The winter months are often thought to be a seller’s market in the real estate business. Why? There are fewer listings even though people relocate year-round. So, your home is on the market and you haven’t received any offers after 30 days, you may want to take a more critical look at the condition of your home. Look for these five (very fixable) tips for selling your home.
Look at the Listing
The photos on the home’s listing are the first impression your buyers will have of your property. Do the photos look inviting, and put your home in the best light? Are the best features easy to see, or are they obscured by personal mementos and clutter? Are the photos well lit?
The fix? Professional photography is often the answer. Consider asking your realtor to hire a professional to take interior and exterior shots of your home to capture the best features. In advance of the shoot, do your part and declutter and remove personal effects. Remember: You want buyers to picture themselves in your home, and having your personal effects lying around makes that more difficult.
Realtors are famous for saying that if they can smell it, they can’t sell it. If there is an odor when you enter your home, it may make it harder to sell. Pet smells, smoke, dirty laundry from the gym bag in the corner … these things all contribute to your home’s scent.
The fix? Get to the root of the problem. You may be used to how your home smells, so ask a friend to come over and do a sniff test. When you have it figured out, give your home a deep clean, and (if weather permits) open a few windows to air it out. Consider lighting candles or baking cookies to infuse pleasant aromas into the space before potential buyers come to view.
Shed Some Light
You may keep your curtains and blinds closed to conserve heating and cooling costs, but having a dark home may be working against you when you try to sell. Closed drapes, dark paneling and dark furniture may be contributing to a gloomy first impression.
The fix? When you have a showing, open the curtains, pull back the blinds and turn on the lights. Buy bulbs that are light and bright and show off the best features of your home. If your home has a lot of dark walls, consider adding a fresh coat of (neutral) paint to appeal to more buyers.
Curb Appeal is Lacking
Take an honest look at the exterior of your home. Is your lawn overgrown, sidewalk full of weeds or leaves clogging the gutters? This is a subconscious signal to buyers that your home may not be well-kept and in need of value-adding home improvement.
The fix? Spend some time mowing the lawn, raking the leaves, weeding the flower beds and repairing broken shutters and windows to boost curb appeal. Assess peeling paint or worn shingles and making those minor repairs. If you show your home a little TLC, you will see almost immediate improvement — and your buyers will appreciate the effort.
The Price Isn’t Right
Do you have yellowing appliances, outdated HVAC, Formica countertops and minimal insulation in the walls? If your home doesn’t have a lot of new upgrades, many buyers expect a lower price on the home to reflect the work they will need to put into it when they move in.
The fix? Having a home sit on the market for a long time with outdated fixtures and few updates will make buyers bypass the home altogether. A few renovations around the home would be the best solution. Work with your realtor to price it right the first time to avoid having to slowly and steadily drop the price.
If your home isn’t getting a lot of traffic in a seller’s market, take an honest look at why that might be. By making a few minor changes, you can improve how well your home shows, and help your home sell faster.