But if you can get a handle on some of these tips, potential buyers will look at your home and picture themselves in it. If you leave some of these items slide, then those buyers will start a running tally in their mind of the things they want to change, and that will affect what they choose to offer for your home. You want them to want your home as their new home, not as a fixer upper. Check them out and make them your own:
1. Keep your entryway simple and inviting. Put a seasonal wreath on the door. When's the last time you bought a new welcome mat? When guests walk in, is the floor clean and clear, or are your rain boots or grass cutting shoes still there?
2. Do a spring cleaning on all your floors. Clean all your carpets, wood floors, scrub the tile floors (yes, the grout too).
3. As hard as this is to say, empty spaces sell. Not completely empty... stay with me here. Empty out 1/2 of what's in each closet and cabinet and put them in storage. If you're moving, go ahead and box it up and label it. Then some of your packing is getting done in the process! Stack the boxes neatly in the garage, basement, attic, etc. Buyers will see possibilities in how big the spaces are. Don't worry about them seeing boxes because aren't you selling your house? You're getting ready to move, it should seem logical to the buyers that there are boxes ready to move in your garage.
4. If you have the time, paint your walls a neutral paint color. If you have walls that are different colors, buyers may just focus on how they didn't like your orange bathroom and your purple living room. I can hear you now, it's just paint you say. But today's buyers don't want to be bothered with having to paint. They want it all done before they move in.
5. I've had buyers who, upon pulling up to the home, will judge by the outside and say "I don't even want to look at this one". Curb appeal is that important. Your yard shouldn't have toys, bikes etc outside. No one wants to see the garbage cans. Do you have a planter by your door with a nice arrangement in it? Keep the outside of your home neat and tidy.
6. Speaking of the outside, mow and edge your lawn, trim the trees and bushes, plant a few colorful annuals in your flower beds, and put down some fresh mulch.
7. Keep the high traffic areas of your home, like the kitchen and the bathrooms, spotless. Even if they need updating, as long as it's clean a buyer will consider. I've had buyers say they want to rip out a whole kitchen when it was just really dirty and messy. It affected their offer price.
8. Consider providing a home warranty for your potential buyers. This will give the buyers peace of mind, because if something were to go wrong with the home after you sell, they're covered.
9. Consider having a certified stager (like myself) talk a look at your home. Stagers can make sure buyers will see exactly what you want them to see. Sometimes buyers may have a hard time seeing the purpose of a room. A stager can use what you have, or bring in some of their things, and will set up the room so buyers hopefully can see themselves in the space.
10. While it may be tempting to try and sell your home yourself, use a real estate professional. Negotiations can get risky, and you definitely want someone on your side to represent you.