As a professional real estate agent for over 20 years, I have walked through thousands of Windsor homes. I have seen the best of the best and the worst of the worst. Today, as sellers are eagerly preparing their homes to place on the market during this busy spring buying season, let me give you the very best advice I can so you may sell your home quickly and for top dollar.
Again, it takes work to get a home ready to sell. Those sellers that do it right have every advantage and more than likely will moving very soon. The goal is to get your house sold in those first crucial 30 days. Anything after that means it’s time to take a good long look and see why it didn’t sell. Maybe it’s priced to high, or maybe it’s not in a desirable location. Regardless, you want to wow any buyer that walks in through your front door. So here are the best tips I can offer after my many years in the business. These will never cease to impress anyone that makes an appointment to view your home.
1. Make the entry gracious and welcoming:
- Treat your buyers like you would guests visiting to your home. Don’t make the buyer feel unwelcome or unexpected.
- With the exception of curb appeal, this is the first impression of your home a buyer will see. Interestingly enough, buyers always look up to check the ceiling height. Make sure any light fixtures are turned on and spotless!
- What does your house smell like? Is it overly fragrant? Or maybe it smells like last night’s dinner. Buyers will immediately do the sniff test. If they don’t like how it smells, it can be a game changer.
- If you have a small table in your entryway, leave the lamp on if you have one. Consider putting a small bowl of mints or candy there as well so your buyers can help themselves.
2. Adjust temperature:
- Whatever you do, don’t stress out about your utility bill when showing your house. If it’s cold outside, make sure your buyers walk into a warm, comfortable house. A good rule of thumb: If it’s cold outside where a sweater is required, then turn on the heat.
- If it’s warm outside, make sure your property is cool and refreshing temperature by turning on the air conditioner. Remember, if your home is comfortable on the inside, buyers will stay inside longer! This is exactly what you want, buyers that linger.
3. Make home inviting:
- Again, prepare like you are having guests over. If possible, light a fire in the fireplace to create a warm and cozy environment.
- If you have speakers throughout the house, play soft, classical music.
- If you have water fountains, make sure they are turned on.
- Have fresh flowers scattered throughout.
- Cold, bottled water in an attractive bowl with ice on those hot summer days are always appreciated by buyers. Again, these small gestures speak volumes.
4. Light it up!
- Make sure that you show your house as bright and airy! Even if the weather is dark and cloudy or a sunny 90-degree day, turn on every light and open all window treatments to let the light in.
- However, if your home has an undesirable view, perhaps a neighbour that keeps a tacky yard, then keep blinds partially closed. You don’t want to draw attention to an eyesore.
5. It’s the little things:
- Make a scrapbook of your home’s features that are displayed only at certain times of the year. For example, if you have a wonderful garden in the summer, yet you are selling in the winter, put in pictures to let the buyers see your masterpiece. Also, is your neighbourhood a popular destination for holiday lights? Or maybe your fall foliage is breath-taking? Include these photos as well.
- Leave doors slightly ajar (never closed).
- When vacuuming carpet, move in one direction. It looks uniform and professional.
- Make sure TV is turned off.
- Provide feedback cards so buyers can let you know what they like or even dislike about your home. This is invaluable advice that can only help the seller make any corrections or improvements if necessary.
- Keep pets away! I have talked about this so much, but really, it’s necessary to leave pets at a day care facility or with a friend or neighbour. Animals roaming the property make it difficult for buyers to walk around. Take my word for it, not everyone loves Fido.