As everyone knows, our Front Range real estate market is one of the best in the nation, meaning most sellers won’t have to wait long before an offer arrives. But being in a hot market doesn’t ensure that your home will sell quickly, or for the highest possible price. On the surface, buyers look at a home as “bricks and mortar,” but there are many psychological factors that go into creating a sale, in any market. While it certainly helps to have nice carpeting, freshly-painted walls, and beautiful furniture, many of the “keys to success” in selling can be found in no-cost and low-cost solutions. Success starts by knowing these biggest turnoffs for buyers:
• Dirt and grime. The No. 1 biggest mistake is not getting the home in the best possible condition. We might be able to ignore our own dirty doorknobs, but prospects will be turned off. Elbow grease, a bottle of cleaner and some old rags might be standing between you and a new owner. The kitchen and bathrooms need to be sparkling clean and neat. It’s also highly recommended that sellers go the extra effort and steam-clean tile and grout, if needed. If you find that a professionally cleaned carpet still looks terrible, consider replacing it.
• Dark rooms. Most of us are accustomed to Colorado’s abundant sunshine, so walking into a dark room is downright depressing. Replace burned out, or low wattage bulbs, and turn on the lights when you know you’re having a showing. Open blinds and curtains to let in as much light as possible.
• Pet peeves. Consider removing all traces of pets, not just pet odors. A lot of times, people will leave pet items out: dog dishes, cat litter boxes, etc. That immediately turns off a buyer because they wonder, ‘What has that animal done in the house?’ Also, some people really don’t like dogs or cats. The minute they walk in and see obvious signs of pets, they immediately won’t like the house. In short if at all possible, pick up the pet paraphernalia and have a “pet plan” to make sure the animals are not around when the house is being shown.
• Ants, bugs and other creepy crawlies. Call in professionals and don’t forget to vacuum the basement, where dead bugs often end up scattered all over the floor.
• Bad curb appeal. If prospects pull up to the curb in front of your home and the paint is peeling, bikes and toys are strewn across the yard, and you haven’t trimmed shrubs in 5 years, spend some time outdoors cleaning up. Your house may be perfect for them, but they’ll never know because they probably won’t even stop.
• Odors. Nothing turns off prospects like odor, and masking them with a spray is not the answer. If you suspect (or know) you have a problem, consider a professional odor-removing specialist. (Need help? Do an Internet search using “Ways to rid a home of odors.”)
• Clutter. If you can’t stand to part with all your knickknacks, then box them up and get them out of sight. The same goes for any overstuffed closets. Uncluttered rooms and closets simply look bigger and nicer.
Yes our Colorado market is hot. But in any market, selling a home quickly and for the highest possible price involves proper pricing, proper marketing, lots of planning, and proper preparation on the owner’s part. If you’d like to talk about creating a plan to sell your home in the coming months, please don’t hesitate to call at your convenience.