Selling our homes is a bit like hitting the dating market. We are putting our goods out there and hoping that the right person will come along and fall in love. So what can going on a date teach us about getting our home ready for sale? It turns out, there is some overlap.
1. Curb Appeal - We all remember that first date and how carefully we chose what to wear and what kind of message we were trying to send. Similarly with your home, you want to make a great first impression - one that is warm, inviting and that causes Buyers to want to see the rest of the home. Go stand on the street and look at your home with a critical eye. Note the positive and the negative. Pay attention to the light fixtures, mail box, house numbers and front door. Do they need to be updated? Cleaned? Painted? Also be sure to add a pop of color - the lipstick if you will! You can add color and warmth through planters, flowers and new cushions on the deck chairs.
2. De-Clutter - When we go on a first date, we focus on not bringing along our baggage. The same principle applies in real estate. When you are ready to sell your home, it is time to get rid of everything you don't need. Use this as a chance to have a garage sale or donate items to a charity. Pack away items that you use but don't need all the time. This will create orderly counters and closets and help show off your home in its best light. Less "stuff" makes our homes appear larger and more open - something that appeals to most buyers.
3. Neutral - This may seem counter intuitive. But back to our dating analogy: most of us don't get into highly personal discussions on our first date. When we sell our homes it is time to put away a lot of the personal touches. Take down family photos and put away your knick-knacks and trophies. Consider painting over walls that are boldly colored. Although you may love color most buyers want to come into a "blank slate" and need to be able to imagine themselves in the space.
4. Deep Clean - this is a necessity! You would probably not consider going on a date without a shower: in the same way, this is the time to deep clean your home (baseboards, blinds, appliances,etc.) You want your home to show well and deep cleaning will help you accomplish this goal. Often people are not even sure why they react positively to a property but a sparkling home sends a message of a well cared for home. Make sure to clean the windows inside and out to show off your home in its best light. And, don't forget about the perfume: make sure to get rid of all pet smells. Pet smells can turn off potential buyers.
5. Fix the obvious flaws. When we get ready to go on a date, we do our best to cover the obvious flaws. As home owners, we can become accustomed to the tiny flaws in our home - the missing spindle in the stair case, the broken lock on the bathroom door, etc. and while these are not deal breakers for potential buyers, they are still worth fixing. A lot of small things out of order can make potential buyers feel like the home was not taken care of. You want to send a message that your home has been loving and well maintained, so it is time to get out your "honey-do" list and knock out the small, easy fixes.
6. Thoughtfully consider larger projects and get advice. In dating, we often ask our friend' opinion: that person who really knows us and has our back. When you get ready to sell, check with your Realtor. They have a pulse on your local market and can give you expert advice on what you need to do to get your home ready to sell. All improvements are not equal in return on investment and some small fixes pay huge dividends in how the home shows. Do a walk through with your Realtor and get their expert and trusted advice prior to selling your home. They are that trusted friend who has your back.
It is amazing how much dating and home selling have in common. We would love to help you sell your Colorado home. Call us today for a free market analysis to see what your home is worth or reach out to us for any advice. We would love to "help you home"!
Doug & Suzanne Baity