The Spring Market-How to Make your House Stand Out
Here we are at the beginning of April! It is that time of year when buyers eagerly await the influx of new listings. I have a lot of buyers who have waited through the long cold winter to step out and see some houses in person. They have been watching emails and Realtor.ca, combing through listings online. Now they are starting to get out to open houses and they are sending me lists of houses for showings.
So how do you make sure as a seller that your house is getting the attention of potential buyers? It is truly not a secret that a few basic house maintenance guidelines will help sell you house. Having said that, few sellers put all the effort into making their houses stand out from the other listings.
Start on the Outside. As the snow melts, it is vital to clean up the yard. Any animal waste from pets should be removed as soon as it “pops up”. Also, other items forgotten since fall may reveal themselves. Now is the time to get them off the lawn and store them until they can be thoughtfully placed in the yard once the snow is gone for good.
With spring in Manitoba, we get storms that seem to come out of nowhere. Showings may be booked when weather is fair, but on the day of the showing there may be snow again. As tiresome as it is, do not put the shovel away-use it to keep the driveway and walkways clear for easy access.
An easily forgotten, but important first impression for buyers is how easily your front door opens to welcome them. Having their agent struggling to unlock the door because of a faulty or stubborn lock can leave buyers literally standing in the cold and getting frustrated. Make sure the keys for the front door fit well and unlatch the door easily. If they don’t it is worthwhile to invest in a locksmith’s time to get the locks working well.
Getting the Interior ready for showing is simple. Well, maybe not simple, but the interior should be simplified! Remove clutter, declutter, declutter some more and then clean, clean, clean. Cleaning is easier once surfaces are cleared of nicknacks and trinkets. You may love to see your thimble collection but a buyer needs to imagine their belongings in the home. This is best done if they are not distracted by your keepsakes or photos.
Keep it simple. Imagine you are a buyer and walk through your house room by room. Ask yourself, “How can I make this look more like a show home?” The answer is usually not adding things. It is almost always about removing things to open the space up and help the buyers focus on the house itself – not the stuff.
These tips will also help your agent get some excellent photographs for the listing! The pictures are vital to getting the buyers to choose your house for their list of preferred houses to see in person.