Curb appeal is what sets the tone the first time thing a buyer sees your home. Give it the attention it deserves and make sure it looks perfect! Fix anything that's broken or loose, apply a fresh coat of paint where necessary and make sure that your walkways are clear and manicured. We've all got things in our homes that we've ignored and now is the time to make sure they're all done. Hire a handyman if necessary (link to people we trust).
In the garden and yard, make sure it's weed free and has some color. A couple of inexpensive annuals and a blooming flower pot at the front door go a long way. Don't forget to clean up after Fido and throw some grass seed or sod down if necessary.
De-cluttering the inside is critical! You want to be sure that the buyers are distracted by nothing and their focus is 100% on your home. Personal pictures are a big no-no. Be sure to put ALL of them away. Make sure all surfaces including kitchen counters, fireplace mantles and coffee tables are clear. Think show home! A fresh arrangement of flowers on the inside goes a long way here as well. Buyers love basements and ensuring that this space is as open and bright as possible with easy access to furnace, hot water tank and electrical panel will be important for that first impression. Buyers will want to know the unsexy details about your house too and being able to see all the mechanicals including plumbing, wiring, and attic space with ease will help them keep the "pro's" list long and the "con's" list short!
Now is also the time to think about staging. Staging can help a home sell quicker and for more money. Sellers are sometimes daunted by the extra cost, but make it a consideration (link to people we trust) and you'll soon find out it's worth every cent.
There was a time when buyers didn't mind putting "sweat equity" into a home. These days, buyers are leading busy lives and don't have any time for renovations or repair work on the homes they will look at buying. They want to move in and start living! Staging your home can be individually tailored to each sellers needs and budget. For around $300 you can have expert recommendations on how to maximize the saleability of your home. Many of the jobs or updates you can do yourself! This consultation will help with curb appeal, which items to pack or move, furniture placement, paint colors, hardware updating, organizing, and recommendations on accessories. If you're selling a vacant home, staging is even more critical as stats show that a buyer will spend 40 minutes viewing a staged vacant home verus 5 minutes. Stagers can also work with homes that are being lived in and have rental furniture packages if necessary.
Check out the "21 day plan" to easy and perfect organization and preparation (link to blog post).