If you're looking for more helpful tips on marketing and selling your home, check out our first post on selling your home fast!
1. First impressions
First impressions are always critical, and your driveway is one of the first things a buyer will see. Here's a quick tip that may be the solution to stains on your cement driveway: Try Drano or any high-powered liquid drain cleaner and sweep those oil stains away! Please use caution and read all manufacturers' warnings before you begin this task.
2. Clean the carpets
When you are ready to list your home, it's always a good idea to have the carpets cleaned. A clean home will always sell faster, and you should accentuate the fact that you take care of your home. Leave a few pairs of shoes just inside the front door to imply that you are meticulous about the appearance of your house.
3. Paint walls a neutral color
If your home is decorated in dark or unusual colors, you're going to scare off a lot of potential buyers. It will be worth your while to paint your walls a neutral color, such as off-white. If you're not up to painting your entire house, at least paint the areas that make the biggest impression, such as the entry/foyer, living room, dining room, kitchen, and master bedroom.
4. Buy some new furnishings
Now is the time to replace old, worn-out items with something new. Use your best judgment as to which items will actually make your current house look better to a prospective buyer. Remember, sometimes less is more. So try to avoid furniture with flashy colors or patterns. Sometimes simply removing bulky furniture and other items can really open up a room and create a welcoming environment. But, if you don't have the money to buy new furniture, don't worry. Staging companies have furniture you can rent while your house is on the market.
5. Tame wild jungles
An empty yard sells better than an overgrown yard, because an empty yard looks larger. When trimming back your shrubbery and trees as you're getting ready to sell your house, don't be timid. Trees and shrubbery should not hide the house itself. Again, less is more.
6. Water the lawn
Use your sprinklers as much as possible to ensure everything in your yard is green. Turn on your sprinklers' manual start button whenever a real estate agent is bringing a potential buyer to view the home. Newly-watered landscaping has a fresh, clean scent and a shimmer that makes it look much better than when it's dry. By leaving your sprinklers on, you can also discourage any backyard exploring in the event you have unsightly areas there.
7. Scope out new developments
When you're selling your home, newer and similar homes in the area are big competition. Visit these homes to size up your competition and get ideas on how to beat them at their own game! Make sure your home has the same appeal as other homes by accenting similar attributes, while pointing out benefits your home may have that other homes do not.
8. Bake cookies
Keep a package of ready-made cookie dough on hand. Pop a few cookies in the oven just when a hot prospect is expected to arrive to view the home. The smell of freshly baked cookies will conjure up a lot of great memories! Try to trigger emotions that will work toward the sale of your house. Not to mention, they'll love the treat!
9. Offer to make payments or pay closing costs*
Offering to make the buyer's first 3 mortgage payments or to pay his closing costs will be helpful to buyers who are tight in cash. This looks very attractive in your advertising. Many people like the idea of having a little grace period after moving into a new home or needing less cash at closing. Be sure the buyer is using an experienced lender, since seller concessions seem to confuse many less experienced lenders.
10. Buy down the buyer's interest rate*
Offer to pay up to 3 points (3% of the buyer's loan amount) in order to give the buyer a lower interest rate. This could dramatically lower the buyer's mortgage payment, making your house much more affordable and very attractive. A buyer could save several hundred dollars per month with this option, and it could even help buyers who normally couldn't afford your home to qualify for and purchase it.
*These suggestions may not work for every seller and not all buyers will qualify for all mortgage programs. Call us if you have questions.