You consider your home one of your most prized possessions. You have lavishly decorated to individual taste, using paint and wallpaper as expression of your personality. Eyes glued to yet another magazine, you finally found the perfect window treatment. Your furniture reflects the colors and textures that have become important over the years. And don’t forget, you DID spend hour after hour bent over that magnificent garden. However, it will cease to matter once you sign the “For Sale” agreement. The paint, the drapes and the carpeting mean nothing to those outside the family. And that lovely bathroom tile you imported from some exotic land isn’t even mentioned. How could they NOT notice that you spent a great deal of money and months waiting patiently for it to arrive at the shipyards?
The answer is simple… Your potential purchasers are not emotionally involved in your investment. Unlike you, they see the flaws you have come to ignore over the years. They will notice the carpet your cat has used as a scratching post, the tap that drips incessantly, and the ugly stain in the kitchen caused by the leaky roof. To them, it’s nothing but added expense, and probably not worth the effort. After all, there are many, many more properties on the market other than just yours. However, the marketability of your home WILL increase if you take the time and effort to view it through their eyes, and take extra care in ensuring that minor things are attended to.
One sure way of guaranteeing that your potential purchasers can see themselves enjoying life in your home, is to make it as presentable and uncluttered as possible. What is known in the industry as “curb appeal” may become the difference between “Sold” and “continued showings”. The tiny hand print that adorns the front door is cute only to you. To the other side, it’s a combination of filth and downright laziness. Despite the cost of a can of paint, your family room should NOT resemble a mud-room. And remember the sun shining through the windows? A little bit of elbow grease goes a long way!
When the time comes to list your home for sale, take into account that your potential purchasers are searching for new roots. They need to be enticed, enthralled and enchanted at first glance. It needs to feel like THEIR castle, THEIR history, THEIR love story the moment your home comes into view. If expense is a concern, do it yourself. If there’s litter in the front yard or the grass needs cutting, hire the teenager next door. Five dollars REALLY CAN make the difference! If not, there are numerous contractors, painters, decorators, cleaning services, and landscaping firms that your Real Estate Agent can recommend. For the more major repairs including replacing the roof, flooring or structural defects, etcetera, you can opt to invest in the repair, or you can choose to disclose this information in the Listing Contract.
Also pay attention to the “finishing touches” – the serene background music, the tidy bathroom , the made beds, and the bouquet of flowers. Open a few windows, the air will be fresher. A welcome mat at the front door is inviting, and please, no laundry running in the machines while you attempt to catch a few more minutes of lost time! By being ruthlessly honest in your evaluation of your home prior to listing, you will:
- Position your home at the top of the “Too See” list
- Guarantee that your own roots will be transplanted sooner rather than later
- Protect your hard earned investment dollars.