The 8 UGLY Truths On How to Get Your House Sold
Until this past year in Kentucky, it was easy to get houses sold for a good price.
There were even multiple offers everywhere! Yes, we Realtors(R) were almost order takers! Ahhhh...life was good!
What I noticed overall was just HOW some houses sold faster. It wasn't because: the agent was brilliant, the marketing was spot on, open houses were held every weekend or even that there was more than one prospective buyer.
What sold the house fast was that sellers took out unnecessary stuff and added paint... then cleaned it up!
For most of you sellers, this is just everyday stuff.
1. Clean EVERYTHING! I am cleaning ZEN kind of person and I just like my house clean and fresh. I do have a little dog with mountains of hair but you would never know it when you come inside. I enjoy cleaning. Some people hate it!
Many houses I listed that sold lighting fast had pro-active sellers. They asked me to come over, I made out a list of what they could should do.
They had done their homework by checking out new homes to see how they could compete... and it worked! It was a mission and they wanted to WIN! I love this attitude.
2. Get rid of all wallpaper! The number one pet peeve of buyers when looking at homes was wallpaper. When you look at new homes it just isn't there. Not even a border. If you want to get your house sold take out every inch of wallpaper or border.
I know you thought it matched your decor, but the next buyer will probably hate it. Not only that, but he will not even want to take the time to take it off the wall. This is when he will roll his eyes and look at his agent and say..."Next". Borders and wallpaper date your home and designers rarely suggest it. Get to work and take it down.
3. That Kentucky blue paint has to go! The next in line is paint color. Again take a look at some new homes and pick out neutral earth tone colors. Stay away from pinks, purples, blues, and tutti-frutti tones.
Freshen your doors and baseboards by cleaning them and paint. Don't forget to put a fresh coat of paint on the front door too. Most times all the trim just needs cleaning. You know it's the one thing you never do!
4. One of my biggest peeves is knick-knacks and collections.
Keep in mind at all times...you want to move! Pack all that stuff like dolls, angels, toys, religious icons, stuffed animals, glass figurines, deer antlers, gun racks, china, family pictures, stacks of books and magazines, pill bottles, etc.
5. Stage the kitchen!The goal is to make surfaces look a little empty. Don't leave place mats and china on the table either. Replace it with a nice centerpiece like a bowl of fresh green apples or vase of cut flowers. Put sponges, cleaners, soap, drain stoppers, etc. under the sink and out of sight.
Take off appliances (Blenders,can openers, etc.) rarely used and box them to move.
Survey the room and pack up unnecessary objects. Less is more!
6. What in the world is that SMELL?? I started to put this at number one, but it is SMELL. Your house needs to smell nice when buyers arrive. It is the first impression they will have. I'm not talking about air freshener (that will turn them off fast too!). There is a product at hardware stores called Odor Rid. It will eliminate odors...Go get it.
Your house should have a "CLEAN" smell. Almost no smell at all. Get carpets and floors professionally cleaned to start. Clean dead bugs and cobwebs out of windows and blinds, dust off ceiling fans and light fixtures.
7. ANIMALS -They have to be out of the house to get it sold. Take them with you when the house is being shown. Cute pets in the house or yard do not help you sell your home.
Cat litter boxes are a BIG YUCK! Stick it out in the garage on your way to the car. Put away dirty dog bowls.
Some people will not even look at a house that has had dogs or cats. I don't blame them. To sell a home with pets you will have to work harder than the average homeowner just to keep it clean and hair picked up. Have a friend who doesn't have pets come by to take a front door sniff test. Take it from there on how much cleaning will get rid of the odor.
8. NO SMOKING!!!! I'm serious about this ugly truth. One of the last houses I looked at to potentially list had about 5 people sitting in the kitchen smoking. I couldn't get out of there and wash my clothes and hair fast enough! Whew!
Folks, if you want to sell your home, you can't smoke in it. Sure, you might love it... but it will turn off all the buyers. No one will love those yellow walls and sticky ceiling fans with dust balls. Smoked up houses are the last ones to sell...if at all.
I used to wonder why dust would stick on textured ceilings....it was from the nicotine! Any home that has had smokers will need EVERYTHING...paint, carpet and a deep clean. Even with all this cleaning, some buyers will still smell it's been in there.
O.K. that's the good bad and the ugly on what can get your house sold. Look at it like it is a part time job you have taken to make money. If you are out of a job, this can be your new job!
You won't have to lower your asking price. Really, I'm not kidding. I want more than anything to see your home sell fast. Sometimes it's hard to say these things to clients. That's why I wrote it all down here...so I don't have to hurt your feelings. I spend long hours taking clients through house after house and see them turn their nose up at all this stuff.
Bottom line is you are ready to move, start packing it up and concentrate on the prize...a new home!
Lizette Fitzpatrick- Principal Broker at Lizette Realty.
Publisher/Author for the only Central Kentucky email newsletter on local real estate listings and sold properties, Kentucky relocation, local events, homeowner information and fun!
For more information on Lizette, Kentucky Horse Farms, Lizette Realty, Madison County, Fayette County, Richmond or Lexington KY real estate click on Lizette.us.
See for yourself what Lizette's extraordinary clients have to say about their Kentucky Real Estate experience. Copyright © 2009 By Lizette Fitzpatrick, All Rights Reserved...*The 8 Ugly Truths On How To Get Your House Sold*