Spring time is the time for proms… cotillion balls.. weddings. It”s a time when we often get dressed up and wanting to look sharp for that special event. If you”re getting ready to sell your house, start thinking that it”s prom time for your house.
Think back to any one of these events and recall how much preparatory work went into getting ready. You may have been looking for something special to wear for months before. Maybe a weight loss campaign to drop a few pounds. No doubt just before the event you probably spent time at a hair salon, getting a fresh cut or a special style. Guys would wash and polish their cars, corsages bought, and so on.
The special night came and you looked pretty darn great, didn”t you? In fact, I”ll bet someone, somewhere uttered “You look amazing” that night, right?
Now let”s take it one more imaginary step. Imagine that for this imaginary, and odd, prom, instead of having a date and going as a couple, no one had dates and everyone arrived alone.
You all lined up on opposite sides of the walls in the ballroom when you got there and everyone was in competition with everyone else to pair up as a couple, right there, at the ballroom. Guy or gal, that”s a lot of competition, regardless of which gender is asking and which is accepting.
Certainly you were looking great, but in this admittedly ridiculous, competitive, prom scenario… you think you might be even more concerned about looking amazing? Maybe you”d be taking it up a notch? No doubt.
And that”s what home selling is like these days. Buyers aren”t looking at 6, 10, 12 houses. They”re looking at 50… 75… 100.
They”re doing it online.
They”re online browsing through the real estate search sites, looking through all the photos, all the listings and THEN… picking out the half dozen they want to tour first hand. 75 houses is a lot of competition. With that many houses being browsed through online, think about how easy it would be for buyers to use any little reason to eliminate your house.
Here”s a start list of just three prep items for you to help get your house to be “amazing.”
- Start to de-clutter. We sell differently than we live, I like to say. Get good sturdy boxes from a home center or truck rental place. Label and group them. (Kitchen appliances, den books, etc) I say label them in case you need to find something during the time the home is on the market and before you move. (“Honey? Which box is the rice cooker in??”) But put away as many things as you can. Be aggressive with it. Buyers can easily deal with boxes neatly stacked in the basement or garage than a overflowing kitchen/bathroom countertop or bookcase full of piles of books and older magazines. Clear it out. Clear it off. Pack it or toss it.
- Empty your closets. There”s plenty of clothes you don”t often wear, be brutal and empty them more than you think you should. And have the bottom of every closet as empty and bare as you can. Box them up. Not long ago I took buyers to a lovely house, closets were full. Not messy. Not overstuffed, as many can be. Just full. We then went to tour another house in the same community. Turns out its the same exact model except the layout was a mirrored plan. This one had near-bare empty closets. Guess what the buyers said? Yep, “oh wow, these closets are much bigger than the last home.”
- Pack up your collectibles. Personally, I love seeing collections. I love asking about how and why you started. I did a lot of traveling to bowling tournaments and years ago started buying fridge magnets of places I”ve been. My fridge is not only out-of-control covered but I have another box full of hundreds of magnets. You want buyers to be looking at your house not your collectibles. It”s so very common that on a buyers tour of homes, they later remember your spoon collection but can”t remember your home. Don”t give them distractions.
Your home will be among lots and lots of other homes, lined up along that ballroom wall looking for that special someone. Instead of diminishing your chances by looking average, (or below average, hopefully not!) hedge your chances and think about looking… Amazing.