Are you getting ready to sell your home in the upcoming weeks or months? The process may seem overwhelming, but getting your home prepared and staged is crucial for allowing buyers to imagine themselves in your home. If your home is on the market, but has not sold yet, try to do a few tips things to freshen up your home. There are plenty of small, easy things to do that go a long way in the mind of a buyer.
Here are some suggestions and ideas to improve your home’s appearance and help you prepare to sell it faster!
THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE:
- Open the draperies, pull up the shades, and let in the sunlight.
- Create a positive mood. Turn on all lights, day or night. Open the curtains during the day.
- Install higher wattage light bulbs to show your home brightly—in its best light.
- Remove all clutter from each room to visually enlarge them.
- Create the impact of spaciousness.
- Keep your home dusted and vacuumed at all times.
- Have a family emergency “game plan” to get the home in order quickly if necessary.
- Air out your home one-half hour before the showing if possible.
- Lightly spray the room with air freshener so that it has a chance to diffuse and air before the buyer arrives.
- Shampoo all carpets and vacuum them daily.
- If the carpet does not clean up well, you should replace it.
- Improve traffic flow through every room and create a feeling of spaciousness in every room by removing unnecessary furniture, knick knacks, hobby items, children’s items, etc.
- However, try to avoid creating a “sterile” looking environment.
- If you have numerous family photos, put them away until your home is under contract. Perspective buyers will feel more like it can be their home if they aren’t aware of your family photo memories.
- Rent a storage area for these items or have a yard sale.
- Straighten, tidy, and remove unnecessary items from all closets. Put unnecessary items in storage.
- Fix the front door bell.
- Invest in a new doormat.
- Make sure the front door, storm door, screen door, etc. work wonderfully.
- Create the feeling of a spacious entry area by using decorating accents, mirrors, rugs, etc. and by removing all unnecessary clutter.
- Wash all windows, inside and out.
- Curtains should be fresh, clean, and attractive.
- Clean all light bulbs, light fixtures and chandeliers to brighten the home.
- Remove all smoke odors, pet odors, and odors resulting from hobbies.
- Paint all inside walls with off-white paint. Use two or more coats to cover bold, bright or dark walls.
- All walls should be painted, not just washed. This will brighten the home and make it look bigger.
- Repair or replace all doors, closet doors, and/or windows and screens so that they open with ease.
- Repair or replace banisters and handrails.
- Water and prune all plants.
- Use plants in transitional areas of your home between inside and out.
- Either get rid of dying plants or keep them out of sight.
- Remove any excess extension cords and exposed wires.
- Open doors to areas you want the potential buyer to see such as walk-in closets, pantries, attic, basement, etc.
- Close all other closet doors and cabinets.
- Repair or replace loose or dangling wallpaper.
- Clean and shine all accessories (door knobs, knockers, lamps, mail boxes, address numbers, etc.)
IN THE KITCHEN:
- The kitchen should always be kept spotlessly clean.
- Microwave a small dish of vanilla twenty minutes before the showing and place it in an out-of-the-way place in the kitchen.
- Expand your counter space by removing small appliances.
- Highlight an eat-in area in your kitchen with a table set for dinner.
- Remove all grease from range hoods, ovens, stovetops, walls, etc.
IN THE FORMAL ROOMS:
- Set the scene by setting the table. Highlight the potential of your dining room by setting a grand dining table.
- If you have a fireplace, highlight it in your decorating.
- Clean rubbish out of the fireplace and keep it clean in the winter.
IN THE BEDROOMS:
- Create a master “suite” affect in your decorating.
- Make sure that beds are made and the linens and curtains are fresh and clean.
- Organize your closets, remove unnecessary items, and put them in storage.
- Straighten, tidy and remove unnecessary items from all closets. Create the feeling of spacious closets. Put all unnecessary items in storage or invest in under-the-bed storage boxes.
- Remove posters and adhesive from walls and doors and putty any holes resulting from nails or other mishaps.
- Depersonalize teenagers rooms and decorate in a neutral temperament.
IN THE BATHROOMS & LAUNDRY ROOMS:
- Bathrooms should always be kept spotlessly clean.
- Do not leave towels around and wipe down the shower areas after each use.
