As we get closer to the holidays we can expect activity to slightly slow down compared to the rapid pace we saw in the spring. Even though the market may be slowing, there is no reason to panic as long as you adhere to a few rules that will help improve the saleability of your home at this time of year.
1. Keep it Neutral!
Decorating a house to your specific taste is fine if you plan to live there, but if you plan on selling, potential buyers may not share your same taste in home decoration and colour choice. For a few hundred dollars, return all your walls to a neutral colour to solve 2 major issues. Potential buyers are often turned off by extreme colours or wallpaper. I know it is easy for them to remedy themselves, but most buyers will leave the showing with a negative impression of the home if the colours don’t match their taste. The other issue is also related to the first. Many buyers these days do not want to do much work when they take possession of a home. By painting all the walls with a fresh coat of neutral colour, you will give the buyer one less thing to do once they move in!
2. Less Is More – Minimize and Reduce
Remove some of your furniture and decorations before you go to market. This will make your home seem more spacious and less personalized. Take down some of the family photos and kids artwork so the potential buyers will have an easier time imagining themselves in that space.
3. The Nose Knows!
Keep it smelling fresh, but not too fresh! Whatever you do, do not over compensate and Fabreeze the heck out of your house. I have had buyers walk out of showings because the sellers have used too many strong scented candles or over used disinfectant sprays. It is best to eliminate strong BAD smells, but don’t overdo it! Be mindful of what you cook while your home is on the market, if you have pets, keep an eye on the litter box and try to smoke outside. Strong smells.....Good or Bad.....will have buyers running for the door.
4. Small Changes Make BIG Differences
Do not think you have to do major renovations to sell your house. Major renovations should be done for you to enjoy in a house you plan on living in. It is rare a seller will get all of their money back from major renovations, so focus on the small stuff when you plan on listing your home. Repainting, replacing hardware on drawers and cabinets, light switch covers, small fixture replacements, etc... can take a little time, cost a bit of money, but can add significant value when selling your home.
5. Don’t underestimate the importance of "Curb Appeal"
You know what they say about first impressions! And remember, the front of your home is the first photo people will see when your home is listed on the MLS. If they don’t like the first photo, they won’t click to see the second. You don’t have to spend thousands on landscaping, but keep the grass cut, remove the weeds from the garden, trim the bushes and trees, sweep the walkways (or shovel in winter). The path to your front door should be a clear and welcoming one, not an obstacle course!
6. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.....Just Fix It!
I always get the question with sellers, “should I do these repairs or should I just let the buyer look after them?” Just like point number 4, if it is small and won’t take up too much of your time, then fix it! If you don’t, it will not only take away from the aesthetic of the home, it may give the impression you do not look after your home. If you give off that impression, buyers will wonder what else needs to be repaired....the roof, the furnace, etc. Also, you don’t want to give the buyer small reasons to ask for big reductions!
Follow these simple rules and you will be sure to sell your home even in the slowest of markets.