In a climate where we hear “SELLER’S MARKET” being screamed from the rooftops we are lead to believe that if you list it they will come… at top dollar… checkbook in hand… no questions asked… Right?? Kind of…? No, not really. Buyers still want to feel like there is value in what they are buying. Buyers still believe that there should be room to negotiate or come in below your asking price because historically that has been an option. So to be a seller you have some choices to make; you can do little to no work and throw your house on the market in the shape that it has been since you have lived in and loved your home or, and this is your better option, you can take a couple of days to make it the home that the future buyer can’t imagine a life without thus increasing your purchase price.
Here at Kiernan/DeJean Property Associates these are waters we are navigating personally. Sarah listed her house in February and my house is going live this month. Throwing ourselves into the arena of Home Sellers has given us a hands-on reminder of what to do before you list for maximum results. Here are the top tips that we have uncovered and would like to share with you to make your home selling experience the best experience possible:
Rule #1 – Clean/Organize/De-Clutter
That pesky catch-all storage closet: We use it to hold the “junk” and the stuff we just don’t know where else to put for the time being with high hopes that one day we are going to clean that darn closet… So why is it that the first place potential buyers seem to navigate is the door that is hiding all of our “treasures”!?
Rule #2 – Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint to any Wall Dings
Your paint has nicks and dings… nobody will notice right!?! Wrong!! The number one thing that the eye catches are flaws. Whether these are big flaws or little flaws. Clean is king and nothing looks better and more clean than a ding free wall and a fresh coat of paint that is finger-print free!
Rule #3 – Wash Your Windows
How do those window sills and grooves get so dirty… Perhaps nobody will notice them and my time is better spent elsewhere. Have you been looking at houses? Do you check out the windows to see their condition? Unfortunately, the buyers for your house are going to do the same thing to your house. Do yourself a big favor and give them something to walk away from and say ‘wow, what a spotless home!’
Rule #4 – Change out that Furnace Filter
How the heck is our house always so dusty!? I just exhausted 2 cans of Pledge over the last week!! If this sounds like you… check your furnace filter. The furnace filter is one of the number one home maintenance pieces that the average home owner overlooks. Recommended guidelines state that your filter should be changed every 30 days. However, if your house is a wall of dust, having your duct-work cleaned professionally would be worth every penny.
Rule #5 – Clean Your Carpets
Crusty carpets… cover them with a throw rug, right!? Or better yet, that giant stain that appeared out of nowhere and for some reason just hasn’t gotten taken care of… Nobody will find it if I conveniently cover it with some furniture! While this is true in the meantime, what will that buyers first thought be when they are moving into their brand new-to-them house and find what a surprise you left for them? As for the aforementioned crusty carpet… It always seems to happen that somehow right when you are trying to sell that house is when a buyer seems to step right on the one place you didn’t think they could possibly find. What a lasting impression!! A couple hundred dollars goes a very long way when giving your house freshened up carpet free of spills, stains, or odors. Trust us, it’s definitely worth it!
Rule #6 – Showcase Your Home, Not Your Things.
Everybody is going to love my walls that are covered with my eclectic pictures, family memorabilia, and personal taste!! My green shag throw rug with my stacks of vintage magazines will be awesome in this space and the future buyers will find it to be awesome and completely alluring! Gosh, while it is awesome to have your own space and rock your awesome personal style it is so important to realize that your personal style may not match the style tastes of potential buyers. Is your style shabby chic with a flair of country? How will that appeal to a modern contemporary buyer and vice versa? Transform your home into a clutter free space that showcases the bones of the house as opposed to your awesome personal style. Take down personal pictures – you want the next buyer to see themselves in the home instead of the current owners. Allow the buyers to see the home’s features… after-all, they are buying your home… not your stuff.
Rule #7 – Give Your home Curb Appeal!
Clean up your curb appeal! Did Rufus your 90 pound lab use your front yard as his personal bathroom for the last 3 years (or months, or weeks, or days)? Time to start scoopin’! Are your trees/shrubs overgrown or your flower gardens weed-ridden leaving your home to have an unkempt appearance? How about your front door… Does is scream welcome and inviting or more entry to the crypt keeper? While these are things that we seem to live with and not notice after time, a future buyer is certain to form an opinion at first glance and last glance that will sway their decision. According to Realtor.com the number one home investment you can make to increase curb appeal and overall presumed value is a new front door. Take a sunny afternoon to work on making your curb appeal the talk of the neighborhood.
While time is of the essence and there never seems to be enough of it there is always a reason to take a few extra hours when it is the difference of thousands of dollars. Home selling in a seller’s market is always exciting for sellers; however, home selling in a sellers market when you have the most appealing, most functional, most desirable space in your price point is PRICELESS!! Increase your selling power and decrease the negotiating stress by making your home the very best it can be.
For a complimentary home consultation call us today or more information about homes for sale in Fargo, ND, West Fargo, ND, Moorhead, MN or the Minnesota Lakes area feel free to reach out to the real estate experts. We look forward to assisting you with this great endeavor.
In Real Estate Success and Endeavors We Wish You All The Best,
Katherine Kiernan and Sarah DeJean
Kiernan / DeJean Property Associates
Element Realty, Inc. | 4610 Amber Valley Pkwy, STE. E, Fargo