Have you noticed all of those little signs popping up around town? The ones that say “For Sale” and hang temptingly in the yards of freshly renewed houses? The Spring Real Estate Market is in full swing in Richmond.
Due to an upcoming move (which I am NOT happy about by the way, because Richmond ROCKS and why would I ever want to leave?!) my husband and I just joined the crowd of homes going on the market. We lovingly toiled to get the house “show ready” and I cried when the sign was placed in our front yard, officially marking our cute little house as “for sale.”
And then it went under contract. In three days.
Sure, a lot of it depends on timing, the right real estate agent, and the right buyer. But there is a lot you can do to make your house a show stopper.
If you are considering adding your house to the Richmond real estate market this spring, here are 10 tips to help you get under contract quickly.
1. GET RID OF YOUR STUFF! We rented a POD container and de-cluttered every single room and closet of our house. The POD sat in our driveway for a month and every day we loaded it with boxes of stuff we wanted, but didn’t necessarily need, like my son’s baby clothes or that extra bookcase that simply holds clutter. I also made A LOT of trips to Goodwill. Why did I still have that dress from a million years ago I will never fit in again? Where did all of these toys come from? Doesn’t matter, just get rid of them.
2. DE-PERSONALIZE. That gallery wall you spent hours on after you saw it on Pinterest is adorable, but perspective home buyers need to be able to see themselves in your home, not walk into a room of your memories. Even though it will look strange to you, don’t try to replace personal pictures with neutral decor. Blank walls are fine, and really open up your home, making it look bigger.
3. STAGE THE HOUSE. Each room of your house should have a purpose. You don’t want a buyer to walk into a room and think, “what am I going to do with this space?” Pair down furniture to the essentials and make sure you can walk into each room and know how the space can be utilized. Bedrooms really just need a bed and a dresser or nightstands, and the kitchen counters should be cleared. We have one room that is an office/playroom, and we had to work really hard to make sure you could tell it’s specific purpose without it looking like a junk room.
4. CLEAN! I mean, like really clean. Not the kind of clean you do before last minute company comes over. Real, on your hands and knees scrubbing every surface of your house clean. To be completely honest, I hired a cleaning team to come and clean my house while I was in the midst of packing up and de-cluttering. And then I went behind them and paid attention to every detail of every surface. Our house was truly spotless.
5. PAINT. It may seem like a silly thing, but a fresh coat of paint makes a huge difference. We touched up the paint in every room of the house and it really makes the house feel like new.
6. PAINT THE TRIM. No one is going to walk into your house and notice that your baseboards have been freshly painted, but fresh, white glossy baseboards and stairs give an attention to detail that really makes the house pop. It also shows off all that cleaning you did. It’s a small (time consuming) task, but glossy white trim makes the whole house shine.
7. PAY ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS. Now that you got rid of all of your stuff, and cleaned and painted, pay attention to the details. Hang fresh towels in the bath rooms. Make sure that bathroom rug is freshly laundered. Place fresh flowers in the hallway. The little things will add up, letting buyers know that your house is well loved and cared for.
8. CURB APPEAL. Your potential buyer’s first impression of your home is going to be determined as they walk up to the door. Make sure your yard is freshly mowed and mulched, and the walkway and porch have been cleaned and freshly painted. Place a wreath on the front door and plant flowers in your flower boxes. Use hanging plants and colorful flowers to brighten up the outside. We chose the color yellow for all of our flowers to give a uniform and cheery welcome to our home.
9. COLOR MATTERS. Keep your decor neutral with tans and wood. Paint rooms in soothing neutral tones such as tan, grey, blue, or green. Replace colored towels, linens, and shower curtains with fresh white ones for a cleaner and brighter feel. Yellow is a bright and welcoming color that can be associated with happiness (according to Google) so we used yellow flowers for the flower boxes and our hanging plant on in the front, fresh yellow flowers in a vase in the house, and placed a bowl of fresh lemons on the kitchen counter.
10. MAKE IT PERFECT…EVERY TIME. Of course you don’t always live with your house in perfect condition, but for showings you have to. Prior to a showing make sure the house is clean and hide unnecessary personal items. Vacuum, sweep, mop, and wipe down the bathroom before each appointment. You only get one chance to impress each buyer; make sure you make it a knock out!
We listed our home with The Jennie Barrett Shaw Group.
All pictures are courtesy of Persistence Vision Real Estate Photography.