Beauty ISN’T Just Skin Deep
Presenting a well-maintained exterior is critical to getting the most money when you sell your home, but you can’t stop there. You still need to “wow” buyers after they step inside. Walk through your home, looking at it as though you were seeing it for the first time. Consider each of the following items to see if they need attention.
•Attack clutter. If you don’t need it, put it away. Box up all nonessentials and store them in the garage or a storage unit. Even if your garage is stacked high with boxes, buyers understand that. They know that you’re preparing to move, and most garages look pretty much the same anyway. If the rest of your HOUSE is stacked high with personal items, that’s another matter. Many buyers will assume that your house is too small to accommodate their stuff.
•Clean like crazy. Cleaning your house doesn’t cost much, but it can dramatically increase the amount you’ll make on the sale. Wash the windows, wipe the baseboards, and dust every horizontal surface.
•Paint. Most homes would benefit from a fresh coat of paint. Take your cue from model homes: paint everything a neutral, non-offensive color.
•Rearrange. The way you’ve had your furniture arranged for years isn’t necessarily the most appealing way. Experiment to see if moving a couch or removing a chair might make a room appear more open.
•Get rid of any odors. If you smoke or have a pet, ASSUME that your house smells like it. You may not notice it, but others will—and it can cost you thousands of dollars. Clean the carpets, change air conditioning filters, and do whatever you must to eradicate all unpleasant odors.
Your goal isn’t to just make your house look nice, but to plant a seed in the buyers’ minds. Let them imagine that if they lived in THIS house, their lives would be better. If they bought THIS house, it would be clean all the time, the lawn would be beautiful, and their closets would be meticulously organized.
Of course, that’s not likely to happen in real life, but you can’t help it if that’s what they IMAGINE, right? That’s the sort of thinking that allows them to justify paying more for it. And that’s exactly what you want.