No matter where you live or what the market is like in your area, there are some constants your real estate agent will rely on to help you sell your home. Unless your real estate agent has a penchant for sarcasm, they will never tell you...
If you have flamboyant taste in décor, your real estate agent will likely suggest that it's time for a paint job. It might be hard to say goodbye to the colour scheme you chose when you moved in, but this will soon be someone else’s home. Neutral colours offer a blank canvas, making it easier for potential buyers to imagine living in your property.
“Let's just stack everything in a cupboard.”
Storage space is very attractive to potential buyers, and they will definitely look inside your built-in closets. While it is wise to keep excess trinkets out of the way during a viewing, they should never be crammed into your home’s storage areas. Your agent might even suggest taking half of your possessions out of the closet to make them appear more spacious. The emptier your cupboards look, the roomier they appear, which can be a significant selling point for buyers.
“Dogs and cats add personality to a property: Keep them around for the viewing!”
People pride themselves on being animal lovers, but adoration for all things small and furry can quickly disappear when thinking rationally about the care and maintenance of a property. Aside from the risk that your potential buyer suffers from allergies, you don't want them to leave wondering how long it will take to remove pet dander from the flooring. If possible, send your four-legged-friend to live with a relative or a pet sitter while your house is on the market.
“The camera on my smartphone is good enough for photographs.”
Nine out of ten people start their house hunt online, and a good online presence begins with the photographs placed strategically on your real estate agent’s website. Some quick snaps taken on a mobile phone will not suffice. Your agent should bring a professional photographer, and may even style the rooms before taking any photographs.
“Don’t worry about tidying up; it’s good that your home looks lived in.”
Not only should you tidy up before a viewing, you should also hire a professional cleaner to ensure that the home is absolutely sparkling. A neat and tidy home is more attractive, not to mention something many people aspire to having. No-one pictures a dream house with stained carpets or cobwebs, so it's your job to make sure your house lives up to that idealised image.
“You don’t really need me, I bet you could sell this home using nothing but Twitter.”
Unless you are a professional real estate agent yourself, you will find it very difficult to sell your home alone. Agents have years of training, a vast array of contacts, and ideally the reputation of a respected agency such as Engel & Völkers behind them. They know exactly how to price your property to get the best returns, they know exactly who to market to, and they have the means to show your property to all the right people.