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Ten Tips To Wow Potential Home Buyers

Thursday, November 28, 2019   /   by Keri McCombs

Ten Tips To Wow Potential Home Buyers

If you're wondering how to leverage your time and energy in order to maximize your home sale, then this article is for you! What buyers want in a home is always changing... and I don't just mean the cosmetic and aesthetic appeal of the home. Depending on what is being discussed in the media about the most important things to worry about when buying a home, or if any significant event has driven people to feel pain in some way (i.e. a huge windstorm knocks out power and heat for a few weeks, buyers may start looking for a wood burning fireplace), buyers will shift their focus and priorities based on what they think is most important at that time. Below is a list of ten tips for making sure to "wow" any potential buyers who come through your home. 


Tip #1: Professional Photography
This is VITAL to wow a buyer, even before they get in your home! In fact, this is how you're going to first wow them, so that they want to come into your home. How many times have you seen a home listed for sale, and the pictures look absolutely horrible? Well, it probably wasn't the home, but more so an issue with photography. Please, do yourself a favor and make sure you use a professional photographer. I promise you that it'll make the greatest difference on creating the best first impression to wow a buyer.


Tip #2: Staging
Now this may seem self-explanatory, but it's worth calling attention to. Staging a home involves a few things: decluttering the home and storing any items that aren't used often or are cluttered-looking, removing some personal items (but you don't have to remove all items), and fitting furniture into your spaces that fit the sizes of the spaces (not bigger or smaller). A common misconception is that you should move all of your belongings, including personal items, out of your home to sell it. That can actually hurt your home sale for a couple of reasons - a room looks smaller when it's empty, versus when it's staged appropriately. Also, buyers like to see some idea of who you are, because they can feel connected to you, which can actually help them to make a stronger offer.

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Tip #3: Create Curb Appeal
When I think of creating curb appeal, I often get overwhelmed at that thought. But it really doesn't have to be overwhelming... you can actually totally alter the curb appeal of your home with just a few simple steps. If you have any grass clippings or leaves, rake those up and throw them out. Consider painting your front door a color that pops against the rest of your exterior colors, and it doesn't have to be bright red or yellow. Place a cute welcome mat, along with a few exterior decor pieces that fit your front entrance. 


Tip #4: Create A Welcoming Entrance
This starts with your curb appeal, but really happens when a buyer first steps into your home. This involves all of the senses, not just what they can see. You want your space to be open and welcoming, bright and airy. Make sure there is a welcoming smell, but not one that's a fake chemically smell. In fact, that fake smell will quickly turn off buyers (i.e. don't use glade plugins - they're one of the worst for quality of smell). 


Tip #5: Use A Professional Cleaner
I am the first to say that I really struggle to trust anyone to clean my home. I have always been afraid that it won't be to my standard, that my home won't be safe, things like that. But let me tell you what... finally having someone clean my house consistently has made THE biggest difference in my life! It frees up my time, and it's not something I stress about consistently because I haven't cleaned as much as I think I should. My point is this: you should consider paying a good house cleaner $200-$300 to clean your home prior to selling. It will save you the stress and anxiety of cleaning your home, especially when you'll be focused on so many other things. Don't shortchange yourself on this - most homeowners You find a great cleaner by going with a local company - and look for the owner of the company only. They'll be the most concerned with doing a great job because it's their business reputation on the line.


Tip #6: Bye Bye Odors!
Oh my gosh, unpleasant odors can and will break your sale when you don't even know! So first, ask people who will be honest with you about the smell of your home, and ask people who aren't accustomed to the smell. That's how you determine what the smell is and how to remediate it. Over half a buyers say that an unpleasant odor can keep them from wanting to buy a home, partially because it's unpleasant, and partially because they are concerned that they won't be able to get rid of the odors. One tip about this: if you intend to clean carpets, do this at least a few weeks prior to listing your home for sale. You'll want to be able to open windows to air out the home (even if it's cold), and you'll need the time to let the smell dissipate. 


Tip #7: Neutral Paint
Make sure your home, in particular living areas, are neutrally painted. Believe it or not, buyers sometimes have difficulty viewing a home looking differently with different color ideas. In fact, poor color choices can turn off a buyer that will actually prevent them from a buying a home. So take the time and make sure all your walls are neutral, and if they need touch up, repaint the entire walls. 


Tip #8: Make Quick Fixes
If you have any items that need a quick repair, do those things. For example, dints in the walls should be patched, broken switch plates should be replaced, and minor dings should be fixed. I know these items can be tedious and sometimes time consuming, but they’re important to be completed. When buyers see minor issues, they often think there are more significant issues, or maybe many deferred maintenance, so buyers definitely don’t feel wowed. 


Tip #9: Organize Closets And Drawers
You may think you can shove a bunch if your belongings into a closet and pretend they’re not there. On the contrary... buyers WILL look in all your closets, in all your kitchen and bathroom drawers, and what they see will make a big difference. This isn’t necessarily because they’re spying on you, they’re checking for how the storage options are. But if they see a lot of disheveled messes, they’ll think twice about your home... instead of seeing the possibilities, they’ll only be focused on any disorganized storage area. 


Tip #10: Ditch Items With Personal Opinions
You know the items I’m talking about... they may seem funny to you, or they may be politically charged, but they can seem like you’re poking fun at someone else. Remove those items before a buyer is the potential butt of your joke. Now before you get up in arms about this being an easily offended society (because I know some of you are thinking it), let’s really look at this: selling your home has nothing to do with your personal opinion. At the end of the day, it really is a business transaction for you. Why run the risk of unintentionally crossing someone, when that someone may be the perfect buyer? There is enough emotion involved in the process, why create another layer of that?


Thank you for checking out this blog! If you’re looking for more tips on how to strategically sell your home, reach out to me. You can email me at keri@spokanehaven.com or call/text me at (509) 844-5843. 


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