Interest rates are at an all time low. Special incentives and tax breaks are out there to help jump start our buying again. This housing correction has provided us with a buyer’s market… for those able to buy. So, with the multitude of houses for sale, what does a seller do to better the odds that their house will sell?
First, and foremost…clean. Your house must be spotless. There’s a good chance it will be competing with newer homes in your area. Cleaning means getting rid of clutter. You may need to rent a storage unit to hold some items until your house sells. You want your house to show like its big and spacious. Make sure you clean closets. Store out of season clothes in a drawer or storage. Your closet must also look spacious.
Clean showers, tubs, and sinks especially good. No one wants to take a bath in someone else’s dirty tub. Scrub soap scum and mildew off doors and around cracks. Toilets must also be clean and sanitized.
A fresh coat of paint on the walls and trim will make buyers feel the house has been taken care of. If this isn’t possible, wash the walls and doors. Get rid of crayon markings, fingerprints, and dust. A buyer doesn’t want to move in and paint everything.
Replace all burnt out light bulbs – inside and out.
If appliances are staying, make sure they’re clean.
Clean windows and blinds.
Keep beds made. This is especially hard if you have children…but a must.
Carpets and floors should be cleaned. Dirty, stained carpet is an immediate turn off for buyers.
Keep household items and decorations dusted and clean. Put away personal items, including photographs…if you can’t, at least keep them to a minimal.
Keep dishes out of the sink and put away. Clear as much as you can off the counters, so they also look roomy.
If you have a pet, keep hair off furniture and floors. Keep litter boxes clean and smelling fresh, best to hide them out of sight.
Keep fish tanks, hamster cages, and other small animal areas clean. Any stink in the air could give a negative impression.
Your garage also needs to look clean and roomy. Remember, this is not to be your storage space.
Finally, just as important as your inside, is the outside of your house.
Clear your yard of all clutter.
Pull weeds from your flowerbeds. Your yard must be well manicured. After all, it’s the first thing buyers will see.
Finally, to increase your chance of finding a buyer, use a realtor. It may cost more, but it allows your house to be seen by more people.
Last, but not least, be patient. As our economy picks up, buyers will jump back into the housing market, ready to find a good deal.