIY: When you walk into a pre-sale development or an Ikea, why do the show units show so well? Yup, it’s all staged. If you’re selling a vacant home, hiring a professional staging company will pay dividends in many ways. First, it can help buyers to imagine how luxurious they can make their home. Second, staging makes any home show extremely well and thus will almost always invite a higher offer making the cost of staging worthwhile. However, if you are still living at the home, obviously you cannot move everything out and hire a staging company to stage it, so I would recommend staging the home yourself. Try copying what Ikea and the presentation centers do. Do some research online, google “staged homes” and look at the images. Try to replicate the same look at your home using your own furniture. If your furniture is very outdated, you may need to make a few small purchases to compensate. Of course, you’d attempt to stage your home AFTER you de-clutter and de-personalize your home.
3. Detailing & Minor Upgrades: Buyers often point out little things when they look at homes, including faucets that are leaky, marks on the walls, the paint color on walls, messy lawn, unfamiliar and unwelcoming smells, door or closet hinges that don’t work, old appliances, old flooring, etc… Most buyers want a move-in ready home. That means, they don’t want to go through the hassle of fixing holes in the walls, painting walls, changing faucets or shower heads, replacing loose or broken tiles, replacing old appliances, etc… If buyers see these things, even if they like the home, they’ll use those “items” as ways to negotiate down your selling price significantly. It’s not worth it financially. They may ask for a $50,000 reduction (considering renovation costs + labor) in your selling price, but if you spend the time and money to detail your home, it may only cost you $5000, so that’s a significant savings. The added benefit is that it makes your home look in pristine move-in ready condition which definitely attracts more interest AND more offers than similar homes that have not been “dolled up”. Lastly, a detailed home leaves a positive lasting impression on buyers, saying, “this homeowner has well maintained their home”.
Applying these 3 tips will definitely help you to attract higher offers. Feel free to contact me for more ideas and tricks on selling your home.