- Repair or replace broken tiles on walls, floors or in showers/tubs.
- Recaulk if the caulking is not sparkling white.
- Put out fresh towels and decorative soap for showings.
- Replace all toilet bowls if you cannot get them spotlessly clean.
- Replace shower curtains and keep them clean.
- Replace the washers in faucets and remove rust stains from basins.
IN THE BASEMENT AND ATTIC:
- Remove all unnecessary items from the attic, basement, garage, tool shed, and especially from the storage area if you have one.
- Clean or paint the basement walls and floor.
- Make the most of your attic’s potential, if applicable.
- Make the attic as pleasant as possible by airing it out, and decorating if possible.
- Add visual appeal to stairways, especially in unfinished stairways to the basement.
- If the basement shows any signs of water or structural damage it may be necessary to obtain a structural engineer’s report.
- Regardless of the season, tackle spring cleaning. Clean everything in your home from top to bottom, from the attic to the basement.
OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSE:
- Keep the yard mowed, raked, fertilized, and watered at all times.
- Remove all toys, bicycles, tools, unsightly patio furniture, trash, etc. from the yard.
- Trees and shrubs should be pruned and trimmed.
- Lawns and gardens should be weeded at all times.
- Use flowering plants to dress up the yard, walkways, and patio.
- All hoses and garden equipment should be neatly out of sight.
- Outdoor furniture should be kept clean and/or repainted if necessary.
- Firewood should be neatly stacked or out of sight.
- Mail boxes should be evaluated with a critical eye.
- Paint and repair the mailbox or replace it if necessary.
- Make all those minor repairs to the exterior.
- Porches, steps, verandas, balconies, patios and other extensions of the house should be kept uncluttered, swept and in good condition.
- Paint all entrance doors.
- Shades and awnings should be in good condition. Replace if the color has faded. Remove windsocks.
- Create an outside living/dining area with furniture and plants.
- Highlight your pool area, water garden, etc. with lighting, benches, planters, flowering plants, etc.
- Take nighttime photos of decorative yard lighting systems.
- Take pictures of your flowering mature landscaping now if you are planning to sell your home later in the season.
- Display these photos in your home in the wintertime.
- Clean, repair and paint all gutters and downspouts.
- All roof shingles, tiles, etc. should be secured or replaced. If the roof leaks, fix it.
- Make sure the garage door opens easily. Fix and paint the garage door if necessary.
- Paint chimney and replace broken bricks or stones.
- An investment in painting your home can really make the difference between “turning on” the buyer and sending up a red flag about the condition of the home.
SOME FINAL THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP YOUR HOME SELL QUICKLY:
- Arrive at an equitable asking price using an appraisal.
- Don’t be afraid to accept the first offer.
- Obtain a floor plan of your home, if possible.
- Assemble house records for buyer perusal.
- Provide a map of the area and highlight special-interest items.
- Only consider written offers by lender-prequalified buyers.
- Enlist the services of a professional marketing agent such as The Young Team to market your home online, in newspapers, and through engaging and modern marketing tactics.
You put your home up for sale, but it didn’t sell. There are a number of reasons this could have happened. Maybe you listed it for sale by owner, maybe your agent didn’t fully go over the home selling process, or maybe your home had contracts or offers that didn’t go through before closing. These issues could be attributed to problems found at inspection or a low appraisal. However, failing on the first attempt doesn’t mean you’ll never sell the home. If you address why your home didn’t sell, you can still have a timely home sale.
IDENTIFY THE REASONS FOR WHY YOUR HOME DIDN’T SELL
This is the first question to ask yourself or your agent when relisting a home. Why was the home removed from the market in the first place? If your home has been on the market for some time, it may acquire a reputation among potential home buyers. To avoid a bad rep, sellers and agents typically take some time to reassess the problems behind their listing and, eventually, relist. Having learned from the failure, you should come back much smarter, relist and sell the property in record time.
Every house can sell. If yours didn’t, there’s probably a reason for it. As already mentioned, there can be many reasons for a failed sale. The top three common issues we see are:
YOUR CURRENT REALTOR’S HOME SELLING STRATEGY
PROBLEM WITH THE PROPERTY
You can identify these issues based on the feedback from agents and buyers who saw your home. Ask your agent to ask every buyer’s agent about all the objections from their buyers. By taking constructive criticism, you can realize your mistakes and improve on your next attempt to relist.
