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What is the second step when selling your home?

Monday, April 17, 2023   /   by Blair Hayes

What is the second step when selling your home?

In the previous step you will have hired a real estate agent to facilitate the sale of your home. This is an important first step because Realtors have access to many tools and will employ tactical marketing strategies to get your home noticed and sold. They are educated and licensed in the profession meaning they understand the importance of accurate pricing and will help guide you through all steps of the real estate transaction, including negotiating on your behalf to secure you the best deal. 

Here are the 3 pieces of advice you should take from your Realtor when getting ready to list your home:

1.) Deep Clean

2.) Declutter

3.) Depersonalize

These can be done in whichever order makes the most sense to you. For now, let’s start with deep cleaning. Why is having a clean home so important? Your home should be inviting to the prospective buyers that are coming for a showing or open house or are looking at the pictures online. First impressions can be lasting ones, and it is imperative that people see all the elements they love about your home, not the ones they hate. Things that could be unappealing to a potential buyer and possibly cause them to cross your home off their list altogether include bad odors, a visibly dirty space or sticky surfaces. Thus, it is important to get honest feedback from your Realtor about what you can do to improve the salability of your home. 

Sometimes as a homeowner you can become “nose blind” to the odors of pets or lingering cooking smells. Once these issues are pointed out, you can best decide how to freshen up the scent of your home. Find time in your schedule to give your home a very detailed cleaning - do not forget those easy-to-miss spots, such as dusting your ceiling fans, wiping down baseboards and cleaning out windowsills. Or, hire a local cleaning company to do it for you. Like I said, first impressions to a potential buyer are so important, and a dirty, unkempt space could easily make your buyer feel as though your home has not been well-maintained.

Next up is decluttering your home. This one can be challenging as many people struggle with clutter in their homes and have no idea how to get rid of it. However, it is absolutely necessary for many of the same reasons cleaning is. If a potential buyer’s first impression of your home is that it is packed and the space feels tight and suffocating because it there is so much stuff laying around or too much furniture packed in one room, they may get the idea that your home is too small for their liking and thus move onto the next home. Another challenge clutter creates is the difficulty a potential buyer has picturing themselves and their furniture and belongings in the home. For 10 simple tips you can easily apply in your life to reduce the amount of clutter in your home, click here.

The importance of the last tip is not as well-known. Depersonalizing your home means you take down and stow away all items that may have very specific personal or emotional value to you. This of course means taking down pictures of you and your loved ones, but it can also mean taking down the crayon pictures your children have drawn for you, or a brightly-colored piece of artwork you got at the farmer’s market. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with having bright colors in your home if that’s what you like, keep in mind that potential buyers may have an easier time picturing themselves in the home if a neutral color palette is in place. 

Not only do neutral colors make your home possibly more appealing to a buyer, photos, pictures and personal items can be distracting. You want potential buyers to focus on your actual home and all that it has to offer, not the pictures of your pets and loved ones. This is also of course an important step to retain privacy for you and anyone else living in the home.

Remember, first impressions are key, and it is all about the perspective of the buyer. You are putting your home on the market because you are ready for a new owner to make it their space, so now is the time to accommodate the pool of potential buyers out there as best as you can by doing these 3 things: deep cleaning, decluttering and depersonalizing your home. Not only will these steps be something you will have to do down the road anyway (so why not get ahead?), they can also help your home sell faster.

Written by Blair Hayes, REALTOR®