When a seller puts his or her house on the market, the best case scenario is that the house will sell quickly and that the buyer will pay as close to the asking price as possible. Unfortunately, a lagging market makes it easier for buyers to negotiate on price, so it is difficult to get the high prices you could get in a booming market. You are also competing with other Malibu homes for sale to capture buyer interest. However, you can take several steps to prepare your home so that buyers can see it in the best possible light. This can help you get the best deal possible.
Remove Personal Touches
Buyers have a hard time seeing past personal items, so you do not want to give them any reason to walk away from your home without making any offer. Personal photos, trinkets and mementos can turn motivated buyers into uninterested houseguests. Pack up these items and store them elsewhere to make it easier for buyers to picture themselves living in your home.
Clear the Clutter
Clutter is a turnoff for most buyers, especially those in the Malibu real estate market, so don’t invite people into your home without making sure it is clutter-free. Set aside some time to sort through your belongings and decide if you want to give some of them away. If you haven’t used an item in at least six months, donate it to charity. Not only will this help you clear clutter, it will also benefit someone else. Items that have no use and are not in good enough condition to donate should be thrown away. If you have an unusual book collection, pack it up and put it in storage. Clean off the bathroom and kitchen counters so that you can show buyers clean surfaces. Put the items you need – toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, makeup – in a small box and store it in the closet when people visit your home.
Clean Out Cabinets and Closets
Unfortunately, some buyers aren’t content with looking at closed closet and cabinet doors. This means you also need to clean these areas before a showing. When cleaning the cabinets, stack dishes neatly, keep like items together and avoid packing each cabinet to capacity. Your clothes closets should be organized neatly with all clothes facing the same direction. Line up shoes neatly on your closet floor or invest in a shoe rack to keep them organized. Consult a Malibu real estate agent if you need more tips for clearing the clutter and organizing your closets and cabinets.
Remove Items You Want to Keep
If there are any items you want to keep, such as curtains or blinds, remove them before you start showing your home. You want to show buyers exactly what they will be getting, so you don’t want to entice a buyer with beautiful window valances only to remove them before you move.
Cleaning and Repairs
Cleaning and repairs are very important when you are trying to compete with other Malibu homes for sale. Wash all of the windows, spray the exterior with a power washer, remove any cobwebs or insect nests from outdoor areas, put new caulking in the tub, mop or wax the floors, replace any ripped carpeting and dust all furniture. As far as repairs, patch holes in the walls, replace cracked tiles, fix faucet links and replace any broken light bulbs.
Russell Grether of Compass Real Estate is a real estate agent based out of Malibu, CA. He specializes in Malibu real estate, Malibu homes for sale, Malibu properties, Malibu Land for sale, Malibu rentals and surrounding area real estate from Montecito to the Pacific Palisades.