When you’re selling your home, there’s a lot on your mind! It’s a very involved process, and there’s a lot you’ll be thinking about. An important part of the selling process is giving interested buyers an opportunity to see inside your home, both in listing photos and videos as well as in person during showings and open houses. These in-person tours of your home will be when those buyers dig deep into your home: while some may be more focused on the big picture and focus on spaces like bedrooms and the kitchen, you might be surprised to know where many buyers will look when viewing a property. Generally, buyers want to know two things: will the house work for them, and how well was it maintained during your ownership?
Here are some simple guidelines to help you give buyers a great first impression of your home, even in these out-of-sight locations.
- Closets: An important part of any home, closets come in all shapes and sizes- and that’s a big part of why buyers are going to be interested in taking a look inside. Buyers want to know how much space they’ll have to work with should they purchase the home, and it’s an understandable desire. For you, that means cleaning and organizing your closets- not just for the bedroom, but coat closets, linen closets, and broom cupboards throughout your house. While you’ve likely already secured, hidden, or relocated sensitive personal items before showings or open houses, it’s good to double check the less important items. If possible, try to distribute your items to avoid any closets looking overstuffed. The more open space in your closet, the larger it’ll look to buyers. Nailing the little details can really help make your closet look its best.
- Basements: If you think buyers will stick to just the main room of your basement, you need to think again. While a converted living space is certainly a great focal point, serious buyers want to know everything about your house, and will take the opportunity to look inside utility rooms and even crawl spaces. While they may wait for an inspector to give them the full details a furnace or electrical box, buyers can be looking for signs of flooding, lingering moisture and mold, or even damage from age in these spaces. You should do your due diligence and go through these spaces first. Start by clearing out cobwebs or any other debris, installing good lighting, and making sure these spaces are clean and dry.
- Sinks: Buyers are on the lookout for signs that a home hasn’t been maintained, and one easy give away spot is underneath your sinks. While they might be looking for leaks, you’ll need to remember to clear out the cleaners stored in the kitchen or the trash bin kept under your bathroom vanity. Make sure these spaces are organized and attractive. Don’t be afraid to get creative by using some basic décor principles to help liven up these spaces, with an attractive non-slip mat, drawer liners, or even a fresh coat of paint.
- Windows: Clean windows might be hard to notice, but dirty windows will certainly attract the attention of a buyer. While you’re cleaning the windows, inside and out, make sure that they all open properly and unlock/lock easily.
- Sides of the property: When you think of curb appeal, you probably think of the buyers pulling up out front and taking in the house’s looks with a smile on their face. In reality, buyers might start there, but they’re going to walk around the sides of the property and check everywhere. It’s up to you to make sure everything looks good and is easy to traverse outside. Remove or temporarily relocate garbage bins, weeds, tree clippings, debris, and evidence of any outdoor pets that can quickly dampen a buyer’s initial enthusiasm for your property. Make sure siding has been cleaned, and if necessary, repaired or repainted.
Buyers will be checking your home with a fine toothed comb. While you might want them to focus on the spacious bedrooms and the updated kitchen, they’re going to check everywhere before making the decision to place an offer. By addressing every area of your home, and following these quick tips, you will be showing your home in it’s best light. From utility rooms to everyday spaces like closets and windows, make sure it’s all clean and in good working order. Buyers will easily fall in love with a home that has been well maintained and is in good cosmetic shape.