Right now – inventory is low, interest rates are low and it’s still a seller’s market, but that doesn’t mean you can be sloppy if you are selling your home. Houses get the most traffic in the first week or so, and right now most are under contract in that time. If yours sits there it will quickly raise suspicion – I think of it as having a “bad smell” to buyers – they wonder WHY it hasn’t gone and may avoid it. Don’t miss this golden window of opportunity by turning buyers off when they walk into your home. Especially because in this market they will likely be paying premium prices.
I also have a checklist that you can download (for FREE) of things to do to make sure your home gets sold QUICKLY and for the best possible price and did a video on this topic as well.
Click here! http://bit.ly/MSPMaryHomePrepChecklist
In this post I want to give you guys a list of 8 related things that you should take care of before you let the first buyer in the door.
This one I can’t emphasize enough! Even as an agent previewing for someone, smells can drive me right back out the door. We’re talking about pets, moisture / mustiness, food odors like fried foods and strong spices, old food in the fridge, cigarettes (!!), and even air fresheners.
I’ve developed migraines in minutes when walking into a home that was hosed down with air freshener. Artificial scents can make people feel quite sick (even scented candles) and they also lead you to wonder what is being covered up?
Cigarette smoke is another one – I don’t see this all that often anymore, but I did go into a home that had obviously been owned by a heavy smoker. Even with all of the windows open it felt like we were in an ash tray. Depending on the severity of this, the walls should be painted with an oder killing primer and then paint, carpets & drapery removed etc. There isn’t a big market for homes that need to be remediated in order to live in them.
Check your fridge – people open refrigerators when they are looking at homes. We did and we regretted it. The seller had left fish in there for well past the time when it should have been cooked or thrown away and the smell nearly knocked us out. We didn’t make it past the kitchen.
I don’t think this is just a MN thing… If you hunt or fish (and a LOT of people here do), take the dead animals off your wall when you go to sell. You can rehang them in your new home, but keep in mind that you are trying to appeal to the largest possible audience and you want to refrain from alienating people.
I love dogs but not everyone does. Not everyone enjoys having a dog nose pushed into their nether regions, and many don’t enjoy “kisses” either. Your pet may also have some territorial feelings that surprise you and they may nip, bark or jump on people who are there to see the home.
Cats are usually easier – but they can be sneaky and slip out of an open door. NO ONE wants to be responsible for your pet escaping. If you have a cat, make sure that the litter box is sparkling clean. See “odors”. I’ve also looked at home with people that have kids who do not know what a litter box is… that’s fun when they think its a little sandbox! yuck.
Other animals – snakes, lizards, rodents etc. Remove them if you can, and if you can’t make sure the cage is secure and very clean.
Do you have an inkling that there might be a mouse? Seen a roach a time or two? Ants in the kitchen? Does Fido have fleas? Please make sure that ALL of these are handled before a potential buyer gets an unwelcome surprise.
I’m going to say specifically in the BATHROOM. If you have carpet in the bathroom or the KITCHEN (I’ve seen it!), remove it and have a hard floor installed. That just screams DIRT. No one wants to buy someone else’s dirt. They don’t.
And if you have wall to wall carpet elsewhere, have it professionally cleaned before showing the home. This will help with any potential odors as well. (It’s a theme).
If you have acoustic tile ceilings in any room, it would be worth your while to have them replaced with drywall. This also applies to popcorn ceilings, people are very turned off by this. If the drywall underneath is good, it may be possible to just scrape this and paint.
Limited access to the building while you have a buyer looking at it will raise some questions. No one’s mind jumps to “that’s where they have their jewelry” – it’s usually more like “is that where they are keeping the bodies?”. Always lead with transparency and don’t introduce doubt or assume that someone will come back to take another look.
People don’t always replace all of their appliances at once, but if you’ve got avocado green & stainless steel it can be a glaring change and reinforce exactly how old the green appliance is. Some things (like refrigerators and dishwashers) can be inexpensively updated to match new ones with either a panel or appliance paint to give a cohesive look to a kitchen. It can be worth it to do this if the older items are in a good condition, if not, it is definitely a selling point to have new appliances in a home and knocks down an objection right off the bat.