When you're getting ready to sell your home, you want to make sure you take all the right steps so you can get it sold fast and for top dollar. Of course, unless you're a professional Realtor, chances are you're going into the whole situation a bit blind. From the best colors to paint your living room to whether the new owner needs title insurance, no one expects you to know everything about selling real estate.
We know. It's the age of do it yourself. You've got the Internet at your fingertips, so you can do just about anything without having to consult an expert and save yourself a few bucks while you're at it, right? Not in this case. While you may have successfully figured out how to change out your kitchen faucet, this is a whole different animal. A licensed Realtor will bring education, experience and a practiced eye for getting your home sold quickly. You've lived in your home for years, so it may be hard for you to be objective about the space - a Realtor can provide a much-needed outside perspective as well.
If the sliding back door has always been slightly off its runner for years, you may have just learned to live with it and hardly even notice it anymore. And while it may not be a deal breaker, enough small issues with a home may lead would-be homebuyers to think that you've not been keeping up with major repairs like the roof or the electrical system, which can be a deal breaker. Before you show the house, get around to replacing that cracked mirror or the cabinet door that won't quite close.
3. Neglecting the outdoor space
Even if the interior of your home is immaculate, if you've let your front lawn go weeks without a mowing or have a dead tree in your front yard that you've failed to remove, it can give a terrible first impression of your home - one that may be hard for homebuyers to ignore. Try not to think of your yard as a separate entity from your home. Rather, it should be an extension of it - as much a part of the house as the living room or kitchen. So make sure it looks awesome!
4. Leaving clutter everywhere
Sure, you're still living in your home, and homeowners know that. But that's no excuse for leaving dirty dishes in the sink, your bed unmade or your kids' toys lying around the house. It's not easy to keep your home showroom ready day in and day out, but the extra effort will be worth it when your home sells more quickly.
5. Making the space too personal
It's impossible to live and raise your family in a home, and not leave your personal mark on the place. But when a couple is looking for a house to bring up their own kids, they need to be able to envision their own family making a home there. When you're going to show your house, take your kids' drawings off the fridge and try to clear out as many personal effects as you can. Present as much of a blank canvas as you can, and the homebuyers will more easily see the potential.
6. Letting your pets roam free
Any pet owner knows their four-legged friends are as much a part of the family as any of their two-legged family members, but sometimes Fido has to go. This is true for a few reasons. First of all, pets are often distracting. During an open house, there are dozens of people walking in and out, and animals often want to greet them all - or, worse, defend their territory. Plus, many people may be allergic or afraid of pets of all shapes and sizes, and the last thing you want is for a potential buyer to have to make an early exit because they are uncomfortable. When you're getting ready to show the house, ask a neighbor or friend to watch Fluffy or Spot for a few hours, or take them to a local daycare for some fun.
7. Getting in the way
No one knows your house better than you do, so it makes perfect sense that you should be there to let homeowners know the ins and outs of your house. You have information about the school district, the neighbors and nearby parks. But the fact of the matter is, you're probably doing more harm than good. Just as you want to remove the massive collage of your family that's hanging on the wall, you may want to remove yourself from the premises as well and let your Realtor do their job.
Avoid these top seller mistakes and help people see the beauty of your home!