Preparing a home to capture a prospective buyer’s interest
May 18, 2017
Before a homeowner places their home on the market for sale, they'll want to take appropriate measures to ensure it captures a prospective buyer's interest. Putting a sign in the yard is not enough, as preparing a home in advance of listing is one of the most important steps a homeowner can take to sell their home. Yet sellers oftentimes don't commit an appropriate amount of time to the home preparation process. Understandably, homeowners may experience a level of anxiety with their decision and this can be reflected in their willingness to take the necessary steps. However, there are things sellers can do to make the process of preparing their home easier.
Preparing a home begins by decluttering, cycling through those belongings which have accumulated over the years. Sellers should address one room at a time, deciding what is to be kept, donated or tossed. During the decluttering process, sellers will find it advantageous to pack up items which aren't immediately needed in addition to those possessing sentimental value like photographs, heirlooms and knickknacks. To achieve a home's full market potential, sellers must willingly free themselves of their attachment to the home, making the decluttering process an important step. Decluttering will not only serve to make the home more presentable to potential buyers, it will also make it easier for the sellers to eventually move and help ensure valuable keepsakes remain safe.
As a homeowner progresses through the decluttering process, consideration should be given to renting a storage facility, packing away personal belongings while removing things that could potentially detract from the home's preparation. Sellers must avoid crowding their closets with miscellaneous items as prospective buyers will likely examine each part of the house, including those areas homeowners may not typically think about.
Once a home has been decluttered and the non-essentials have been packed and stored, a thorough cleaning is recommended. Homeowners will especially want to focus on those activities serving to brighten the home's appearance. Sometimes hiring a cleaning service can also prove beneficial. However, sellers mustn't forget the importance of also having a well-maintained exterior, as this too can have an impact on a home's marketability.
Before listing their home, sellers should consider having an inspection performed by a licensed home inspector. There are several reasons why an inspection is important; most notably, it affords the homeowner an opportunity to address impending issues before an offer to purchase is received. It is expected, buyers will also get an inspection, but when sellers know what needs to be repaired up front, they can proactively address concerns. It's important to remember, when a home is sold, full disclosure of the property's condition is required. Ensuring the home is in good condition before putting it on the market will help mitigate issues potentially impacting the success of the home's sale.
To improve the marketability of their home, sellers should work to enhance their home's curb appeal. Of course, homeowners will want to make repairs if necessary, but they'll also want to focus on those areas promoting a favorable first impression. Oftentimes a fresh coat of paint can have a significant impact on a home's attractiveness to would-be buyers.
Depending on the age of their home, a seller may want to update appliances or make other eye-catching changes enhancing the home's look and feel. This doesn't mean the home will need to be completely remodeled to attract prospective buyers, but sometimes minor updates can have a significant impact on a buyer's perception of a home's value. Many buyers pay attention to homes with unique value adds such as upgraded kitchens and bathrooms. Today's homebuyers are often interested in properties possessing money-saving and energy efficient qualities, these too may attract prospective buyers.
Homeowners should remain cognizant that window coverings, light fixtures, chandeliers, appliances and other items affixed to the home are typically expected to transfer to the new owner at the close of the sale. If a seller does not intend to sell the home with these items, they'll want to remove and replace them prior to listing it for sale.
Whether sellers choose to stage their home themselves or seek professional advice from a staging service, they'll want to consider how they wish to present their newly freshened home. A well-staged home adds a special touch, with each room being showcased around its intended purpose. Simplified furnishings possessing a common theme will open space, allowing prospective buyers to envision how they would purpose the use of each room.
Ultimately, the goal of marketing a home for sale is to attract would-be buyers and therefore presentation plays an important role. Sellers need to put themselves in a potential buyer's shoes, viewing the home from an outsider's perspective. When in doubt, a seller should invite a friend or a neighbor to tour the property as their suggestions may prove invaluable.
Sean and Aimee McDonald, realtors with RE/MAX North Lake Tahoe, can be reached at 775-250-8335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.