You listed your home for sale in Nevada County with high hopes. Your neighbor down the road sold their home in a matter of days for over their asking price. You love your property and you felt certain that it would sell in a reasonable amount of time. But it’s been several months since you listed your home. You’ve had some interests and several showings. You’ve received a few lowball offers. Some of the offers you received felt down right insulting. Maybe you’ve even experienced the emotional turmoil of watching a contract fall apart. Maybe you’ve seen a potential buyer go from being in love with the home to questioning whether or it is the right fit for them. Regardless of the details, one fact is clear: your property is very much still for sale. What went wrong? What can you do? Here are 8 effective tips to facilitate a faster sale.
If your house has been on the market for six weeks or more without so much as a nibble of interest, it’s time to take a hard look at what might be putting buyers off. If buyers can’t imagine themselves living in a home, they’ll be reluctant to make an offer. You want them to be able to picture themselves in your home. To make your home appealing, pack away all of your family pictures, child artwork, and mementos. Paint your walls a neutral color like beige, cream or white. Pack away any polarizing or controversial pieces of artwork or decor. Depersonalize and try to make your home look like a model home.
Buyers like to see clean, wide-open living spaces. If you have physical or visual clutter in the room, you’re sending a message to the buyer that you don’t have enough storage space. Don’t send that message. Instead, get those moving boxes and start packing. You may not have a contract yet, but if you minimize your possessions and declutter the space, you’ll make the rooms look larger and create the impression of having tons of storage space. Also, make sure that if you store things in an organized manner. Buyers will open closet doors, poke around garages, and peak in to all the spaces you would normally think are safe. Make sure that everything is sorted neatly and stored in an organized manner.
Remove Evidence of Pets
We love our four-legged friends, but their food and water dishes, crates, and even just hair on the carpet can be a big turn-off to buyers who don’t like animals. Some are even allergic to animal hair and dander. If you know that someone is coming to look at your home, put the food dishes away, store the crate in the garage or outside, and make sure to remove all signs of pet fur and dander. Vacuum floors, pick up any hair clumps, and wash the sheets where they sleep.
Freshen Up the Space
Don’t let buyers turn up their nose at your home. Smell is the first thing potential buyers notice when they walk into a house. Clean your home to get rid of any dusty or musty smells. If the weather is nice, open the windows to let your home air out. Install all-natural room fresheners or light scented candles in discreet places like the bathroom closet, laundry room, and garage. Choose a neutral and natural scent, like vanilla, rather than a pungent floral scent. You could also consider investing an essential oil diffuser to leave running during home showings. Sage, lemon, lavender, and cinnamon are all subtle, relaxing, and inviting scents that help brighten your living space. Keep in mind that some people are allergic to strong smells, so be careful about what scent you choose. Keep it light and neutral.
Work on Curb Appeal
Some buyers won’t even step into your home if they don’t think the property has curb appeal. Clean the windows and make sure that there are no visible cobwebs. Make sure there are no spots where pollen has collected or where bugs have made their home. Mow your yard and trim the edges, prune the bushes, plant fresh flowers, and spruce up your shutters by giving them a fresh coat of paint. You may even want to install a new mailbox and outdoor light fixtures. Make sure the walk up to the front door is as appealing as the interior. Also, if you have a large front porch, decorate it so that it looks inviting.
Consider an Affordable Mini-Renovation
Not everyone likes a fixer-upper. Stained carpets and less than appealing paint colors may look like dollars needed for (and the hassle of) renovation in the buyer’s eyes. Small renovations may lead to big payoff. Consider painting the walls a neutral color, installing a smart thermostat, replacing hardware and fixtures and other fairly inexpensive changes that will take away the label of a fixer-upper. Even just doing little things like replacing run down appliances can help a home look more appealing. Keep in mind you don’t have to go big in your renovations. Little things can make a world of difference in trying to sell your home.
Stage Like an Expert
You’ve depersonalized, decluttered, renovated, and worked on curb appeal. Now it’s time to stage your home like a pro. Place brand new, neatly folded towels and candles in the bathroom. Place a decorative bowl filled with bright red or green apples, lemons, or limes in the kitchen. Fill a clear glass cookie jar with fresh cookies on the kitchen counter. Little homey touches can help your home feel like a buyer can move right in.
Ask Your Agent About Pricing
If your home isn’t selling after you’ve done everything above, it’s time to talk to your real estate agent about adjusting the price. This is where your agent’s knowledge of your market and the amenities of your home come into play. What do the comps say? Are they showing that homes similar to yours are sticking around? Or are they selling quickly? If your home is priced competitively, buyers will feel like they’re getting a great deal. A $5,000-$10,000 reduction may be all it takes to motivate the right buyer. Keep in mind that this will vary market to market and month to month. What may be a great deal in February may be a tough sell in December. Trust your agent when they tell you what they think the home should sell for. They know the market and can help you sell your home at the right price.
Make Your Home More Accessible
Make your home available for showings. If you limit your home to pre-scheduled viewings, you’re definitely not going to be able to sell as quickly. If you’re flexible with when you allow buyers to come see your property, you’ll have a better chance of getting more foot traffic and more potential buyers into your home. It is normal to request that you are notified at a few hours ahead of time about someone wanting to tour your home or to request that no one comes until after 9 am or after 6 pm. Just make sure your schedule is flexible enough that any buyer who wants to see it is able to. Also, if your agent requests it, have an open house. You would be amazed at all the different types of people who walk through an open house. Some may just be curious neighbors, but potential buyers can always pop in to see what your home has to offer.