We’ve seen what seems like dozens of home selling checklists on the web. They can be helpful, but there can also be a lot to remember. And let’s face it, if you’re trying to sell your home, you’re already up to your eyeballs in things to remember. What we’d like to do, therefore, is take those checklists and cut them down to size — specifically, a size that’s reasonable, with steps you cannot possibly forget unless you literally take leave of your senses. Yes, that’s right. We’re going to talk about using your senses to sell your home.
It may seem silly, but pay attention to the sounds of your home and what they’re telling you, whether it’s a big issue (carpenter bees buzzing around the outside of your house) or even something seemingly trivial, like a creaky door or an exhaust fan that sounds like an ailing diesel engine.
Test windows, doors, appliances, and drawers. How’s everything holding up? Is anything sticking as you try to open it? Is it crooked? If it’s supposed to slide, is it on or in its tracks? Your next home buyer might shrug off a minor issue or two, but if they start seeing a pattern of disrepair, it may occur to them to wonder what else you may have neglected.
First, the bad. You certainly don’t want your home to smell like trash, pets, old sneakers, or whatever’s colonizing the lasagna you forgot about in the back of your refrigerator. Your home could be immaculate, but if something smells “off,” it changes the perception and could turn off a potential buyer. If you can, find the source of the smell and address it by cleaning it up or getting rid of it. Sprays and candles are best used with a light touch, if at all. On the other hand, if the weather’s cool (or your central air is up to the task), baking something (even if it’s just from a package of store-bought cookie dough) can give your house that extra intangible sense of home.
Speaking of baking and the scents of home, a nice touch if you’ve got an open house or someone coming by to see your home is to leave out some small edibles, whether it’s cookies, brownies, or hard candies. Just make sure you make it clear they’re for “company” so nobody’s afraid to take one. It’s also a good idea to make sure that it’s something that won’t spoil (this wouldn’t be the best time for Grandma’s famous deviled eggs), and to make note if what you’ve put out has any common allergens (nuts, dairy, or soy, for instance). If you’d like to play it safe, bottled water can be an option — you can even tape your Realtor’s card to the bottle, with your address on the card as a reminder.
We’ve saved the most important for last. Tidy up your home inside and out, obviously. Somewhat less obvious, take a look over each room and think about the story it tells. There’s nothing wrong with some furniture and decor, or even the kids’ drawings on the fridge. It’s a home, after all, so it’s meant to be lived in. The one thing you don’t want to do, however, is have so much stuff — knickknacks, toys, magazines and other assorted ephemera — that a prospective buyer can’t picture their stuff, and their life, in that space. Remember, you want them to be able to see their home in your house.
So there you have it. If that’s still too much to remember, we can boil it down to one word: empathy. Walk through your home in your buyer’s shoes and try to experience it as they would. When you do that, you’ll be able to shape their experience in a way that allows them to picture your home as their next home. Need another pair of eyes (or another nose) on your home for a second opinion? Call a Links Realtor today!