Everyone has a different opinion on what actually sells the home — emotions, rationalism, financial sense, etc.
Let's start with a level playing field. Assume that all houses you look at are in a reasonable price range for you. Pricing is part of the equation, but other factors contribute to “falling in love.”
Location, location, location, as the saying goes. But again, if the perfect house shows up, and the location is less than perfect, love can still happen.
Here are 10 things that, all other things being equal, can help to sell your house:
1. Light: Preferably sunlight. Open the blinds. Turn on the lights. When people enter a house and it is bright, they love it.
2. Cleanliness and order: See my previous column on de-cluttering. A house that is tidy sells much better than one that is cluttered. Order looks better and signals a house has been well cared for.
3. Curb Appeal: You only get one chance to make that first impression. Buyers can love or hate your house before they even walk in the door. Stand across the street, look at the house and think about how it will appeal to a stranger.
4. Smells: Avoid distasteful smells like fish, garbage, dirty laundry and the like. Opt for fresh air, cookies, clean linen smell. They can all be bought.
5. Maintenance: Even the smallest undone repairs give the impression the seller does not care, and makes people wonder what else might be hidden. Don’t give them anything to think about, fix up anything that might give rise to questions.
6. Landscaping: The grass is mowed, leaves are raked, flowers are in full bloom and not past their prime, trees are pruned, the water hose tidily hung up ... that is a winning concept. And in winter, a groomed impression can still be easily achieved.
7. Reonvated kitchen: Don’t spend a lot, but make it welcoming. Consider color, countertops and lighting.
8. Renovated baths: Same rules as the kitchen. Fresh wall color and updated fixtures are a small investment and go a long way.
9. Updated floors and fixtures: At the very least get the carpets and any tiles steam cleaned. Are they still stained? Then maybe replace them. Show your buyer that the house was cared for and updated periodically.
10. Purpose and floor plan: If you have spaces in your house that people are left to interpret, show purpose. A desk, a card table, a cushy chair for a reading nook all eliminate "dead" space.
It is said that in the first 90 seconds a buyer falls in love. In many cases that is so. But others narrow choices down and the second time they go, rationality takes over and the above points take over.
Thinking of selling a home on Long Island? Here is some Home Seller information.
Thinking of buying a house on Long Island? Download my Free Home Buyer’s Guide.
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Pugatch Realty Corp