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Preparing your Home to Sell (Think Like a Buyer Thinks)


The most important thing you can do when preparing to list and sell your home is to walk through and consider your home as a buyer might see it. As REALTORS®, we have a pretty good pulse on what buyers look at and for when they tour homes, so we've compiled some helpful information in this article to aid you in that process.


Now, there are aspects of a buyer's choice in a home that you have no ability to change. For instance, perhaps your home is a 3 bedroom plus an office on the main level, but the buyer needs a true 4-bedroom home. Or perhaps your home is situated on a busier street whereas the buyer prefers a quiet cul-de-sac. Many aspects of your home are fixed. This article is designed to walk you through some non-fixed aspects to consider giving attention to. Making select changes to these aspects may improve your home in the eyes of prospective buyers.


Ask yourself these questions as you walk through your home:


1) Is your home ‘dated’ or ‘updated’? Home design trends have become sort of like wardrobes: the fashions change rapidly. It’s almost impossible to keep up! You absolutely do not have to update your home to the most current style, but a dated home is noticed. Your REALTOR® can help you identify whether or not key improvements could help you achieve a higher value, so have these conversations early on in the process! Chances are we aren’t talking kitchen and bathroom remodels here. Sometimes it’s as simple as a fresh coat of paint or carpet cleaning and stretching that will help to present even a dated home in its best light.


2) Is your yard/property well maintained? Unlike investors who are eager to scoop up undervalued homes in order to flip for large profits, buyers can readily see and appreciate a home that has been loved and cared for. Deferred maintenance or untended yards turn off buyers; all they see is the extensive catch-up work they will need to do to make the house their home. Consider a fresh coat of exterior paint, or hiring a landscaping crew to come out and really spruce up the yard in preparation for listing. Some sellers opt to do a pre-listing inspection in order to address needed repairs preemptively. A little investment upfront means stronger curb appeal and is a value-add in the marketing of your home.


3) Is the home attractively staged and decorated? Good staging is an art, and is often quite different than the functionally-driven design we employ in our homes for day-to-day living. A well-presented house may net you more money, or it could just make the home more saleable, meaning it will sell quicker because it competes better against other properties on the market. You do not have to follow every home fashion or trend, but considering how the home is staged and decorated for photos and showings is very important.



So… what can you do to improve in these areas?

The most important thing you can do is to begin the conversation with your REALTOR® early on in your process. Every home and every market niche will be different, so lean on his or her real time experience to guide you as to what will be most effective in presenting your home in its best possible light.


Second to that is to de-clutter. Less is always more. If you are going to be moving anyway, pack up everything you can live without and store the boxes in the garage, shop, or at a storage facility. Remove unnecessary or mis-matched furniture to open-up your floorplan, creating a home that feels more spacious.


The most important thing you can do is to begin the conversation with your REALTOR® ... Every home and every market niche will be different, so lean on his or her real time experience to guide you as to what will be most effective in presenting your home in its best possible light.

A slightly more challenging exercise is to de-personalize. The best showings are when buyers see less of you in your home, and more of themselves in their new home. Galleries of personal pictures on walls or the refrigerator can be a distraction to buyers as they admire your adorable grandkids or pets instead of admiring your beautiful home! This is about creating the opportunity for prospective buyers to place themselves comfortably in your home. Taking time to do this (including patching and repainting walls where pictures may have been removed) really does make a difference. The home doesn’t need to be utterly devoid of any personality, but simplify that personality to a few key items that show off the home as much as they show off the items.


Buyers are very savvy, and in this age of instant and vast information they are sizing up your home and property before they even step foot on site. Buyers will not be fooled, but the good news is that they also readily recognize good value. They are willing to jump on something when they see that the value is clearly there. Taking the time to adequately prepare to communicate that value to them will mean the best possible chance at getting the best possible offer and price for the current market.

Buyers are very savvy, and in this age of instant and vast information they are sizing up your home and property before they even step foot on site.

Want to talk more about preparing your home to sell? Reach out to one of Bella Casa Real Estate Group’s experienced REALTORS® today for a free consultation!


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