April 10, 2015 | Home Tips

Tips for Selling Your Home, Part 2: The Look and Feel

You've done the work to put your home on the market and attract interested homebuyers. Now it's time for the showings. The look and feel of your home can have a huge impact on your home's perceived value and how quickly it can sell. Here are some important tips to focus on to help make that sale. If you missed it, be sure to check out part one of this series - Marketing tips to sell your home.

First impressions are everything.  First impressions are formed in 15 seconds, starting the second a prospective buyer pulls into your driveway. Mow the lawn, mulch the flower beds, trim bushes, pull the weeds and pick up toys. 

Fix everything. You never know what will turn off a buyer - the small nail pop in the ceiling, a sticky door or cabinet, or the dent in the closet in your child's bedroom. 

Don't overlook things you have already fixed.  Did you have a leak in the attic that stained your ceiling, and you already fixed the leak? Don't forget to paint the ceiling, too. Nobody wants a reminder of what happened, or what could happen again. 

Keep things simple, neutral and open. Buyers need to be able to visualize their belongings in your home. So consider hiding things that are partial to your taste. Examples include: repainting that green den; minimizing your personal photos; removing nicknacks from shelves and replacing them with plants or books; removing the kids' drawings from the refrigerator. 

Declutter. Streamline your kitchen counters and shelving to show off clean lines. Tidy up cabinet space and closets so they look spacious. Remove furniture to make a room feel bigger, and reposition the remaining furniture to showcase the focal point of the room. 

Clean everything. It sounds simple, but clean the carpets, walls, showers, closets, decks, siding, and garages. Add a few candles, and make the place smell great and shine like new. 

Bright and airy is more inviting. Open the blinds and drapes. Bring in fresh flowers. 

Not everyone loves animals. Do your best to remove your pets from the premises during open houses or walk-throughs. Just because you have a friendly dog, that doesn't mean a buyer won't be worried about fleas in the carpeting. And by all means, work to remove their hair and smells. 

Sell the whole package. Create a notebook to show potential buyers all the information anyone could want to know, including appliance warranties, disclosures, photos of the home in different seasons, community information and highlights, community covenant information, etc. Help to make the buyer very comfortable with the thought of moving into your home and community. 

Remove the things you want to keep. If you're not selling your custom made valences or the light fixture in the dining room with the home, then remove them. Go out and buy new fixtures that can sell with the home. 

Little things can make the difference. Need to update your kitchen but don't want to spend the thousands of dollars it could take to do so? Consider little things like new lighting fixtures, cabinet door handles and faucets. These can help to update the look of a rom. 

Get out! Sellers think that being in their home as potential buyers tour is a great value. In fact, it typically makes the potential buyer uncomfortable and causes them to rush through the tour. 

Ask for opinions. Don't just rely on your own thoughts. Ask an outside person - a neighbor or a friend - to come over and view your home. Ask them for their critical thoughts, and don't take them personally. 

Learn more: 
Download: Tips to sell your home
Download: Moving checklist
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