Amidst whirlwinds of doom and gloom predictions, many home sellers in 2008 had to work hard to sell their homes. Sometimes it felt like you needed a trick up your sleeve. Well, there are no real tricks – except for illegal ones. But there are smart tips, and I found nine of them in a 2008 news report from KMBC television in Kansas City, Mo.
The report is called 9 Simple Things Can Help Sell Your Home. Here are some good ideas for every person who wants to sell his or her home and wants it to sell as quickly as possible.
1. Spiff up the exterior of your home. Now that I pay close attention to the beginning of this report, I realize the reporter and camera operator are out in the middle of the night, on somebody’s front lawn, filming the first segment. Does this mean Kansas City doesn’t have a single beautiful exterior worth showing in the light of day?
I wonder if the homeowners even know about this. If this guy tried a stunt like this in some Fort Smith neighborhoods . . . we’ll, the next news report would be about him.
2. Add exterior lights. Okay, maybe this is why they filmed at night – so watchers could see a few lights burning. Still, if I was going to choose between letting watchers see the lovely grounds and a porch light, I’d choose during the day and show the grounds.
The reporter makes a good point about the lighting, however. Someone who may have found your home advertised online or heard about it through a real estate agent might drive by at night to look at the house, and lighting will definitely make it look more “elegant.”
3. Touch up the paint. Ellie and I have been saying for a long time that a freshly painted house looks like a new house, and there’s not much that’s better than that.
4. Paint and decorate the interior in neutral tones – not too bright, not too gloomy. They move into the house now, with tip #4. It’s the same house, but now the sun’s out through the windows.
5. De-clutter. Let’s face it, our lives get busy and often we don’t spend the time picking up after ourselves right away. But having junk and mess all over the place when a potential buyer walks in can kill a sale in no time flat. Put stuff away, make it look somewhat sparse throughout the house, and you won’t distract the minds of buyers.
I think the point about de-cluttering the news report is trying to drive home is: Make the interior of your home look as move-in-ready as possible. It allows buyers to really imagine their own possessions cluttering it up.
6. Pay attention to the front door. Fresh paint (for painted doors) and perhaps a stain or varnish for natural wood doors and a shiny door knob and knocker are part of an age-old rule: Make a good first impression.
7. Deep-clean the house. That means everything – floors, carpets, walls, ceilings, appliances, windows and their frames. For this tip, they’re back inside the house, but now it’s night time again. Who can figure how news reporting works?
8. Straighten up the basement. If you have a basement and it looks like somebody’s holding a swap meet in there, many buyers will be turned off. Remember – you want to make it easy for buyers to imagine their own clutter taking up space.
9. Pay for a home inspection. This is going to cost money, but an inspection will uncover problems that aren’t obviously apparent, and that will alleviate problems down the road. (The buyer may order his own inspection, and if you haven’t done one and all kinds of things are amiss, you can probably kiss that sale goodbye.)
So there are nine things you can do – most of them relatively inexpensive – to “stage” your home to sell. Don’t overlook these tips. Just because there may not be any presentable exteriors in Kansas City doesn’t mean this news report isn’t right on.
Put time into staging. Reap the awards at closing.