BY SYBILLE C. DENNINGER
The sun is shining today, it's not freezing cold, and that spring is not too far off somehow seems like an actual possibility :-)
Now is a great time to prepare for putting your house up for sale because inventory is low right now, spring is always perfect for new beginnings, and it is a seller's market which means your property should sell quicker and closer to your asking price. The still very competitive mortgage rates contribute to this favorable real estate sales scenario as well.
Another super important factor in a successful listing is the way you present your valuable asset. Of course there are professional stagers we work with and can recommend, and there are sellers who can benefit greatly from renovating an older kitchen or bathroom. But if you are not up for that, and your cabinets are newer than the ones at Downton Abbey, simple tweaks can make a big difference in sales price achieved and length of time on the market. Here are some helpful suggestions from our RE/MAX website:
• After the 3-blizzards-per-week-winter we had it's not easy to get rid of the mountains of snow, but give it your best shot! Make sure access to your front door is clear and clean. Remove "yellow" snow :-)
• Provide a safe area (i.e. your driveway) for buyers to park
• Sweep/clear sidewalks and porches, no lawn chair space savers allowed
• Remove or refresh dated or personalized fixtures such as door knockers, signs and lights
• Put all toys, sleds, snowboards, etc. away (big boy toys such as snowblowers, shovels or ATVs count as well)
• Repair gutters, shutters, siding or roof shingles as needed
• Add a cute, tasteful welcome mat to the front door, which will also help keep some of the dirt out of your home
• Clean windows because they are, as my grandmother always used to say: "The eyes" of your house
Spend time away during showings (Shopping! Movies! Coffee!) because hanging around no matter how discreetly can make potential buyers feel sheepish. They will not be comfortable exploring the house and making observations among themselves or to their buyer's agent. And if they did, would you like to overhear "opinions" about your stylish, chic and fancy home? Me either!
Put together a quick flyer about your neighborhood that your listing agent can share with potential buyers. We will be happy to do this for you if you provide us with information on fun local happenings, things you love about your area, and anything that makes the community a great place to live.
Give your home a good scrubbing top to bottom. Sweep away cobwebs on ceilings, dust on baseboards, wash floors and spiffy up the bathroom & kitchen. Say buh-bye to clutter; look at it as a great start to your own moving process. That 1988 video tape collection you can't use anymore because the VCR died years ago? The college text books you haven't opened since graduation? 3 boxes of Barbie paraphernalia belonging to your little girl who is now a doctor at Mass General? You will feel free as a bird without all that stuff! Repeat after me: Yard sales are FUN!!!
• Add a fresh coat of paint to the walls or, if pressed for time, at least wipe them down and apply little touch-ups
• Put away family photos and weed out wall decorations. Think about how strategically a few special items are placed in interior design magazines. That's just the look we're aiming for! In the kitchen, hide appliances and keep counters clear. We don't want it to look like actual bread toasting and coffee making is going on in there, as weird as that sounds
• Remove personal items, such as trophies, souvenirs, and those assorted Hummels great-aunt Beulah bequeathed to you
• Replace worn carpets and shampoo the ones that are still in good shape
• Polish wood floors to gleaming perfection
• Prominently display a gorgeous spring bouquet and add a green plant here and there. If buyers need a machete to make it through the house, you've overdone it a bit
• Let the sunshine in! Most people love a bright home so up go the shades and remove the major dust collectors a.k.a. heavy draperies too while you're at it
• Get one of those concentrated Yankee Candle room sprays in a cozy fragrance like Kitchen Spice, Cinnamon or anything resembling baked goods. Spritz lightly around the house. Lightly being the operative word
• If you have furry friends sharing your home, make sure they are safely locked away or take Cujo with you. Cats are usually not fond of pet carriers but it is in their best interest to briefly confine them to one during showings
Call us when you're finished and we will do everything else :-)
"Wow, this house is exactly what I was looking for!!!!"...said no buyer...EVER!