CHANGE YOUR PRESENTATION
First impressions are the most important. If your home doesn’t catch buyers’ interest right off the bat, the listing is already at a disadvantage to competitors.
A well-presented house with high quality photos will get more viewers, while listings with poor photos will struggle. Photos taken in the winter used to market a property in spring gives buyers the wrong impression about the property. Changing the photos as the seasons change shows buyers the home is fresh and doesn’t set off red flags about that reputation.
The right staging in real estate marketing can also outweigh pricing. Replacing antique furniture with modern style furniture appeals to younger home buyers. Staging a vacant home also helps buyers visualize themselves in that space, while eliciting emotion to see how they can make it their own.
MAKE LOW-COST IMPROVEMENTS
Houses that move fast are those labeled as “move-in ready.” Fortunately, there are multiple low-cost improvements you can make to the home to increase its move-in ready appeal. Painting the interior or exterior can help your home’s sale. A deep clean can also give a better impression, as well as cleaning up the trim and landscaping by adding new affordable plants.
If there are minor repairs, take care of them in advance. If they’re more major, hire a professional. While at it, get a home pre-inspection to gives yourself an idea of what to improve before the home is under contract. This is also a reassuring and motivating sign to buyers when deciding to make an offer on a home. It’s common that expensive improvements rarely pay for themselves, so focus on those obvious little improvements that could win you more viewers and ultimately a great price.
REEVALUATE THE PRICE
One of the factors for an unsalable house is the price. It most situations, we suggest never putting a home back on the market at the same price or relisting a home at a higher price.
Don’t hesitate to have a frank discussion regarding the price with your agent. Taking emotion out of the conversation will allow you to see the buyers perspective: Just because it was your dream home, doesn’t mean everyone else sees it the same way. If your home has been on the market for some time, try considering the market conditions. If you’re in a higher market, sluggish sales may motivate you to lower the price.
Making price changes often triggers a new pool of buyers, especially in the digital age where email is the preferred method of communication. A small adjustment can trigger an email alert to buyers who have set up a home search based on their price range. For example, if your home is priced at $310,000, you’re not reaching buyers who’ve set their search for homes priced between $250,000 and $300,000. Reducing the price to $299,900 will draw new impressions to the property without a significant price cut.
SWITCH UP THE MARKETING
With most home buyers looking at homes online, it takes more than just a newspaper ad to sell a house. Experienced agents have networked with area agents so they can quickly alert other agents about the sale. In addition to that, realtors need to be aggressive in marketing their properties online. Simply putting your listing on Zillow isn’t enough anymore. Out-of-the-box strategies such as social media marketing, online pay per click advertisements, and search engine optimization will help you reach more people in less time.
HIRE THE RIGHT AGENT
Lastly, find the right agent for selling your home. You don’t have to fire your real estate agent after an unsuccessful home sale, but consider creating a fresh listing by letting a new agent relist the property. In a majority of cases where a house fails to sell, you’ll find that the agent was at fault to some degree.
The seller may have also not done their due diligence. Perhaps you didn’t interview multiple Realtors, or didn’t ask the right questions. It’s important to pick the realtor that will get the job done, and not someone you know because their your friend or family.
With more people keeping a tighter hold on their finances in the recent years, the traditional estate or garage sale has become a popular resource for homeowners getting rid of their belongings and hopeful consumers looking for a deal.
It’s what we like to call a win-win: getting good deals and unloading excess clutter while making a little bit of cash is something that seems to benefit everybody. Although having a estate sale can be a great idea if you’re looking to sell your home, there are some people who don’t want to go through the process of planning.
Don’t let the hassle and other stress inducing experiences prevent you as a seller to make some fast cash. That negative understanding of a garage sale induced headache may deter you, but remember successful, hassle-free garage sale is all in the planning. A system and thoughtful preparation ensures you will have control over the garage sale, and it won’t run you into the ground.
This guide to holding an estate, garage, or yard sale will give you the best tips you’re looking for. Remember, if you are going to do it, make it worth your time.
Scroll down to the bottom of this post to find more information on estate sales and finding garage sales in Cleveland near you!
