Looking at Your Home Through Buyer's Eyes

Are you thinking about listing your home for sale soon?  If so, you are probably wondering what needs to be done around your house to make it sale ready.  The first thing you should do; look at your home as if you are considering purchasing it.  How is the curb appeal as you drive up? When you enter the home as a buyer would enter, what do you notice? Walk through the home as a buyer would walk through it, what do you see? 

Do you feel like you could move right in and enjoy the home? Do you see lots of dust, clutter and work to be done? Is it easy to walk through the home? Is there plenty of room in the closets and other storage areas? Do you see any damaged items that need repaired or dirty items that need a good, deep clean? Make a list of the issues you see so you can address them.

Some things, like dust and odors, are easy to notice and take care of.  Others, like the overflowing basket of newspapers and magazines next to your favorite chair may not immediately stand out to you, but it's still easy to take care of.

A great way to see these things that you don't notice as you are walking through the home is to take pictures; this is so easy to do now with digital cameras and camera phones.  Pictures will allow you to see things you don't necessarily notice when you were walking through the home.  Stand at one end of a room, take a picture of the other end. What do you see? You see those overflowing newspapers and magazines now!  This is also a great thing to do because most people start their home search online and online photos are a must.  How will your home look in those pictures? You don't want people eliminating your home from their search before they even step inside. 

Does your home feel dated? Something as simple as new cabinet hardware or door knobs can make a big difference.  Some updates are more costly than others.  Things like paint and fixtures are usually pretty inexpensive and can lead to a quicker sale.  Things like appliances and flooring are more expensive and, while they will likely lead to a quicker sale, you generally won't see enough of an increased sales price to justify the cost.

Speaking of updates to your home, what is standard in your area?  Even if you are planning on staying in your home for awhile, you don't want to spend money upgrading your home substantially above and beyond other homes in your area. Again, when you go to sell, you generally won't see enough of an increased sales price to justify the cost. 

Who is your audience?  What are the people who will be looking at your home looking for in a home?  Are they first time home buyers looking for a small starter home?  Are they executives looking to raise a family and/or entertain in the home?  Obviously each of those buyers is looking for something very different and has different expectations.   

In addition to you looking at your home, have a friend walk through and point out things you may not notice.  Before you put any time and effort into upgrades, have a Realtor you are considering working with walk through your home and point out changes that need to be made and tell you whether or not upgrades you are considering are cost effective. I do this often for clients. 

The more you prepare your home upfront for the sale, the smoother the transition from your existing home to your new home.  Have more questions about what you need to do? Please contact me - I would love to help!