When I talk to people wanting to sell their house, one of the MOST common requests I get is, “Will you walk through our house and tell us what we need to do to get our house ready to sell?” Any good Real Estate agent is happy to do this. After years of doing this, I’ve learned that there are 3 things that are relevant to every seller. Regardless of area, price, or time of year. The funny part is most sellers know them but underestimate their importance and ROI.
If you could only do ONE thing to your house before putting it on the market, this would be it!!
A dirty house sometimes portrays neglect. Buyers assume that your house is at its best when listed on the market. If it’s dirty when listed for sale one can only imagine how dirty it must be on a regular basis. And if you neglect such a simple item as cleaning, buyers start wondering what else is neglected? (Furnace filters, lawn care, winterizing, exterior painting and staining, pet stains, etc.)
You can have an updated house with great colors, nice finishes, beautiful landscaping and located in the best part of town but if the house isn’t clean, you can kiss top dollar goodbye. The best part is it’s cheap. Even if you don’t have the time, you can hire a professional for a few hundred bucks. If you live in the Omaha Metro and need some referrals give us a ring.
When cleaning, make sure it’s not just a surface clean. Buyers notice these things. Make sure you clean from floor to ceiling. Mopping and vacuuming to dusting spider webs. Also, be sure to deep clean your appliances, showers/baths, and toilets. “The three most common items people forget to clean are ceiling fans, tops of refrigerators and window seals and blinds allows,” says Shana Blythe, owner of Another One Bites The Dust, cleaning company in Omaha, NE.
You only get one first impression. Make it a good one. Clean!
While Tidy and Clean go hand in hand, they are not the same. I usually suggest tidying first because then deep cleaning is easier. If you have a bunch of clutter buyers can get distracted. A large part of purchasing is emotional and not logical, so less will allow the brain to start moving in their own furniture in their mind. It’s like drawing on a blank canvas versus an already started painting.
Here is a great rule of thumb for tidying. LESS IS MORE. This goes for floor space, wall coverings and tops (counters, cabinets, tables, desks, etc). I recommend 1-3 things max on any top or wall. As for furniture, try and make sure things are laid out in a manner that makes the room feel larger and accessible. Your agent can offer some guidance here also. Make sure you get the house as tidy as possible before pictures and placing on the market.
Let’s talk about storage space. Fill it up! I would rather my sellers have one storage room that is full to the brim and the rest of the house look fantastic than every room looking cluttered but the storage room looking good. Make sense? Buyers know you’re moving. They understand if the storage area is packed. If you don’t have an actual storage room, you can use the garage or another unused room. The same theory still applies. One room can look bad if all the rest look great.
If you don’t have storage space perhaps look at renting a storage unit, getting a mobile storage container, or selling or donating some items.
Your house is now tidy. It’s clean and show ready. Time for photos! We ask a lot of our sellers to get a house ready to put on the market. In return, we hire a high-end professional photographer to take fantastic photos of the house. According to the National Association of Realtors, over 90% of home buyers searched online during their home buying process. This means that most buyers are looking at your house online before ever even setting foot in the door. We often consider this a first showing. An actual physical showing with today’s technology is actually a second showing. Pictures are more important now than ever. Only consider a reputable realtor who hires good photographers. If you get photos from your agent and you can see that agent in a mirror with their phone in hand, cancel your listing agreement and give us a call at (402) 960-2330.
The Blythe Real Estate Team