Take a look around your home. Is it as you want it to be? Or are there the nagging things you always said you'd do and never got around to? Buyers are going to notice those things too. That's why you need to get your home as ship shape as possible before you list it.
It seems obvious. Nevertheless, I often hear arguments from sellers about why they needn't work on their homes before they sell. Here are just three:
1. I'll clean out the garage after I sell
Over the years the garage often becomes the dumping ground for anything unwanted that doesn't have another place. Old paint, broken lawnmowers, camping equipment you no longer use but can't bear to throw it out, old tiles...
Many sellers argue that they'll clean it out after they sell. Why after? If you're serious about selling, do it now. A dirty, cluttered garage says a lot about you to buyers, and none of it is positive.
A clean ordered garage with just the vitals that you need to maintain your garden says you're house proud, not just of the living spaces but of the whole property.
Buyers love a well maintained property.
2. Whoever buys this will knock it down
I hear this a lot from sellers who are aware that their house is not modern. Chances are if you bought a home 20 years ago and have never updated the bathroom or kitchen, it looks shabby and old now. Same goes for old fashioned wall colours (beiges and greiges), light fittings and carpets. So, yes, it is likely the new owner will upgrade it.
But first, you have to attract a buyer. You have to present each space as its best version of itself. This may involve painting advocado green tiles or very dark wood cupboards white.
Most buyers will live in a property for some time before they embark on changes. So they have to be happy with what they're buying now.
White paint, a deep carpet clean, a modern light fitting are cosmetic changes that do involve some outlay, but change a space completely.
3. I'll decide what I'm taking after I sell
If you're selling, it's for a reason. Scaling up, scaling down, emigrating, death, divorce, new baby... whatever. You usually know more or less what your next home will be like, size-wise at least.
When I do staging consultations, I advise clients to divide their "stuff" into three groups: Keep, Sell, Give.
Keep may mean leave on the property now, or put in storage while marketing.
Sell usually involves calling in an auctioneer or advertising on the internet.
Give: Well, there are so many places and people in need who would gladly take things off your hands.
Paring down before you list means a streamlined, more minimal home that shows off the spaces better. Removing personal items such as family photos, nude art, religious icons to name a few, means you are offering the buyer a more neutral space.
Be part of the marketing plan to sell your home
We all make judgements about others; sometimes unfavourably. The more depersonalised your home is, the more the buyer can focus on the property and not on judging the people living there.
By not postponing these things and making a financial investment in small upgrades, you're giving your property a much greater chance to sell.
I give home staging consultations at your home in Cape Town. They last an hour or so and are full of tips designed to bring in the offers. Call to arrange an appointment: +27848432426.