As the latest report from ABOR shows, the Austin-area real estate market remains strong as we enter into 2018. Historically, we see listings and home sales rise as we move towards the Springtime. This is good for homebuyers, but can sometimes mean sellers need to get a little more aggressive in preparing their homes for sale with more competition on the market. We have put together a list of our favorite tips to help you prepare your home for sale so that it stands out amongst other listings.
1. Improve your curb appeal by freshening up your landscape. Curb appeal is so important in making a good first impression. By adding in some fresh green plants and pops of color your yard can come alive. We also recommend weeding, having the lawn mowed and livening up any beds with fresh mulch.
2. Clear the clutter! This is true both inside and out. Sometimes sellers are so concerned with clutter inside that they forget that a clean exterior is just as important. Clear any items that are creating clutter or are not in use from porches and/or side yards. You would be amazed how a quickly de-cluttering can heighten the appeal of your home’s exterior.
3. Think ahead and make any necessary repairs. It is important for your home to be in tip-top shape when listing. Make an effort to repair any obvious defects or problems such as holes in walls, broken windows or a leaky roof. It is also important to take care of the more cosmetic issues like scuffs on the walls, dirty carpet and old, dingy paint.
4. Make the front porch fresh and inviting. You know what they say about a first impression. The front porch is most likely the first place a potential buyer is going to stop and really begin taking a look. A fresh coat of paint on the front door and surround, especially in a color that contrasts with the home, will make the front door stand out. Also, replace faded or outdated house numbers so buyers can see them from the curb. This is a simple way to also update the look of your home. Placing a new and clean welcome mat at the front door along with a few cute decorative items also helps to set a positive scene.
5. Remove interior clutter and depersonalize your home. We have a saying about listing your home that goes like this: the minute your home goes on the market it is no longer “your home”. We take this one very seriously. Buyers want to envision their belongings in your home; not your personal items and family photos. In some cases it may be necessary to rent a storage unit or pod to store all of your personal items, knick-knacks, photos and clutter.
6. Organize closets and drawers. Messy, unorganized spaces make them look smaller but also give the impression that the rest of the home hasn’t been cared for in a tidy way. These days most buyers are looking for optimal storage space. This small step can go along way in making your home feel desirable to buyers.
7. Clean, clean, clean! Take the time to thoroughly clean your home from top to bottom! We also recommend having tile and carpets steam cleaned to remove stains and undesirable odors. Prior to each showing be sure to clean up your clutter. It’s smart to have attractive storage bins on hand in high-use areas like your vanity and the kitchen to toss small items into before potential buyers come to see your home.
8. Create a neutral palette. Though you may love bright colors and mismatched pillows and décor, we know for sure that more neutral, well-coordinated spaces photograph and show much better. Paint your walls a neutral color that will appeal to a wide range of buyers. You can also swap out outdated bedding and small décor items such as pillows and lamps for items that are neutral and on-trend. This can add style to your home and make it appear to be a bit more updated.
9. Eliminate bad odors. Try your best to remove odor-causing sources from our home during the showing phase. Hide the litter box or place it in the garage if possible. Don’t cook highly aromatic food in your home the day of showings. You can also spray air neutralizer throughout your home, but DON’T go overboard! Choose a clean scent if you are going to take this step. Burning a nice and simple-smelling candle prior to showings will often do the trick. Buyers use all of their senses when previewing homes, so be sure to take this one seriously.
10. Bring in a few green plants or fresh flowers. You can really liven up a space by bringing in a fresh green plant or bouquet of flowers. Again, you don’t need to go overboard or spend a lot of money here, but rather choose 2-3 key areas to place these items. We recommend the kitchen, in the main bathroom and on the coffee table.
We are always here to help you prepare your home for selling. Please reach out to us for a consult and ask about our complmentary home styling.