If you are looking to sell your Temecula/Murrieta home this year, chances are it will sell between now and August when over 60 percent of all homes sell every year in our market. The buyers are out there, looking for that great home that they can buy for a great price.
The issue between buyers and sellers is the price. The former wants to buy at below market price while the latter is looking to capitalize and sell for over fair market value. Buyers feel justified in submitting low-ball offers when homes are not prepared to sell which is why sellers must put in the time and effort to prepare their home for market to wow this year’s crop of buyers who will pay over list price if the house tells them to.
Here are six of 10 simple solutions (look for the remaining ones next week) for having your house talk positively to the buyers who preview your home:
1. De-personalize. The wall of family photos – gone. The pictures of the kids in the family room – gone. The religious artifacts and artwork with Bible or other verses – gone.
That’s right. Your home has to be generic. No one wants to feel like they are stepping into another family’s life, rather, they want to start their own here. Sorry to say but every photo in the house that has a person in it should be packed up and gotten ready for their new home. The same goes for anything religious or ethnical. You don’t know who will be coming through or what their values or prejudices are.
2. Flaunt the positive. What was the one feature that made you fall in love with your home when you bought it? Maybe it’s a home improvement either inside or outside that gives it its personality. Figure it out and figure out how to accentuate it and show it off. The objective is to get the buyers to linger in that magical spot and let it do its work.
3. Neutralize. Similar to de-personalizing a home, neutralizing is the process that removes any evidence of any political thoughts. Scrape decals off of windows that express any type of opinion. Remove magazines and books from sight that express any type of opinion. The same goes for any sort of artifact or décor in the home – what may be important to you may be outright offensive to someone else.
Along the same thought process is what you find cute and fun may be lame to someone else. If you’re including those new high-end stainless steel appliances in the sale, don’t have one of those cows that moo at you when the refrigerator door opens – not cool.
4. Start packing. It’s time to de-clutter and start packing up all of those items that occupy space that the eye can see. Clear off that mantle, tables, counter tops and any other surface that holds your dust collectors. Sure, they are yours and you enjoy them, but they tend to make the home look smaller; if you already are starting with a small home it is critical to make it look as large as you can and not shrink it.
The same can be said for your closets. It doesn’t matter if you have a 200 sq. ft. walk-in closet or a 3’ reach-in closet – pack away your winter clothes. Give it room in there so that someone can imagine their clothes fitting. Ideally, you’ll have at least 2” between every hanger in there.
If you are going to store your packed belongings on site, find a place in the garage and make certain that every box is neatly stacked and organized. It will help you get out of there that much easier and the idea is to de-clutter and appear better organized – and boxes everywhere do no convey that message.
5. Silence is golden. When buyers are touring your home, the home should be silent. If you insist on having background music find something very generic and very instrumental – no vocals. Soft jazz or classical music (not classic rock) works best. You want to avoid anything that falls into a niche; i.e. country, pop, rock, hip hop, etc.
The television should never be left on, unless it is tuned into one of the all music cable channels, and again if that’s the case it should be soft jazz or classical music.
6. Smells good. Just like you want your home looking great, you want it to smell great as well. Not only should it be void of any unpleasant odors, it should reach out to buyers that they want to spend time here. My favorite scent in a home when I walk in has got to be the aroma of fresh baked bread. Try using a bread machine. If there is time, bake it so it’s ready to be sliced as you’re walking out the door. Leave it on the counter with a note suggesting they help themselves.
Of course, you’ll want to leave out some soft butter and perhaps even a gourmet jam. What a great place for any buyer to linger, in the kitchen devouring a slice of warm fresh baked bread – it doesn’t get any homier than that!
It’s not a bad idea to have plug-in air fresheners strategically placed throughout the home. Spend the extra buck and get the motion detector ones that release a fresh scent whenever anyone enters the room. Strategically use different scents in different rooms. Try apple-cinnamon in the living room and vanilla in the kitchen, if you’re not baking. Each room with a unique scent just adds to the whole tour of the home experience – remember we have five senses and you want to appeal to them all.
Not smoking anywhere in the house pretty much goes without saying in this day and age, doesn’t it? Enough said.
Call us today and get the information you need to make the right decision. The information is free, call now! (951) 296-8887
Questions regarding available inventory and/or other real estate matters please contact me, [email protected] Mike Mason, Broker/Owner of MASON Real Estate Cal. BRE: 01483044, Board of Director of your Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors® (SRCAR), Traveling State Director, California Association of Realtors® (C.A.R.).