ORGANIZATION IS THE FOUNDATION
To have an effective garage sale, be organized and efficient. This means your garage sale should check off all these boxes:
1) THE ART OF CATEGORIZING AND ARRANGING
Try to stick with selling items that are in working condition and are not parts of something. If you do have these things, consider setting them aside so they can be hauled off with whatever is left at the end of the sale.
Put things near each other that relate to each other. For example, arrange your kitchen items with other household items, while another area can be focused on toys and children’s items. Not only will this be more enjoyable for your buyers, but you will also have a better idea of your inventory and direction. This also gives direction if someone inquires about a specific type of item.
2) A PRICE ON EVERYTHING
Negotiating can be the primarily emotionally draining and time consuming part of a estate sale, so price out everything don’t overprice anything regardless of its condition. You don’t have to cheat yourself, but be reasonable with that you’re offering. You will also find estate sale enthusiasts don’t enjoy haggling either. It’s the deal they’re after and you will have a more successful estate sale if you play to that.
3) SCHEDULING THE FIRST WEEKEND OF THE MONTH
If you are a strict budgeter, you know there is more money in the bank at the beginning of the month than the end. You’re more likely to get your things swapped up fast when deals are good and the money is there to spend.
4) “ONE DAY ONLY!” VS. “3 DAY GARAGE SALE”
Remember, our goal is to keep the irritation to a minimum, so we recommend to limit the garage sale to one day only, then get rid of your belongs that don’t sell. Also consider that garage sale enthusiasts typically don’t bother with second day sales because the deals and desirable items and are already gone.
If you are experiencing low traffic, bad weather, or still have a lot of items available, it may be a good idea to hold the sale an extra day.
5) START AND END AT REASONABLE HOURS
Research when other estate sales start. Typically you will find most estate sales start at 8 am, but enthusiasts get the jump start and come as early as 6:30 a.m. Never start too late, because your buyers might be lost to your competition. If they get too far down the road, you’re likely to be forgotten.
6) ADVERTISING WITH PURPOSE
Some local media charge a small fee garage sale listing, some don’t. Remember, most people are searching everything online, so consider posting your sale in online resources dedicated to garage sale listings free of charge. Once you decide where you want to advertise, jump on placing an ad ahead of time to get the maximum exposure.
Some details you might include in your ad are the date, your address, time range, and a very brief description of what will be available. Visuals such as pictures and maps are also helpful and grab the attention of the visual audience when placing an ad online. With all the talk of going digital, it can be easy to forget about more traditional methods. Make a compelling flyer with all the details listed above and post on local bulletin boards.
Lastly, you will want to have proper signage for your garage sale as well. Make your sign visible and durable by using anything from thick poster board to a weighted cardboard box. Make the lettering big and readable to passing cars, so they can read the sign. A garage sale sign should be simple and neat but branded with extra-large bold letters. Your address and arrows are also good indicators.
7) CAN’T SELL EVERYTHING?
The organization doesn’t stop when the estae sale is over. Having in mind a day and time a local second-hand store, such as Re-Use, can pick up leftover items will help make sure your unwanted belongings are gone for good. Have all your things organized per the instructions of the pick-up service.
OTHER GARAGE SALE TIPS
Don’t be afraid to engage your customers in friendly conversation. Not only is this a good way to meet interesting new people, but your customers will feel even more welcome and free to look around more. They may even purchase something that weren’t planning on buying.
Offering something for free can be a nice gesture, especially some early morning coffee, or even a smaller item that can be given away for free.
Hold Off and Wait for Everyone Else
Some communities and neighborhoods work together for a group garage sale that lure in crowds from local and surrounding areas. This can be an easier way to create more sales and get rid of stuff fast.
Efficiently preparing for a garage sale can be the one thing that keeps it close to a pleasant experience. Along with planning ahead, take time to briefly familiarize yourself with your local laws and ordinances. Not only are there some items that can’t be legally sold in a garage sale, in some areas, it is necessary to buy a permit to even have a sale.
Now all you will need is a power strip plugged into an outside outlet, a calculator, as well as plenty of change and one dollar bills and you’re ready for your garage sale. One last tip that can make or break your garage sale: Don’t forget to check the weather!