Think that you can just stick a “For Sale” sign in the grass in front of your home and the offers will pour in? You may want to re-evaluate your expectations. It’s easy for sellers, blinded by affection for their home and uneducated as to the realities of the real estate market, to overlook certain critical details that should be undertaken before your home hits the MLS. A bit of preparation goes a long way when it comes to effectively selling your home, because these steps can attract buyers (and bids) like bees to a particularly lush flower and help make sure that your home doesn’t languish on the market. Check out these five tips that can help you nail your Philadelphia home sale.
When you are prepping your home for sale, it’s best to start at the outside, which is of course the part of your home that buyers will see first. Curb appeal is magic, especially in these days of internet photographs and random drive-bys. A home that looks good from the outside demonstrates that the owners care about it, which entices prospective buyers to want to take a closer look. To wit, you want a clean exterior that looks kept, maintained, and appealing. Steps you might take include power-washing the house to recapture that “freshly-painted” look, along with your walkways and driveway. Rain gutters should be cleaned out, and your windows should be polished to a high sheen.
After you’ve tackled your house’s exterior, the next most-visible element is the front door. A door with a new coat of paint (maybe making a statement with an unexpected color to really make it pop?) brightens up the front of any house and makes visitors ooh and ahh over this, the entryway to your home. Along with the paint, consider updating your porch light fixtures to cast a shine on your entryway. As a bonus, purchase bold new house numbers that are visible from the street so your guests can clearly find your home. These elements all combine to make your entryway inviting and impressive.
Moving on to the inside of your house, know that buyers respond best to lots of free space, airy window treatments, and neutral decor on which they can project their own tastes. What this means in practical effect is that eliminating half of your belongings could help de-clutter the home. By making each room look extremely tidy, you are continuing your efforts to put your best foot forward. Rent a storage unit or ask a friend to borrow some garage space. The less clutter you have in your home, the better it looks to those viewing it. And don’t forget to organize items stored in closets — buyers will definitely look there! Yes, buyers are nosy. Face the truth – you would peek in the medicine cabinet too if you were in the buyer’s shoes.
You don’t want to get nailed after an offer has been made with problems that show up during the home inspection. Make any necessary repairs that you know require attention. That light that “never worked” in the kitchen, a toilet that doesn’t flush properly without an elaborate jiggling ritual… you know what I mean. For the fairly clueless owner, a pre-inspection might also be a good idea. Sellers with homes that have already been pre-inspected and fully repaired have a powerful vantage point. Buyers will see the home in good condition and they will positively respond to that. A pre-inspection guarantees that they won’t be buying into any problems or headaches in the foreseeable future. This leads to peace of mind for you throughout the closing process.
Properly staging your home could also go a long way. De-personalize the home and rearrange the furniture to make every room appear as large as possible. Use neutral colors whenever possible and remove any posters or artwork that may be hanging, especially those that give away your nationality, political preferences, or spiritual leanings. With a well-staged appearance, potential buyers will hopefully be able to see themselves living their new life in your home. It’s worth a little bit of preparation.