Did you know that there are 5 cheap and easy things you can do before your home is listed for sale that will improve the chances of you selling your home quickly? Over the years and thousands of listings I’ve seen, I can tell you some things that you might not think would be noticeable but really help your home stand out from the rest while it is on the market.
- Curb Appeal If you stand outside your house as if you are going to take a picture, how does the house look? Does it look like any other house on the street? Is that house the nicest one on the street or the one where it looks like no one lives there? You want your house to look like it is the nicest one on the street. If neighbors have large planters with live flowers, get planters and live flowers. If neighbors have flags, get a flag. Fair or not, buyers are going to compare your home to those they can see around it. Make sure your home looks inviting.
- Cut the grass Although that would seem pretty obvious, it’s shocking how many home sellers list their home for sale and forget about taking care of the home and the yard. In St. Louis during the spring and summer, that means cutting your grass at least once a week. You may have a yard full of weeds. That’s ok, just cut them and plan on keeping the lawn or weeds down. When buyers walk around the backyard, it isn’t a great feeling to have weeds tugging at your feet every step. If you physically can’t mow your lawn, hire a service for the time you are listing your home. It will be worth it.
- Keep the inside of the home clean, especially kitchens and bathrooms. As a real estate agent, usually there is a sign in sheet. When that sign in sheet is centered in a sticky mess, I know I’m headed back to the house for a shower after the showing. That’s the wrong impression to give to potential home buyers. Before you list your house, consider a professional deep cleaning. All surfaces should be free of dust and whatever else is on them. While your home is listed for sale, understand that there could be 50 to 100 people walking through the home on a weekend. No matter how clean those potential home buyers are, there are going to be times when they track in grass, mud, or other debris. Check your home for cleanliness daily if possible while it’s listed for sale.
- Wash the windows The differences between clean windows and dirty windows when your home is listed for sale is dramatic. You may have never washed the windows during your ownership of the house, and that’s ok. You aren’t going to be owning the house much longer, and it’s time to get the windows washed. When potential home buyers walk through your home, they are going to look outside. When they look through cloudy and dirty windows, they see an outside that is cloudy and dirty. When they look through clean windows, they see an outside that is bright and crisp. You are literally changing what the buyers see when they look outside. Make that impression be a positive one.
- Clean out gutters As much as I thought this would be an obvious one, apparently it isn’t. When your gutters have grass growing out of them, or there are dark streaks where the water has continually washed over the gutters, it’s time to clean them. If you have a two story home, this can be a little trickier to accomplish than a ranch, but it doesn’t matter. Make sure your gutters are clean before your home is listed for sale.
Potential home buyers are usually looking for reasons not to buy your home versus reasons to buy your home. And, we know that there is always a seller concern that their house won’t sell. When you keep these 5 things in mind, you are showing the buyer that you care about your home and that you took care of it. On the other hand, when you present a very sloppy listing, home buyers pick up on that as well, and it gets reflected to the seller in the form of low offers and longer listing times. If you are unable to do any of these 5 cheap and easy things, consider hiring someone who can. The cost is much less than what you will end up seeing in a low offer to purchase your home.