When it comes time to sell your home, there are a few relatively simple things you can do to make it stand out… in a good way. The first step is finding the right agent. The second is to listen to the agent’s advice. And this is what said agent should be telling you:
Most homebuyers know the basics of what they want in a home—bedrooms, baths, size, and price—before they start the hunt. Those parameters may escalate a bit as the process evolves, but not much. Cold, hard logic is at work with these things.
Often, however, emotions come into play, especially with the intangibles that come up during the hunt. Some intangibles are positive, like a view, a pool or high ceilings. We can’t do much about those.
Other intangibles are negative, and can ruin a deal. But many of these negatives are fixable for minimal or no cost.
A clean, well-organized house sells. Decluttering is almost always the first step. Some sellers will fret over how many family pictures to leave out and totally overlook the six sofas in the great room. Organize and minimize, and then sanitize. Here’s my favorite line related to this rule: “the best smell is no smell.” Every odor tells a tale, and nobody wants to smell your tales.
If you want to do any improvements, three areas will help the home show better, faster, and possibly give you some return on the investment: New carpet and paint (neutral colors for both, please) and landscape cleanup.
Offering a paint or carpet allowance is not a good option. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and buyers will almost always think getting those things done is more expensive than the reality. Plus, the family who just relocated with three toddlers doesn’t have time for that mess.
Some light staging, which is pretty inexpensive, goes a long way to show your home in the best light both online and in person. Some agents can help with this, and a handful will actually do it for you.
If you trust your agent, listen to his/her advice. If you don’t, interview another agent!