While you're not supposed to sweat the small stuff in life, when it comes to listing photos and showings, it can sometimes make a big difference to pay attention to the little things. Even if your home is in decently good shape, it might not be ready to go on the market as is. Those "little" details can sometimes turn out to be a big deal - especially in a competitive market. Make sure to take a second glance at these extra details when thinking of listing your home.
Messy yard & a dull door
You've heard it before: First impressions matter. When prospective buyers drive by your home, the first thing they'll see is your front yard, landscaping, walkway(s) and front door -- which means all should be in tip-top shape.
Keep the landscaping neat and tidy - so trim the bushes, and weed and mulch flowerbeds. Your yard is vital, too - so keep it mowed regularly while showing your home. But don't just stop there: Take a quick walk around the yard each morning to ensure leaves, branches, trash or other debris didn't fly onto your lawn overnight.
Then take stock of any walkways, the porch and the front door. Remove weeds and dirt from sidewalks (or snow if showing in winter), and broom sweep or power wash your front porch or stoop. Touch up any chipped or faded paint on your trim and door, and consider replacing dingy hardware.
Dust & cobwebs
Expert cleaner? Even if your house is fairly tidy, it's likely there are some areas that need your attention. Check ceiling fans, closet corners, windowsills, appliances (when's the last time you wiped down the top of the fridge?) and more for dust and cobwebs, and do your best to get your home spic-and-span before any showings.
Overfilled closets, cabinets & drawers
Interested buyers will open everything - including the guest bedroom closet and junk drawer(s) you've been using as catch-alls. Since you'll be moving (and packing) anyway, now's as good a time as ever to de-clutter spaces. Take extra time to go through kitchen and bathroom drawers/cabinets and pack, donate or toss rarely-used items (or at least those items you can live without for a month or two). Make sure all drawers close easily without jamming, and leave a little empty space to make storage areas seem bigger.
For closets, take the same approach. You want to show off storage space, not your belongings - so de-clutter as much as possible. Pack up (or donate) off-season clothing, coats and shoes, and condense miscellaneous stuff into boxes or totes. Then stash in the garage or attic (though make sure they're stacked nicely in these places, too) - or if really needed, consider renting a storage unit for a month or so.
Many buyers are most interested in two spaces: the kitchen and bathrooms. Remember, you want prospective buyers to see themselves (and their own belongings) in your house, so maximize the space you have available. In bathrooms, keep counters as clear as possible, only keeping out the items a guest might use (like a clean hand towel and hand soap). In the kitchen, take stock of the items you really need on the counter (like your have-to-have coffee pot) versus those items you only use once in a while (like that juicer or mixer). Keep dishes stored in cabinets, stash away pantry items and box up or donate as much as possible to maximize counter space.
You may love your furry friends - and prospective buyers may, too. But what they won't love is tripping over toys, seeing leftover stains, attracting fur and hair, or smelling certain types of pet smells (you know what we mean). For photos, consider removing Fido's belongings altogether (including a kennel or bed, food and water bowls, toys, etc.). For showings, keep his spot neat and tidy. Then put your nose to the ground (literally, if you need to...) and make sure his favorite spots around the house are clean as well.
TV, electronics and home office overgrown with tangles of cords? While you might be used to living with them by now, new prospects might not love the look - and be left wondering why you didn't (or couldn't) do more to hide them. Preempt suspicions by unplugging electronics (like a mounted TV) and hiding any dangling cords by tucking them up and out of sight. In your home office, consider using twist ties or binder clips to organize cords, or keep items unplugged and cords hidden during showings and when you aren't using them.
Ready to list your home? Get in touch with us today about how we can help.