Selling your home isn’t as simple as putting an ad on craigslist and hoping for the best. There are a certain pizzazz and streets smart that needs to be had. You’re looking to make a big profit in the shortest time possible.
True, it’s the job of the real estate agents and brokers to help make this dream a reality but at the end of the day, there’s not much they can do if what you’re selling is a run-down property in dire need of some tender loving care. Now, don’t take this the wrong way. We’re not talking about a massive home improvement plan.
What you’re looking for are low-cost DIY jobs that can really make the place stand out to potential buyers. Put yourself into the situation of the prospective buyer viewing your home for the first time, whether online or in-person. What can you do to make your home seem like a must-buy? Well, here are six things you should know when putting your property on the market!
FSBO And What It Means?
If you’re looking to go solo to save up on agency fees, then you might surely have come across FSBO. It’s an acronym and industry term standing for For Sale By Owner. Now, there are mainly two ways to go about this. One is literally going it alone which can save you on money but not necessarily on time as you’ll be needing to put in all the effort yourself to market the property yourself.
Alternatively, some companies will offer a low-cost flat fee MLS. This website navigates you through the process step-by-step, showing you all the best practices and what you need to do to list your home on the MLS for a low flat fee with no additional costs.
They will take care of all the marketing and save you on commission fees and are by definition a much cheaper option than going through a real estate agent who generally charges a 5% or 6% commission fee on the property sold.
Needless to say, you need to focus on the selling points of your property, but what are they exactly? Well, most industry experts agree that the kitchen, bathroom, garden (if you have one), and sometimes master bedrooms are key areas that leave a lasting impression on the client, for better or for worse.
The kitchen in particular is often considered a make-or-break for potential buyers. This is because, along with the living room, it is often the focal point of the house and one of the areas where you’ll be spending the most time in. This is not to say you can’t focus on other areas of the house such as the living room, basement, or even your hallway but…
Keeping Up Appearances
Now that you know where your key areas of focus should be aimed at, it’s time for a little TLC. There’s this misconception that spending a ridiculous amount on improving your home will raise the price of your property by the same said amount when this is simply not the case.
You don’t want, nor do you need to spend thousands of dollars on refurbishing. Sometimes, a light touch-up here and there is all that’s needed. You can start with a simple paint job, get rid of all those blemishes and coffee stains on your walls that have developed over the years, and give your place a new lease of life.
You don’t even have to paint the whole house but try to focus on important areas such as the kitchen, bathroom, and or master bedroom. You also don’t have to paint over with the same color, giving you the chance to experiment and see what works.
It ultimately boils down to a matter of taste but as a rule of thumb, try to go for neutral colors such as (beige) or warmer, inviting tones (shades of light blue). This will make your home seem more inviting as opposed to harsher, darker colors like red or bright pink and lime green.
Speaking of flickering light bulbs, when preparing for a viewing, you want your property to look as attractive as possible and the right lighting can do wonders from creating the illusion of space and to help set the mood and feel of the place.
If you have old, bright lights, it might be worth changing the bulbs for a more inviting one (no one wants to feel like they are waiting in a hospital ward). Don’t just rely on your fixed lighting either. Brick Tamland – from the 2004 film Anchorman – was definitely on to something when he said ‘I love lamp’. Although that was just a movie, lamps are very much underrated. As well as great lighting, they give your property a certain character.
As Richmond American Homes puts it on their website, lamps can not only offer ‘visual interest’ but also highlight attractive details that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.
Decluttering And Deep Cleaning
The person deciding on whether to buy your property will try to picture themselves living in it. That means you should get rid of anything that might be a hindrance. No matter how beautiful the house is, a messy property can leave a really bad and lasting impression on the potential buyer. That’s why it’s also important to declutter and deep clean your property beforehand.
As well as the standard mopping and brushing, this includes removing and nearly storing away any books, files, magazines, and pens lying about on the counter. As Lucy Searle puts it on real homes, ‘you want to showcase the house and not its contents’. Some people even go as far as removing all or some family photos before a viewing.
Now, of course, the buyer knows that someone already lives there, but that doesn’t mean they want to be reminded of that at every turn they take. Trying to picture themselves in that space with portraits of some random family everywhere can be a bit jarring.
Often if not all the time, a buyer’s first point of reference for your property will be from the pictures they see online, so they must look good. You can take pictures of the property yourself on your smartphone but for best results, hire a professional photographer that specializes deals in properties.
They will have the proper equipment as well as the know-how to the perfect shot. They work with the lighting and space given, creating the illusion of space and highlight your home’s best features, giving it character.
Plus, hiring someone who hasn’t seen your home before means adding a new, fresh perspective on the property, enabling them to notice things that you might have taken for granted, and therefore take better photos.