In my real estate trade, I've seen quite a number of homes that are for sale. Interestingly, the majority of them probably won't sell - especially in the current marketplace. What, you ask? Why on earth wouldn't a home sell? Well, here's my take:
1. Paint colours. You may love the royal purple paint with the gold carpet (yes, it reminds me of one of those sequinned Golden Girls sweaters!) but for some reason, most people find it difficult to imagine their own furniture in this style of decor. Paint is an inexpensive way to freshen a room - but in a more neutral style. The best colour is a non-colour ie. off-white or a very light beige. Yes, it might be boring compared to royal purple, but it will help, not hinder the sale of your home.
2. Smells. Eeeewwww, you're thinking. Odours come from all sorts of places - cooking, the family dog(s), mildew around the bathtub, the fruit bowl that's a bit past it's prime, a damp basement, etc. When entering a home, the smell is one of the first things that a buyer notices. A light, clean fresh scent is good and no scent is the best of all. And please, don't "mask" the smell with overpowering air fresheners or strong incense. If you're going to add a scent to the air, I recommend using the reed diffusers with a lightly scented (citrus or vanilla) essential oil. The best thing to do though is to eliminate the source of any smell. This means using the exhaust fans when cooking, no smoking inside the house, cleaning the house thoroughly every week with tidy ups before showings, using a dehumidifier in the basement (particularly in the summer), etc.
3. Stuff. More stuff. Too much stuff. Get rid of it! Not permanently, I'm not asking you to throw away the crocheted tablecloth that your grandmother from the old country made by hand, by candlelight while she was giving birth. But please, pack it away. You're going to have to pack it for the move anyway, right? And while you're at it, remove the eighteen pictures on the mantlepiece, etc. By packing away 2/3 of the "trinkets" in your home, you'll make it appear larger and more spacious. As a bonus, your home will be easier to clean during the showing period - less "stuff" to dust and polish!
4. Cleanliness. It's amazing how many different standards of housekeeping there are. I've had clients who thought it was perfectly fine to throw their organic garbage (vegetable peels, etc) on the front lawn to "feed the birds", and I've had clients who insisted on vacuuming every four hours during the sale period - whether there was a showing or not. You don't need to vacuum every four hours (twice a week is fine in most households), but please don't "feed the birds" either. If you need help, then do it! Hiring a cleaning service for once a week cleaning during the sale period is a great investment taking the stress off your shoulders and hopefully, resulting in a faster sale at a better price.
5. Lighting. Really? Yep. A bright home seems to be fresher and cleaner to most buyers. This means tying back the curtains - and sheers - and making sure the windows are spotless. If your lighting fixtures are older than 15 years, but aren't "antique" then I recommend changing them. You can find inexpensive ceiling lights at places like Canadian Tire, Rona, Ikea, etc. While you're at it, please get rid of the compact flourescent (CFL) bulbs. Horrors, what about energy efficiency? Sure, you'll use a bit more electricity with an incandescent or halogen bulb - but the light cast is much more soothing and attractive than CFL bulbs. Plus, you don't have to worry about the environmental disposal of the CFL bulbs which contain mercury.
So, these are just 5 quick tips to get your house sold - usually for more money and in a quicker time period than would happen if you didn't take this advice. If you have any questions or are interested in finding out what your home is currently worth in today's market, give me a call.
I'm here to help.