Selling a home is not as simple as putting up a For Sale sign. Having a baby takes 9 months, preparing for a wedding takes several months, so selling your home shouldn't be any different. Getting married, having a baby and/or buying a home are three of the largest events people go through in life. If you are selling a home next year, start your preparations now.
I give my sellers three rules of thumb when they start talking about selling a home:
- Inviting curb appeal;
- Creating a blank canvas on the inside;
- Appealing to all 5 senses: Sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste.
Selling a home from the curb
Stand on the curb and take a third party approach to looking at and selling a home. Is the lawn green? Does the fence need a fresh coat of paint? Is there color at the front door that would invite someone to come up the walkway? If you want to make selling your home easy, then preparing and taking these steps is critical. In the fall have the grass cut very short and then fertilize using a weed inhibitor so that the lawn comes in healthy and green in the spring. Plant fresh bulbs and other mature plants that will blossom and add color in the spring when selling a home. Make sure in the fall that you prepare any fencing, decks or doors and then apply that fresh coat of paint.
Selling a home at the front door
Selling your home is really selling a house. You want to create a blank canvas for the new homeowner who walks in the front door. Stand in the living room as if you are an outsider. Take all the family photos off the walls and remove all clutter. That stack of magazines you enjoy are better off in a box in the garage or if you want to drop them off at your local doctor's office or gym, they'll enjoy the donation. You can start your packing and organizing in the fall by removing all your nicknacks and either having a yard sale, or placing things into storage. Selling a home is so much easier when you have plans in place and action steps to take. Selling a home can be daunting! Take six or nine months to prepare for selling a home. Create a checklist so you can cross items off as you go, giving yourself a sense of accomplishment.
Selling a home with all five senses in mind
Selling a home and being sensitive to buyers coming in makes for an easier sale. Remember you are selling a home, not just selling a house. You have appealed to the sight and touch with the curb appeal and the de-cluttering. Now don't let the smell of wet dog or a cat litter box turn people away. Having the fresh aroma of apple pie in the house, or fresh baked cookies for buyers to eat when they come in will create an emotional reminder of your home. I also suggest having light instrumental music playing in the background. These emotional triggers will leave most buyers with a calming feeling and a positive memory of your home.
Two sides to selling a home
Selling a home is a financial transaction but it is also a very emotional one. Your home is where you have lived, cried and celebrated. When selling a home, you want to create a space for the new homeowner to feel those same things. You want them to walk in and feel like they could make it their home. Selling a home is therefore a very tricky rope to walk and most home sellers don't think of it this way. If you consider these aspects when you are selling a home, your home will stand out among the others.