Selling Your Home: Dress Your Home For Sale Success
How To Dress Your Home For Sale Success
Listing your Washington, D.C. area home for sale is a lot like going for a job interview. In fact, a home for sale is looking for a new job with a new employer--a home buyer. Just as you would want to convey the best possible impression at your first meeting with a perspective employer--and every subsequent meeting--you’ll want your home to look sharp, competent, flexible and pleasant when potential buyers meet your home at open houses and showings.
Looking at your home as a job applicant suggests a number of important, proven ways you can prepare it for sale success.
- Start in the bath. Buyers are turned off by homes with “personal hygiene” problems. Cleaning your home from top to bottom--and keeping it that way--is the essential first step toward a successful sale. Not only must your home be clean, it must look and smell clean. For example, a recently shampooed carpet, though clean, may still have a permanent stain from a pet’s “accident” or a party spill. Consider having it professionally patched with a matching remnant or replacing the carpet altogether. So too, a strong odor of disinfectants or room fresheners--perhaps to cover mildew or pet smells--will have the same disagreeable effect as a person overdosed with after-shave or perfume.
- Pay attention to details. Walking into a job interview with a hole in your jacket, broken-down shoes or threadbare shirt cuffs isn’t likely to leave the best impression on an interviewer. By the same token, if your home looks unkempt at showings, how is it likely to show up for the job after the sale? And what unseen things might also be wrong with it? Be sure to repair or replace anything in your home that shows signs of wear and tear, or that simply doesn’t work. That means new caulk for tubs and shower stalls; patches and paint for scraped-up, hole-ridden walls; new hardware for door knobs and other fixtures that have lost their finish; unsticking windows; greasing squeaky door hinges; and so on. Home buyers have enough to do without a list of details that need to be handled before they can live comfortably in their new home.
- Get a trim. A great hair cut can go a long way toward creating a good impression. So, too, you should trim up your home’s landscaping--lawn, shrubs, hedges and flower beds--for an orderly look that complements the best features of your home.
- Dress appropriately. You wouldn’t wear a ‘50s poodle skirt to a job interview. Nor should your home look dated, with old colors and styles that have long outlived yesterday’s trend. Today’s buyers want neutral colors for walls, carpeting and long-life features such as countertops and appliances. Not only are neutral colors in fashion, they also appeal to the widest range of buyers’ tastes. For example, just about any color scheme of furnishings can fit with light beige or off-white walls. (Remember, except for cleaning, repainting yields the most fix-up impact for the least amount of money.)
- Be bright. Whether people meet your home during the day or at night, it will look best with lots of light. Consider removing window treatments that cut outside light. Replace bulbs in lamps and light fixtures with the highest wattage they can take. Install lighting in areas where it’s needed. Leave interior doors and curtains open for showings.
- Exhibit potential. Buyers want to know that the home has worked well for you, but even more so, that it can work well for them. That can be difficult for buyers to see, however, if your “stuff” overpowers the home itself. The best approach is to pare down your household goods to the essentials, taking out furniture, knick-knacks, collections, memorabilia, family photos, toys, sporting and exercise equipment, extra clothes, etc. (Remove them to off-site storage until after the sale.) Getting rid of the extras will make the home look more spacious and efficient. It will also help take you (the former employer) out of the picture, allowing buyers the ability to visualize the home as their own, serving their unique needs.
- Call in a pro. Like job markets, housing markets are constantly changing. Having up-to-the-minute information about buyers and what they want is essential for putting your home’s “best foot forward.” That’s where Buckman Realtors can help!
We’ll be happy to work with you to showcase your home’s best qualities. Not only can we help dress it for a fast sale, we’ll make sure you get to the settlement table with the best price and contract terms. Call us today!