When it comes to selling your home and boosting curb appeal to the widest range of buyers, you will want to think like the buyer, not the home seller. In this article we offer 7 ways to make a home buyer love your home.
Why Is it Important to Think Like a Home Buyer?
Because thinking like a buyer will put you in the frame of mind of the people that might actually make an offer and buy your place.
What Are Home Buyers Looking For in 2014?
The feedback we are getting from home buyers and other agents is pretty simple. They want spiffy homes that don’t need much work. Move-in ready is the term. If the home needs a lot of updating they want a great deal. FYI: The latest market data for Phoenix is that we are in a slightly buyer’s advantage market.
7 Ways to Make A Home Buyer Love your House
- Host a Before I Sell My Home party. Invite a few honest friends over for an inventory. If you know people who are home shopping, invite them too. Make some cocktails and go from room to room in your home asking what they would either (A) change if they were to buy your house, or (B) see as a red flag if they were a prospective buyer. This can give you an extra set of non-real-estate-influenced eyes on your home and help you create a solid list of potential improvements to discuss with your Realtor before you list. Please do not argue with your guests. Keep quiet, take notes and make it a learning experience.
- Consult with a great agent. Now that you have your friends’ opinions, run them by an expert. See which problems you should address before listing and which fixes won’t be of financial benefit. Make sure the agent is full-time in the business, busy with lots of clients and has in excess of 10 years’ experience. FYI: Don’t make the mistake of being the guinea pig for a new agent; even if they are your cousin… experience does matter.
- Visit some model homes. Professional home builders spend big bucks hiring professional decorators and stagers. They know good initial impressions mean sales. If you visit some model homes you’ll see how clean and well stages the places are. Go to the model homes in learning mode. Think about inexpensive things you could do to make your home more attractive to a wide range of buyers. Click here for an article from E-How on model home decorating ideas.
- Neat, Clean and Neutral: You may want to hire a professional cleaning team to do a deep cleaning of your home including baseboards, moldings, walls, windows and such. If you have brightly painted rooms, a simple beige wall paint with a semi-gloss white or off-white pain trim can do wonders for giving potential buyers the “blank canvas” feeling. You want future owners to be dreaming of picking out paint — not how to get rid of not-right-for-them color decisions.
- De-clutter. Closets get jam-packed. Extra pieces of furniture get packed into corners. Bookshelves overflow with nick knacks. Home buyers want to see the home, not all the stuff. Closets that have 20% open space look roomy. Every room of your home should scream “open and inviting” verses “ these rooms are tiny and cramped.” Ron Urban likes to say: You are moving anyway, pre-pack or put in storage items you don’t absolutely need.”
- Get your flooring looking it’s best. Dirty tile and grout, dull-scratched wood floors and stained carpet are all things buyer’s notice. Since many buyers want to move in the day after close of escrow, they want move-in ready flooring. We are not saying you have to replace flooring, yet you should make what you have look its best. FYI: Some home sellers offer a flooring allowance to the buyer. In our opinion this just tells the buyer you’ll take less than the asking price and does not help make the home move-in ready.
- Detail Your Kitchen & Bath. Make sure these rooms sparkle. If the caulk in your shower or bathtub is dirty, re-caulk. Clean the shower doors, toilets, sinks and counters. Professionally fix any wall damage from shower or tub water intrusions. Check under the kitchen and bathroom sinks for signs of water leaks… these often go unnoticed but savvy buyers often check these and their home inspector will certainly bring it up and often with the phrase, “potential mold problem.”
We hope this information is helpful. If we can be of further assistance, feel free to toss us an email or give us a call. We also have an FAQ when selling my home page. Lots of answers to often asked questions.
Gene Urban & Ron Urban
The Urban Team at Realty Executives
Ron@UrbanTeamAZ.com or Gene @UrbanTeamAZ.com
connecting people to the perfect place for over 20 years