Welcome to San Diego Blog | April 22, 2019

The Way You Live in A Home and the Way You Sell A Home…

… are two very different things!  

Are you thinking of selling your home?  In order to receive top dollar and in as short of time as possible, it’s important to plan and prepare in advance.  

Photo by Dhiva Krishna on Unsplash

An easy comparison is to think about what you do when you sell a car.  You clean it inside and out, vacuum everywhere, even under the seats.  You clean the vents with cotton swabs, polish and wax the finish, blacken the tires and sometimes even steam clean the engine … all in an effort to show the car as ‘new’ as possible.  Why?  Because ‘new’ or close to it attracts more prospective buyers who will likely pay a higher price.  When was the last time you were attracted to a dirty, cluttered vehicle and willing to pay top blue book?  I rest my case.

The very same concept applies to selling the single biggest investment you own: your home.  Follow these simple guidelines to help bring top market value:

Stand across the street and look at your home through buyers’ eyes.  What do you see?  

Landscaping is like children.  When they’re young they’re cute … and before you know it, they’ve grown up and out of control!

Photo by Simon Zachrisson on Unsplash

Trim bushes, ornamental shrubs and succulents.  Remove any landscaping that is excessive and blocking a view of your beautiful home. Remember …

If we can’t see it, we can’t sell it! 

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

Walk around the exterior and inspect the siding, soffits and eaves.  Do you see any peeling paint or signs of dry rot?  How about the roof?  Do you see any lifting, missing or curling shingles?  Do you have a fence that is in need of repair?  How about the awning or patio cover?  Is it in good repair?

Next, stand at your front door. Look up, down and around.  (This is what buyers are doing while waiting for their agent to retrieve keys from the lock box)  What do you see?  Sweep those cobwebs and make sure your entryway is as clean and inviting as possible.

Now go through your home room by room (still looking at it through buyers’ eyes) starting at the entryway.  Can you see the walls or are they covered with art?  Collectibles?  Family portraits, etc?  How about flooring? Is it worn? Discolored or stained?

Let your eyes sweep the area or room.  Is the area open and inviting?  Is furniture or other items crowding the space?  

If we can’t see it, we can’t sell it …

The buyer must be able to picture their own belongings and imagine themselves living there.  If they are focused on your furnishings, as wonderful as they are, they will leave and later won’t be able to recall the layout of your home.  No memory means no offers … not what you want, right?

Start packing for your next home!

Photo by Ahmed Carter on Unsplash

Pack away anything you can. After all, you will have to pack it eventually.  May as well do it now if it means a quicker offer and at a higher price.

Less is more.

Picture yourself using this kitchen!

Pay special attention to the kitchen, family area and bathrooms.  Place any small appliances (e.g. toasters, blenders, can openers) out of sight.  During the time your home is being marketed, keep these items out of sight, making sure your counters are as clean and clutter-free as possible.  It’s a bit of a pain, I know.  Remember …

The way you live in a home and the way you SELL a home are two very different things!

Same with bathrooms.  Make sure your tubs, showers, sinks and commodes are spotless at all times. Do you have an array of cosmetics, perfumes or other personal hygiene items?  Keep them out of sight or beautifully arranged on a decorative tray in the corner, keeping your counter tops as clean and clutter-free as possible.  Put all bathroom appliances away and out of sight when not in use.

Consider staging, especially if the home is vacant.  Most buyers have difficulty ‘seeing’ how furniture can be placed.  Staged homes bring more offers and in a shorter timeframe than their un-staged counterparts, and on average staged homes sell for roughly 5% to 6% more than their un-staged competition.  One of our favorites is Native Habitat Staging + Design.

There are many more techniques to help prepare your home for sale that will increase the bottom line for you and shorten the amount of time that your property is on the market.  Contact me for your very own no-obligation consultation.  Put my years of experience and expertise to work for you!

Arlis W. Travis – Broker Associate, GRI, SME, CDPE 



Written by: Arlis W. Travis

Categories: Real Estate Tips for Sellers

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