Real Estate Realities
LOS ANGELES—Selling your home or property can take time. But by doing some small things here and there, they can help sell your property fast. First, you must think like a buyer. Ask yourself, “What is it about this home that will make it attractive to a buyer?” The answer is to make it look clean, neat and as homey as possible. To do all these things, you must make a good first impression and take advantage of it by getting rid of overgrown shrubs, piles of leaves on your lawn and the overgrown grass that makes it look like no one lives there.
Plant flowers, trim trees and get rid of any gardening equipment or old patio chairs from your lawn to enhance your home’s appearance.
It sounds simple, but many forget to do these basic things. It’s tantamount to showing up at a job interview in a t-shirt and jeans. It just doesn’t look good, no matter how you slice it.
In that same vein, make sure you get rid of accumulated newspapers, clothes and clutter that seem to line the walls throughout your home. De-cluttering a home is paramount when it comes to making a good first impression on potential buyers. You don’t want them talking about the clutter when you’d rather have them talk about the spacious living room and large closet space, for instance.
It’s hard for buyers to get past the mess of a messy house even if it has lots of space and a modern kitchen with all the amenities. Whether you disagree or not, cleanliness will win over buyers every time.
A fresh coat of paint will also make a big difference if your home or property is looking a little older or little more ragged than its neighboring homes. It’s all about curb appeal and showcasing your home to look its best.
If you have pets, board them somewhere or have a friend care for them so they don’t get in the way of potential buyers wishing to look around. And if you have a cat, get rid of your litter box and avoid any potential odor problems. Remember, not everyone loves pets and a finicky dog or cat could prove a deal breaker should they have a run-in with a possible buyer.
If you have a door that’s dragging on the floor and marking on your hardwood floors, fix it, and do your best to mitigate the damage on your floor. Also make sure your kitchen and bathroom doors and drawers operate correctly. Replace any missing knobs and de-clutter the interior spaces. Potential buyers will look there.
Remember to wipe down all the furniture, counters and chrome on all your faucets and clean as much as possible to make your home the best that it could be. Even if your house is a bit distressed with deferred maintenance, some paint, cleanser and elbow grease will work wonders.
The more information you have for them, the better so have inspection materials and other disclosures and fact sheets on hand. Feel free to include a list of improvements, fixtures and other upgrades to better sell your home.
And finally, make sure you go through the house with a fine-tooth-comb so to speak, so you can change broken light bulbs, replace damaged fencing, or fix leaky faucets. And work with your real estate professional for more tips to ensure a fast sale.
David Rosenfeld is a Real Estate broker and president of Advantage Real Estate, a Real Estate and investment firm in Santa Monica, and a Rotary Club member. He has more than 20 years experience in commercial and residential property investments and financial counseling. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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