You’ve listed your home and had a few showings but no offers. Your agent suggests hosting an open house over the weekend and asks you to “spruce things up” to impress interested buyers. A good agent should give you a list of simple improvements to make but let’s say this one didn’t. What quick and inexpensive improvements can you make to increase the wow factor and give you a better chance of getting a high offer?
Clear off Floors and Counter Space
You may think that you’ve cleaned up your home the best you can but a house ready for showings should have little to no personal items laying around. This includes decorative lamps, blankets on the couch, toys, and even family photos. These personal items should all be packed up in boxes and put in the garage or a storage unit. All surfaces such as coffee tables and counters should be cleared of ANY items. You want a prospective buyer to imagine their own possessions in your home. As an agent, I have walked into too many open houses with toothbrushes laying out on the bathroom sink and stacks of bills on the kitchen table. Avoid this if you want buyers to be impressed by your home.
While it’s usually not appropriate to open up dresser drawers in a home, buyers are encouraged to peek into closets to gauge their size and layout. Therefore, make sure you aren’t just throwing items into your closet but take the time to organize your clothes and shoes. Consider buying a closet organizer as well. If your closet is overflowing, pack away most of these items so a prospective buyer can determine if the closets will work for them.
Have a Friend Do a “Smell Test”
We often don’t smell our home’s unique scent because we spend so much time there. However, others can and will smell your home. Ask a friend or your agent to come over and give their honest opinion on the home’s smell. If you have animals, consider having a friend keep them if possible and then deodorize your carpets and utilize fragrance plug-ins throughout the home. Have someone you trust do a last-minute “smell check” to make sure everything smells fresh before you open up your home for an open house.
Spruce up the Outside of Your Home
The outside of your home is the first impression a prospective buyer gets. Make sure it’s a good one. Install new house numbers if yours are faded, chipped, or broken. Hang a nice wreath on your door and buy a new welcome mat. Clean your windows so they are free of smudges and spray down your gutters. Finally, take down curtains and leave blinds up so people feel invited into the house. This also helps bring as much natural light into the home as possible.
If you follow all of these tips and your home is still not selling, it is most likely a pricing problem. Your agent is the expert and you should listen to their advice when it comes to pricing your home. When it comes to listing a home, in today’s market, the list price is usually not the price you want but is strategically chosen to encourage multiple offers and a bidding war. Again, listen to the experts.
If you are trying to sell your home on your own and are running into these issues, consider biting the bullet and hiring an agent. Reach out here for your free, no-obligation home-value report, and let me help you get top dollar for your home. Most homeowners end up putting more money in their pocket using an agent and avoid future legal issues by trusting the experts.