My neighbor on the corner sold his house for $30,000 more! Our home is much nicer than his…
Is this you? If it is, that’s OK, especially if you’re in a close-knit subdivision. You cannot help but be curious when you see a neighbor’s house on the market. In fact, it’s an old joke about the sale flyers we used to put out (we are paperless at 817 Realty), that the first batch almost always gets gobbled up by curious neighbors. And the foot traffic for the first open house was definitely 90% neighborhood folks.
As long as you have an attentive agent with good marketing strategies, my advice is to not worry about what neighbor X got for his house. Focus on preparing your home for the best price you can receive for the time allotted. There are a surprising number of things you can do that cost little or nothing, but can make a big difference.
- Curb appeal: We all know the phrase, and, heck, HGTV created a show about it. But you know it is true. When you pull up to a house and things look disheveled, it’s going to taint your view of the inside before you open the door. Make sure the yard is tidy and trimmed. Add a few fresh flowers or plants for color, regardless of the season. These small plants will run you a few bucks but can really spruce up the view. Pick up things like water hoses and your mud shoes that have been laying there so long they have their own growth. Pressure wash the sidewalk and driveway to get those stains out.
- Fresh paint: Yep, it sounds simple, but a fresh coat of paint can make a HUGE difference on first impressions. New paint makes everything look crisp and clean. Now I’m not saying you have to paint the whole house inside and out. If you can, great. Otherwise take an honest look at the places that need it the most, and most likely those are the high traffic places that buyers will see first as well. Things like the trim and soffits or posts. Does the fence need a new coat of stain? How about the foyer or hallway leading into the main living area? The kitchen? Oh yeah, the kitchen is a big one. A quality paint can also tame those cooking odors you no longer notice.
- De-clutter: I listed this one in lieu of cleaning because I cannot stress strongly enough the difference it makes. It doesn’t matter if your home is spotless if the only way to make it through the living room is to navigate a narrow path like the Mississippi. If it’s too much to sort through, you can rent a small climate-controlled storage space for $75 – $125/month. Toss those extra boxes of clutter or furniture in the storage and swing by with your moving truck on the big day. Still overwhelmed with even the thought of this? No worries, there are professional organizers that can help. Yep, they really do exist and they can help you get it all sorted, literally. See, it’s easier to sort someone else’s clutter than your own.
The Benefits of a Professional Staging Service
You might think staging services are only for those other homes with the extra zeros, but you’d be surprised. I highly recommend having an initial consultation. It’s a fact that we do not see things clearly in our own homes, we walk through them every day. It’s just like getting someone to proofread your homework — another set of eyes to point out the trouble spots, and in this case trouble smells. If you have empty spaces that need attention, they can bring in furniture to fill empty corners that will flow nicely with the rest of the house. Remember, your potential buyers will think they’ve always been there.
Okay, okay, I see I have some work to do, but I still want to know what my home is worth please?
You betcha! We have a quick form for you to enter a little info and we’ll be happy to check this out for you.