It still amazes me that when a person attempts to sell their car, they clean it, wax it, take out all their personal items, and basically make it look “like new.” Yet when that same person goes to sell their home, they leave it in disarray with chipped paint and a dirty oven! Therefore, I often tell my Sellers to keep in mind the three C’s when preparing their home for marketing. Think about builders’ model homes and how they have mastered Color, Clean and Clutter.
Color…If a home is decorated in more neutral tones, buyers will have an easier time projecting themselves living in that home. The most popular neutral colors are white and beige. Gray has become less popular in recent years. A fresh coat of linen white paint will pay off as well as newer medium-grade light carpeting. Sellers may protest and say, “What if I pick a color the buyer doesn’t like? Haven’t I wasted my money?” There is a saying I often use: “Buyers see what they see, not the way it’s going to be.” If you give them a blank palette to work with versus red wallpaper and green carpeting, they will make a buying decision much quicker!
Clean…This sounds like common sense but you’d be surprised what I see in my daily travels. Vacuumed carpet, gleaming tile, and unmarked walls are worth their weight in gold. The most common trouble areas are kitchens and baths. A cloudy shower door and dark marks in the grout are big turn-offs. A house can have a “clean” smell or a “dirty” smell. This can be a result of pets, cooking, and overall cleanliness. Try to put yourself in the buyers’ shoes when tallying your score on the “Clean Scale.”
Clutter…This can pertain to anything from magnets and paper all over the refrigerator to a vanity covered with toiletries. Not only do these items distract buyers but they make a home “feel smaller.” A common rule of thumb for kitchen counters is to put away everything you don’t use every day. (i.e. blenders, knife blocks, toaster ovens, etc.) The more open space you present, the bigger a home appears. It also looks cleaner, more organized, lighter and brighter. It can be hard to pack up that teddy bear collection but the sooner you do, the sooner the bears can move to their new house!
The way you live in a house and the way you sell a house are two different things! Buyers want to feel like they are “moving up,” “turning over a new leaf,” and “getting organized.” If they see at your house what they just left behind at home, they won’ t have any reason to make the move. Don’t just sell your home, make it a showplace like a true marketeer!