I was sitting in a business meeting the other day and realized that we have less than 60 days to Christmas. Just a couple days later a friend of mine posted on FB that there are only 10 Saturdays left before Christmas. Wow, where did this year go? With the holidays just around the corner and everyone about to get super busy, you might think that this is a horrible time of year to sell your home. It’s not. In fact, it’s really a great time. Folks that are looking to buy a home this time of year are serious buyers and they want in by Christmas. So, are you ready? There’s work to do! You need to use your senses. Yep, that’s right, your five senses.
What do you see? Start in your front yard. Is the mailbox rusty and nearly falling over? If it is, replace it or paint it and stand it upright. Is the lawn and shrubbery trimmed and tidy? Look at the sidewalk. Is it clean or does it have mildew stains all over it? The same goes for the home exterior. Do you see cobwebs in the corners of the eaves and mildew stains on the gutters? The front of your home is the very first impression your home will make on a potential buyer. Be certain it says “I’ve been well cared for”.
Use the same critical eyesight for the interior as well. Start at the top. Paint any ceilings that have water stains from previous leaks. Are the walls free of damage? If they’re dirty, consider painting or at a minimum scrubbing them. Is the carpet and flooring clean and stain free? Be extra critical when viewing the baths and kitchen. Make sure there is not any mildew anywhere and shine your sink! Make your appliances glisten and the countertops free of clutter. If you’re a pile creator (like me sometimes), hide those piles somewhere out of sight! Don’t throw them in the closet because all the closets need to be neat and tidy too. If your closets are overwhelmed with stuff, consider renting a storage unit temporarily. Closets that have little in them look bigger. And potential buyers like big closets with lots of storage room. Because, let’s face it, we all have stuff!
Now that you’re gazing upon a spotless house with shiny surfaces and lots of clutter free space, what do you hear? Listen carefully… is the ceiling fan unleveled and knocking about? You can purchase leveling kits at the hardware store to fix that noisy problem. Do the doors squeak when you open them? A can of WD40 can go a long way. What does the HVAC system sound like when it turns on? Does it need servicing? Make your way to the kitchen and listen to the refrigerator? Does it purr like a kitten or hum as loud as a Harley? Don’t get me wrong, I really like Harleys. I just don’t want one in my house. What about the dishwasher? Is it so loud that you can’t hear your partner speak? You might want to fix that, then again maybe not! My point is that all houses can be noisy. Most of those noises are quite normal and you don’t even notice them. But, if you do notice them, they may not be normal and abnormal is bad.
Don’t forget to touch everything! Cabinets and window seals should be dust free and smooth. Kitchen counters need to be wiped clean, not gritty and greasy feeling. Absolutely, no crumbs! The same goes for the bathroom surfaces. Indeed, all surfaces in your home should be nice to touch. You don’t want anyone touching something in your house and quickly pulling their hand away while saying “ew”!
Ok, now use your nose. When you walk into your home, what do you smell? Better yet, like the commercial says, you could have become nose blind, so get a friend to walk into your house and ask them what they smell. If you’re a pet owner, be extra vigilant about cleaning their bedding and litter boxes. For showings, put the bedding, food bowls and litter boxes away. If you’re a smoker, consider having your carpets and window treatments professionally cleaned. Then, don’t smoke inside while your home is on the market. Be sure to replace all your HVAC filters. Candles and fresh flowers always leave a pleasant aroma and lastly baking cookies right before a showing can work miracles!
Finally, leave those cookies on the kitchen counter for folks to nibble on during showings. Use your sense of taste! You could be the only home they see that day that offers cookies and that would leave a nice last impression. Don’t you think?