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Buyers today are taking much longer to make up their minds, viewing an average of 19 properties before finally making a decision. And when they finally do put in an offer, it's usually well below the asking price.
They say you can only make one "first impression," and people usually form their first impression within 30 seconds. The front of your house is a good place to spend a little extra time and money. Plant flowers, trim bushes, weed, pick up leaves, repaint your front door, replace tarnished house numbers or a dented mailbox, get a brand-new neutral doormat, park your old car somewhere else.
Your home must sparkle! Spring Clean your house from top to bottom before putting on the market. Having a weekly cleaning service while selling is probably a pretty good investment. Make sure your windows are clean inside and out too.
Got a dripping tap or a cracked tile? These will send the wrong message to potential buyers. Getting all problems fixed before you put your house on the market is a smart idea.
This may be the hardest rule of all! We love our clutter - it reflects our memories, hobbies, and values. But it doesn't sell homes! Clutter makes homes seem smaller and disorganized. (Have you ever noticed that the really expensive stores seem to have an expansive, clutter-free layout, while "cheap" stores are often a jumble of merchandise?) Even the ancient practice of Feng Shui has, as a central focus, the elimination of clutter.
Neutral colours sell. It's a fact. Try to convey an image of quality and neutrality. Potential buyers walking through your home want to imagine themselves as the owners. If you use styles or colours they would never select, you've just turned them off. Stay high-quality, but neutral is safest.
Remove objects that your potential buyers won't be able to identify with. For example, political and religious items may turn off whole groups of buyers, because they cannot "imagine" your home as their home. Buying a home is an emotional decision, and you want potential buyers to make an emotional connection with your home by being able to "see" themselves in it.
Always keep your pets under control. Try confining them to a specific area. Although you may love your pets, they can be off-putting to other people, and smells can be offensive, so make sure there are no lingering odours in furniture or flooring, and if there is, get them cleaned before you sell.
Buyers need to know what each room is for, so that they can decide where they will place their own items. Sell the lifestyle and you'll sell your house.
Make sure you have adequate lighting in every room, use subtle mood lighting to create the right atmosphere in each room and check all your bulbs work.
By using the right accessories, you can enhance your rooms and create a feeling of unity by using harmonious colours. Use mirrors to reflect light and space, and use plants and fresh flowers to bring life to rooms and add a natural fragrance.