In my many decades in real estate, I’ve been with hundreds of buyers as they walk in the door to glimpse their potential home. I’ve seen their eyes light up or get totally turned off in 2 seconds flat. Some never even want to leave the car when they pull in the drive. The good news is how buyers see your home is totally in your control!
Start by noticing as you drive onto your property what needs to be cleaned, repaired or replaced. In the mountains, access is of utmost importance! So make sure the driveway is clear and in good shape by weed eating or adding gravel, maybe grading it so it drains properly and isn’t bumpy. We have many buyers from the flat lands and the driveway can be a total turn off and scare them. This is so important!
Then look around:
- Is there a burnt out light or broken fence?
- Are limbs hanging low or in need of trimming?
- Does the sidewalk need to be edged?
- Are there lots of dead leaves or weeds in the yard or landscaping?
Next, walk up on the porch or steps.
- Are your light fixtures clean and in working order or covered in cobwebs with dirty glass?
- Is the door bell cracked?
- Are there old, worn decorations that need replacing (or better yet just taken away)?
- Are the windows and screens covered in pollen? Here in the mountains we have lady bug infestations and carpenter bees that make a mess. Clean it up, make the repairs.
- Does the house or deck need to be pressure washed, stained, painted?
Moving inside, walk room by room, looking from floor to ceiling and in every corner. Clean out the cobwebs, dust and wipe the base boards (or hire someone to do this. We have people!). Use a magic eraser to get rid of fingerprints on the doors or high traffic areas, around door knobs. Are there nail holes in the walls that need to be filled and painted? All of these little tasks add up to work in the buyer’s mind and the thought of moving is overwhelming enough!
It’s also very important to go through the closets. You’re moving anyway so you should get started cleaning out and packing up now. Storage is a major issue for everyone. Organize, minimize and straighten all of your storage spaces. Get cute baskets for belts and accessories. Put your shoes on shelves or racks. Show buyers that there is plenty of room to easily store and manage their things.
Finally go through your garage, basement and utility rooms to make them inviting, not scary as we know these spaces can be. And yes, I’m asking you to vacuum the pipes, wipe them down, change your filters, sweep up the dead bug, remove stains ie red flags. Paint and get organized.
Understand that when buyers see stains, peeling paint, dirt, they’re thinking…”if they can’t keep what we see clean, what’s going on behind the scenes with the HVAC, the electric panel, behind the walls?” It’s a HUGE turn off and makes buyers feel like they’ll have many projects the moment they move in or, worse yet, walk away. Not good!
I am happy to go through your home and work on this checklist with you or for you and help you hire people to do some or all of these things. Living in Bryson City for over 20 years I’ve built a long list of helpers that I’m happy to share with you. Listing with me makes me part of your team now and forever! Give me a call and let’s get started, so you can move out and move on!