At the risk of beating that horse-shaped pile of dust on the ground, the real estate market these days is rough! Admittedly things aren’t quite as dire in Dallas as they are in other parts of the U.S., but you still can’t afford to be lax if you want to successfully market your home.
Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a fortune renovating your home to ensure that you get a good price. Some of the most effective fixes are also the fastest and the cheapest.
Do a Preliminary Walkthrough
The first thing you should do is determine just what your home needs to be ready for open house. Walk through the home, touring it as if you were a prospective buyer looking for a Dallas home for sale, and try to look at everything with fresh eyes. Drive past your home to see how it looks from the road. Walk up to the front doorstep and look around as critically as you can. If you have a problem viewing your home with the necessary detachment, enlist the aid of friends or family members to help you spot problems that need to be addressed.
Depersonalize the Home
The idea is to encourage prospective home buyers to picture themselves living there, and that can be difficult if they’re distracted by your personal effects. Stow away family portraits, heirlooms, knickknacks, trophies—anything that might interfere with the buyers feelings that the house could belong to them. This goes for toiletries and beauty products in the bathroom as well. Keep them in a basket or shower caddy so they can be quickly stowed beneath the sink when you have a showing.
Eliminate the Clutter
You’re going to move anyway, so why not go ahead and start by getting rid of the stuff you’re not going to be taking with you. Sell it, give it away, or throw it away. Or if you can’t bear to part with it, consider renting a temporary storage unit to hold it all. By eliminating a third of your junk, you can actually make your home look larger and more open. Prospective buyers will probably want to check the home’s available storage, so resist the urge to cram all your stuff into a closet or cabinet.
Clean, Clean, Clean!
Nobody wants to move into a dirty home. Once you get the clutter cleared out, you should thoroughly clean your house from top to bottom, paying particular attention to hidden corners (such as the nook behind the commode or the inside of your refrigerator). If you have pets, remove all traces of them (leashes, food bowls, litter boxes) before showing your house. Use air fresheners and candles to get rid of unwanted scents. Pay particular attention to your bathroom and kitchen, as they should be spotless and shining for potential buyers. Once you get your house clean, make sure to maintain it with regular dusting and vacuuming.
Light It Up
Try to get as much light into your home as you can. Clean the windows, remove the screens, and make sure the shades are up. Replace any burned out or low-watt light bulbs with brighter bulbs to make sure your home looks well lit.
It may not be necessary, but repainting your walls is one of the least expensive ways you can impact the appearance of your home. Avoid non-neutral shades (bright yellow, red, or purple), as they may not appeal to most of your potential buyers. You should also avoid bright white, as the starkness can be offputting to a lot of folks. Your best bet is a comfortable beige or other neutral shade. If you’ve repainted or wallpapered in the last three years, you can probably get away with just cleaning your walls.
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