Just like a job interview, first impressions matter in real estate. If your house appears worn down, unkempt and out-dated, potential buyers may turn their noses up without ever seeing the inside! But don't fret, dear seller. We at Chandler Realty have some tips and tricks to help your house make the best first impression possible.
1. You probably love your house, and feel very at home inside it. But in order to sell it, you may find it beneficial to "de-personalize" your house. Removing family photographs, distinctive ornaments and hobby or memorabilia-related items may make it easier for those potential buyers to visualize themselves and their own families living there. Pack up and tuck away a third of your possessions, leaving only a neat, organized "stage home."
Bonus: When you get the offer, you've already started packing!
2. It's inevitable: you're going to have to clean the house. And we mean CLEAN. Dust, vacuum, steam-power-vacuum, do the dishes, touch up that spot on the wall with the dirty hand-print from when you moved in, wash the windows, mow the lawn, sweep the driveway and toss the lawn gnome into the garage for the time being. If you don't have time, it might be worthwhile to hire a professional. This one-time expense can ensure your home is always "show-ready."
Bonus: Invest in a couple of potted plants you can transfer to the front yard. Flowers make every house look like a home.
3. Don't go overboard: CLEAN the house, don't knock it down and build a new one. Small repairs and updates are great, but keep an eye on your budget and listing price. You don't want to spend more trying to sell than you make from the sale!
Bonus: Renovating the kitchen MIGHT be worth the cost, because it is the most important room in the mind of your potential buyer. If your appliances are broken or hopelessly outdated, look into replacements.
4. When you DO have a showing, tuck the family pets away in the back yard or garage, along with their food and water dishes. Although Fluffy is a part of your family, your potential buyer may not feel so affectionate towards the little scamp; especially if they walk away covered in muddy paw-prints or with an allergic reaction.
Bonus: Hide the chew-toys, scratching posts and litter boxes as well.
5A. Opt for an optical illusion or two. Make sure your house is well-lit when showing. Upgrade to light bulbs of a higher wattage, switch your dark lampshade out for a white one, take down your curtains or drapes and open the blinds, wash the windows, trim back the bushes that block the sunshine. A bright, cheery home is much more appealing than a dark, brooding lair.
Bonus: Open the windows to ensure that your house smells fresh and clean when viewed.
5B. Letting strangers tour your home is a little uncomfortable, no? So don't give them anything juicy to snoop out! Clear out your closet of anything interesting and leave it half-full (we're all optimists here!). While nothing can make your closet larger, a lot of clutter can make it look smaller. So keeping it neat, tidy, and spare will create the illusion of wide, open storage space.
Bonus: Use this trick throughout your home; pack up anything you don't use regularly and rearrange the furniture to make the room feel larger.
6. The best tip we can give you, however, is to list your home with Chandler Realty in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Newport News, and Chesapeake. We will take great care of you and your home, to help you both give a great first impression.