You as the seller, need to make it easy for a buyer to buy your home. That means removing barriers that stop a buyer from buying the home. When there are barriers, buyers stop and give your home a second thought. It may be unconsciously but it is enough to give them a second thought. We want to remove those barriers whenever we can. Here are some ways to make it easier for buyers to consider your home.
Curb appeal and first impressions do matter. Most people will pass judgement on a home within the first minute of seeing the home. They will either love it or hate it. So when they pull up to the house, the need to "love it." There are many improvements that could be done, but I've got just a few suggestions to get you started. First, have the grass mowed and kept in good condition. Have planters with flowers near the front door or along the sidewalks.If the front door needs painting, then paint it. If windows or trim need paint, get that done as well. Fix cracks in the sidewalk. Any deferred maintenance along the route to the front door needs to be done.
Easy to get an Appointment
When agents set appointments up to see houses, they are typically showing 5-8 houses at a time. If your house is #4 and the time requested is for 4:30 pm, and you deny the showing, that agent will just skip your home altogether. This is because we as agents are scheduling them on a specific route. Oftentimes it would be way out of the way to come back after showing the other 5 houses first. So it just won't get shown.
Getting into a house can sometimes be a challenge. I have come across this time and time again. The lockbox should be on the front door, and the key should work effortlessly. When a buyer and their agent cannot get in easily, the buyers just stand around thinking that they don't belong there. It's uncomfortable and unwelcoming.
There are many times where the front door handle is not the type that will hold a lockbox correctly, whether the lockbox won't fit on the handle, or it won't be secure (as someone could walk off with the lockbox). In this case, allow your agent to get a surface mount combo box that can be mounted on the side of the door jamb.
If the lock is not super easy to use, you can try graphite lock lubrication (from Menards). Just spray some graphite lube into the lock and run the key a few times. You should be able to insert the key like a hot knife through butter. If the key has to be held a certain way for the lock to work, replace the key and/or the lock. It's worn out or the key was cut wrong.
Also the lockbox should only contain 1 key, and that one key should open every lock on the house. If all the locks don't match, rekey them so that they all match.
It is very distracting to have a dog in a kennel that is barking or yipping throughout the showing. If your dog barks at anything, it should not be there for showings. I know this will be inconvenient, but it is a major distraction. Cats are much less of a problem since they tend not to make too much noise. But if the cat is one that will bolt for the door, then put the cat in a cat box.
Although alarm systems can add value to a home, it is uncomfortable to have the police show up at a showing. And since there are so many different varieties of alarm systems, just turn off the alarm system for the couple of weeks that you are showing your house. Also, turn off the "alarm chimes" such as "FRONT DOOR." These chimes make people nervous during showings. This is especially true when we open the sliding patio door and it says "BACK DOOR." Then everyone is wondering if the alarm system is calling the police or not.
Sprinkler systems should also be off during showings. You don't want to have a buyer walking the yard and suddenly get soaked by the sprinkler system.
Make Garage Easily Accessible
Buyers almost always want to see a garage, even if it is full of boxes or stuff. They want to see if their car fits, if there is shelving or storage areas, or if there is enough room for bicycles and lawnmowers. Make it easy to get in either via garage remote, or a key.
With detatched garages, make the garage door opener available, or a garage code on the kitchen counter. If there is a service door, make sure it is the same key as the house. The easier it is for a buyer to look around, the better.
Pet odors are a huge distraction. Both "wet dog smell" or "cat urine smell" really turn off buyers, even if the house is stunning. The smell alone can make buyers think twice, especially if there is carpeting involved. They won't know if the smell is just in the carpeting, or if it has soaked below into the subfloor or concrete.
Cooking odors are also big distractions. Even though you may like curry or fish, buyers may be turned off by these kinds of smells.