There is no shortage of opinions on what sells a house.
Before we start let’s level the playing field. Let’s say all houses you look at are in a price range that is adequate, nothing completely out of whack. Pricing of course plays a part but I have too often seen other components being much more important to fall in love.
Location is paramount but I see very often that 2 or 3 locations in Corvallis, OR can be of equal benefit to a client and therefore, again, other features are more important.
These 10 points (in no particular order) in my opinion sell a house:
- Light: When people enter a house and it is bright, they love it. If it has big windows that offset even a dreary Oregon winter day, that is a winner
- Cleanliness and order: A house that is well cared for and tidy, uncluttered, sells much better than hastily put together piles of paper and unruly shoes. Order signals a house has been well cared for.
- Staging: that can be done with or without seller’s things and furniture, important is that furniture is well placed, not overwhelming a room, giving the buyer space to imagine his own things in the room. A fresh approach, slipcovers etc. avoid a dated impression.
- Neutral smell: If a house smells of the scent the seller loves, it easily backfires. Curry, fish and unmade bed smell do not do well either.
- Maintenance: dirt and rot visibly in the face when you enter, drippping gutters, a mossed over roof and dirty windows make the impression the seller does not care, so what else can lure…
- Landscaping: the grass is mowed, leafs are raked, flowers are in full bloom and not past their prime, trees are pruned, the water hose tidily hung up… that is a winning concept. And in winter, a groomed impression can still be easily achieved.
- Updated kitchen: With comparably small investments you can update your kitchen and make it shine. Consider color, countertops and lighting.
- Updated baths: a new backsplash, a fresh wall color and updated fixtures are a small investment and go a long way
- Updated floors and fixtures: new carpet or even better new wood (laminate not so much!!) and new tile/vinyl are winners. The chandelier from the 80s in the entrance should go! Show your buyer that the house was updated periodically and is not stuck in the building decade!
- Purpose and floor plan: If you have spaces in your house that people are left to interpret their uses, show purpose, a desk, a Fussball Table, a reading nook up, eliminate “dead” space. Master suites or at least a bedroom on the first floor, a separate guest area, a family room and living room, all these can make or break a sale.
It is said that in the first 90 seconds a buyer falls in love. That might be. But my experience is that people narrow choices down and the second time they go, rationality takes over and the above listed points take over.
Off to a showing now…