With housing prices 4.9% higher year-over-year this Fall, now might be the time to think about selling your home. If you’re already leaning that way and you’re looking to make the move, you’re going to need to present your property in the best way possible. While there are several things you can do to increase your selling price, many buyers often overlook some of the most obvious negative factors that can bring the price down. Take a look at these three culprits that can seriously affect your closing price.
1. Dirt and Neglect
Buyers are looking for a home in top-notch, pristine condition, no matter what their budget is. The best way to captivate someone’s interest in the real estate market is to have them envision themselves living in your home, and that’s why a good first impression is key. Scrub down every cupboard, counter, and tabletop down from the basement to the attic. Don’t assume that people will think it’s charming that your baby toys are scattered around the playroom or your closets are bursting at the seams – thin out your stuff and put your possessions in order. Mop, sweep, and vacuum all everything that may be lingering around your floors and carpet. Finally, replace any fragmented hardware such as toilet seats, drawers, or cupboards. A little hard work and elbow grease along with $200-$400 for supplies and hardware should just about do the job for refurbishing and getting the best offer possible on your house.
Odors can be the most offensive turnoff for your selling home and a quick deal breaker that you must avoid. Pet odors are very strong, so remove all litter boxes and dog beds from the house before any showing, vacuum all fur left around the floors, and extinguish any evidence of pets including your actual pet (sorry Sparky) while your house is being viewed. The cost of boarding your pets will range from 20-70 dollars depending on where you live, or you could always ask a friend to watch them. Either way, removing any signs of pets from your home is always beneficial.
Rip out carpets, scrub down your fridge, freezer, oven and toilet, put some baking soda down your drain and garbage disposal, and remove all trash daily before a showing. Put some fresh flowers around the house and use enzyme cleaning products to get rid of (and not just mask) the odor. Lastly, avoid cooking any foods that could leave any lingering stenches. Save fish curry night for after you’ve successfully sold your house.
Once again, remember that real estate buyers are trying to envision themselves living in your home. The less of your belongings they see, the better. Think about it, you probably wouldn’t be comfortable staying in a hotel with knick knacks, toys and pictures of this mysterious family hanging everywhere – keeping your home as vacant as possible without removing any furniture should be made a priority. Remove and store items on all counters, tables, furniture, and floors. Take down photos and collections down from walls, shelves, and bookcases, and keep all art attractive, minimal and impersonal. About a $400 investment for organizing materials or for a storage facility returns a little more than a $2,000 price boost, according to a survey of real estate agents by HomeGain. Sometimes, you’ve got to spend money to make money.
Avoid these three mistakes and you’ll be on your way to making your home as attractive as possible. With a little investment and hard work, you will be putting yourself in a situation to reap the benefits of your sale. Good luck!