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Do you need a home enhancement guide?

Dear Heather,

I am just about to put my home on the market for sale. What should I be doing to make it appeal to buyers? Have you got any advice?

Just About To Sell

Dear Just About To Sell,

At Coldwell Banker, our goal is not simply to sell your home but to help you realise the best price obtainable for your property in the shortest period of time. To help achieve this goal we have developed a home enhancement plan. I will go over a few things that, based on proven marketing techniques, will guide you on how to successfully prepare your house for sale. These suggestions require a minimum amount of time and expense to complete and are designed to make your house stand out from the competition.

The first impression counts

Did you know that within 15 seconds, the buyer has developed an opinion of your property?

The home front through the buyer’s eyes

Does the yard look well maintained? Are the trees and bushes trimmed? Is your lawn mown and edges trimmed? Are the decks and patios clean and clutter-free? Does your house need painting?

Appeal to the senses

Light and airy beats dark and stuffy any day. Open windows and blinds during showing and put the light or lamp on, if there is a dark corner.


Try and keep colours light and neutral, it makes it easier for people to imagine their own furnishings in place. Avoid dark colours or loud, patterned walls. Keep colourful accents to fresh flowers, towels, area rugs and curtains.


Peace and quiet is always a strong sell. Avoid barking dogs, loud music or noisy machinery; even the dryer going can be off-putting.


The smell of cleanliness is pleasing. Lemon oil or lavender (which is calming) can create a lasting scent of freshness. For a real heart-warming touch, place a dish of vanilla in a warm oven to create a lovely “just baked” smell. Avoid strong pet odours, tobacco, cooking oil and gas smells.

The interior through the buyer’s eyes

Are the appliances clean? Are your cabinets in good condition? Are your countertops in good condition and clutter-free? Is the tile grout clean on both the walls and floors?

Small details = big impact

If some areas of the house do not show well, it can be perceived by the buyer that the house needs work or that the property has not been cared for. If your property leaves a buyer with this impression it could mean they don’t make an offer, or make a low offer, taking into account the work that has to be done.

The extra details

Is your garage organised and well-lit? Are the stairs in good repair? Do the doors open and close easily? Are there any signs of insects or rodents? Is the swimming pool sparkling?

The end result

By showing attention to detail and understanding the buyer’s need to visualise your house against a neutral backdrop, you can dramatically increase the saleability of your property. For example, we recently had a seller who had several homes to sell. She put them on the market one at a time, having cleaned, painted inside and out and landscaped. She placed beautiful potted plants in strategic places and staged each property beautifully before viewings. Staging included tables laid for a meal, fresh flowers, sparkling clean everything, some furniture very nicely placed with superb bed linens and accents (pillows, a book, a nice cup and saucer on the nightstand, or a magazine). Each of these houses was very carefully priced for the market, each one had multiple viewings and multiple offers, and each one sold for over the asking price. That is the difference good presentation can make!

Your agent will be happy to assist with recommendations to help you sell your house. Contact me if you require a copy of our Home Enhancement Guide.

Heather Chilvers is among Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty’s leading sales representatives. She has been working in real estate for 27 years. If you have a question for Heather, please contact her at hchilvers@brcl.bm or 332-1793. All questions will be treated in confidence. Read this article on Facebook: Ask Heather Real Estate