It’s the most wonderful time of the year in Real Estate! New beginnings and fresh starts are all around us with the abundant season of Spring. These new beginnings often correlate with buying or selling property to accelerate that change you are seeking.
As listings are being prepared to come on board, and we have a couple gentle suggestions for you before photography comes through. Most buyers these days look at the photos of the listing long before even considering booking a showing, it is imperative we put our best foot forward for an immediate outstanding first impression.
It should be mentioned, we understand everyone has different standards of living, and this blog is meant to assist in your selling power, not designed as judgement towards how you like your home to look and feel, we all have different concepts of what “home” means. Of course, having a clean home is essential, both for photography and showings but going a bit above and beyond can separate your home from the pack when the marketplace is active and plenty of selections are available.
First things first, before cleaning, before any staging, before you even think of listing your home, before you even contact us (you get it)-decluttering and thinning-out personal belongings will be of immense helpfulness. A calm and less-chaotic space provides for an aesthetically pleasing experience both online and in person, as well as a stiller atmosphere. The prospective buyer needs to feel comfortable in their potential new home, its is crucial they feel at ease. If the consumer is looking at many homes throughout the day, the one they feel the best in is often the one that leaves a lasting impact. We kindly suggest placing items that have potential to create disorder in totes or bins and storing them for the term of your listing. This makes prepping for showings much easier as well.
Furthermore, removing any unnecessary furniture and accessories will ensure potential buyers have plenty of room to visualize their furniture fitting. De-personalizing can also assist a buyer to feel more capable of envisioning themselves in your property. Removing personal effects like personal photos, certificates etc. will make the home feel more generic, and improve your chances of making the buyer feel more contented.
Our recommendations are the same for home renovations which we suggest being completed before the listing is set in motion. Any unfinished projects should be wrapped up if possible, and if you are unsure about what finishing’s to select- our advice- less is more. Stay away from nanosecond trends (such as eccentric wallpaper, flashy fixtures, or bright paints) that will be in and out within the current season. We recommend sticking to a neutral color palate and timeless finishing’s that every demographic can appreciate. Buyers almost always want to personalize their new space anyway, so leave room for that likelihood. These suggestions are just that, suggestions- however, these measures can be necessary to set your home apart if your goal is to ultimately sell.
Next, curb appeal: Just like online photography creates an idea of what your home has to offer before a showing request, buyers also form opinions before stepping inside your home based on what they see from the road, and they often do a drive by before we get contacted. Therefore, it is also critical to maintain a clutter-free and well-landscaped exterior, and if possible, fix any anomalies, such as broken eaves troughs, mismatched shingles, or siding. Any efforts to decrease the probability of “knit-picking” the exterior to help to secure an in-person showing is something we cant recommend enough. Adding flower planters is a nice way of adding color and a little bit of curb appeal, cutting the grass often helps too! And if there is still snow on the ground as we move deeper into “Spring” clearing all the walkways, decks and parking areas is a considerate touch.
Home Scent: The scent of every home is unique. You can neutralize your home by diffusing natural oils or candles that are lightly scented. However, scents that are too strong may invoke disfavor for some people. Commercial cleaning products we suggest be used modestly directly before the showing to avoid the home smelling too strongly like bleach or pine-sol etc. to sharply. Opening windows to let the clean air in is a pleasant way of de-odorizing and freshening your home. We have seen people bake fresh cookies before showings and leave them out- and that is our choice suggestion of creating a pleasantly scented home. We kid!!! But, in all seriousness, an appealing smell upon entry is inviting, being met with smells of recently cooked odorous food such as fish, toilet odors, carpet odors, or the sent of a stagnant damp basement are never an easy sell.
Moving on-to natural light, during a showing, or photography open the blinds and curtains and let as much natural light in as possible. In addition, you can turn on all the lights, which usually makes a room appear larger. Ensure to replace all bulbs (inside and outside) that are burnt out of color mismatched. Adding in accent lighting for darker evenings, such as lamps or fire-place light also creates a very comfortable atmosphere. Any special features of the home should be utilized.
Finally: Pets. This topic is a hot one as homebuyers don't all feel the same way about animal companions-everyone has a different capacity for empathy. Our gentle recommendation, play it safe -do not allow cats to roam the house, and do not leave barking dogs behind closed doors, these scenarios sometimes do not make buyers feel safe to explore-we want them to feel at ease after all. Clean up all pet messes around the home such as shedding, dirty water and food bowls, toys, litter boxes as well as yard clean-up as to not drive an ideal buyer away. If possible, aim to fix any grass that has been killed due to pet damage- this work will go a long way.
Additionally, a traditional "Smudge" goes a long way, and while I am no expert on the matter of smoke medicine, I do personally incorporate this traditional ritual of energetic cleansing into my Spring-cleaning routine, because it really can’t hurt. I encourage you to seek out a reliable source for more information and authority on this sacred practice if this concept sparks your interest, I find it truly changes the atmosphere of the home space.
We wish all the home sellers and buyers in our market luck, prosperity, and a smooth sale in the pending months. Please take these suggestions with “a grain of salt”, but with some merit, discern what is relevant to you and leave all the rest. I feel it is fair, and appropriate to end with “And May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor.”
Office Manager/Co-Owner, The Hometown Real Estate CO.