If you are serious about selling your home, you need to make sure it sparkles and shines. It doesn’t necessarily have to boast the latest upgrades, but it needs to be clean, tidy and in working order. It also needs to smell good – that’s a biggie! When a buyer walks in your door, they form an emotional opinion about the house that no number of special features or amount of bonus square footage can overcome. Buyers will NOT overlook dirty dishes in the sink, the aroma of kitty litter or even an unmowed lawn. There are no excuses, because without that initial emotional rush, your home is toast.
Speaking of first impressions, realtors are often asked if flooring should be replaced or can an allowance be given. Here’s what I think. If the flooring is visible from the front door, replace it. If the flooring is in an important part of the house (a kitchen, finished basement or bonus family room), replace it. Again, these are emotional areas and need to trigger a positive response. If the bad flooring is in a bedroom or office, it’s probably okay to offer an allowance.
Fix the leaky faucets and the windows that don’t open; repair and paint the old water stain on the ceiling, find out why your refrigerator makes such a racket. Dust your ceiling fans and get the bugs out of the light fixtures. Clean up your toothpaste spit every morning and run the garbage disposal before you leave for the day. Put the toilet seat down.
When a buyer enters your home, they need to be able to envision it as their home. Besides being clean, that also means getting rid of all your clutter. Stuff makes homes look smaller, and buyers just can’t see past clutter. They can’t picture themselves living there. Pack and store two-thirds of your things, including your furniture.
Strive for an odor-free, dust-free, cobweb-free, clutter-free environment. It’s really really really important. Almost as important as price.