By Holly Gibbs
Are you trying to sell a house? Here are some tips to make the process as quick as possible.
1. MAKE SURE THAT SHOWING ISN’T JUST A DRIVE-BY
Just because there’s a showing booked for your home doesn’t mean the potential buyer actually will go inside. Imagine you’re a buyer, and your real estate agent has 10 houses to show you today. When you drive up to what could be your dream home, you see a broken railing and children’s toys strewn across a weed-filled lawn. You’re probably going to say, “Let’s move on,” skipping the showing appointment entirely.
Curb appeal not only attracts potential buyers who happen to be passing by; it also draws agents to book a showing for their clients. When a property looks unkempt, it scares off potential buyers (unless they’re looking for a tear-down at a rock-bottom price).
To enhance curb appeal:
• Cut the lawn and ensure fallen leaves and weeds are removed. Keep walkways and driveways freshly swept.
• Add planted urns or hanging plants to the entrance area.
• Repair or replace any obvious defects to the front door/hardware, mailboxes, railings, address sign or lights.
• Move garbage and recycling containers from the front of the house or tuck them neatly in a garage or shed.
• Pressure wash the exterior and decks.
2. STASH YOUR KEEPSAKES AND KEEP YOUR HOME CLUTTER FREE
De-cluttering is essential, especially when you remember that many people move because they feel too crowded in their current homes.
You’ll probably have to go through each closet more than once to get its contents down to the absolute essentials, but it’s worth the effort. Consider that any time you spend now on this task will make packing and moving that much easier.
Rent a storage locker to hold your belongings.
3. AVOID SCARING BUYERS AWAY WITH A TO-DO LIST
You don’t want potential buyers focusing on one flaw after another during a showing. You want them to fall in love with your home and imagine themselves living there — not thinking about how much less they should offer you because of everything they’ll have to do.
Try to be very objective and do a walk through with your agent to spot problems.
Look for chipped paint or scuffs on walls that need touchups. Glue down any peeling wallpaper.
Replace all cracked electrical outlets and light switches. Repair or replace broken tiles. These little things make a big difference in the buyer’s mind.
4. COLOR IS YOUR FRIEND WHEN IT’S TIME TO SELL A HOUSE
White walls often look cold and sterile, unless you warm the room up with accent colors and patterns. If you have to repaint a home’s interior, choose a pleasing color palette that allows each room to flow nicely into the next. All colors should go together.
5. MAKE A BIG IMPACT WITH A LITTLE ART
By strategically using art, you can enhance a home’s perceived value and draw the eye away from tiny flaws.
These are just a few of the many things that can be done to improve your home’s appearance and to make it more appealing to homebuyers. While the steps can be time consuming, the results are worth it!
Holly Gibbs is a Standard Real Estate Principles (SREP)-certified broker associate and Realtor with Century 21 J. Carter & Company, located at 2408 14th St., Gulfport. She can be reached via email at Holly.Gibbs@ jcarterandco.com; by phone at (228) 731-3881 (office) or (228) 697-3714 (cell); and on Facebook and Instagram at @BrokerGibbs.