First impressions are everything when it comes to selling a home.
“Most people make up their mind whether or not they like a house within mere minutes of stepping foot inside,” explains Don Frommeyer, mortgage expert and CEO of The National Association of Mortgage Brokers. “That is why it is crucial to make sure that you (and your home) are putting your best foot forward.”
Here are the top Do’s and Don’ts for getting your home ready for the market:
• Don’t overdo it on the heat. “People tend to overcompensate when they know that potential buyers are coming to look at their home in the winter time. They crank up the heat to make the place warm and welcoming,” says Frommeyer. “But that can backfire. The air will be dry and stale, plus the buyers will probably be too warm as they will be bundled up in coats. So keep the heat at a reasonable setting and have your humidifier set between 40-60 percent.”
• Do consider curb appeal. “Curb appeal is a huge draw for buyers, even in February,” says Frommeyer, “If you live in a cold state, consider creating a winter planter with cold-weather plants like winter berry holly or noble fir. At the very least, invest in a new doormat and keep the driveway clear of ice and snow. Warm lights glowing in the window will also be welcoming.”
• Don’t expect people to use their imagination. “If you have a crazy color choice in one (or more) of your rooms, you might think that people will look past that,” says Frommeyer. “But that can prove difficult for buyers. Garish paint and wacky décor choices will make them uneasy, no matter how beautiful your home is underneath your collection of animal heads. Paint over those wild colors and put away any crazy items that might garner a laugh or a raised brow.”
• Do invest in updates that matter. “People will pay top-dollar for homes with updated kitchens and bathrooms. If you can make even the barest improvements to these rooms, you will see a huge return. Update the yellowing tile in the bathroom or invest in new cabinetry. At the very least, purchase new shower curtains, bath rugs, and the like.”
• Keep it bright. “Open all the curtains,” says Frommeyer, “Turn on all the lights, even if it is the afternoon. Replace all dead light bulbs. Crack open doors to the pantry or laundry room so people won’t be afraid to peek inside. And tidy up in forgotten places like inside the fridge or oven…people will be looking in there, and if they see mold or burnt food, they will be very turned off.”
For more information, visit www.namb.org.