It’s a seller’s market, you’ve got equity, and you’ve decided it’s finally time to sell your home!
After you call your Realtor (me) to tell me the good news, I come by to walk through your home. Chances are, we want to get your house listed ASAP to take advantage of weekend home shoppers.
Here are ways you can prepare to sell your house
You have lovingly cared for your home while you’ve owned it, but that’s not the same as being “show ready.” When you go to sell your home, you want complete strangers (who have different tastes) to be able to imagine themselves living there. Basically, you don’t want anything to detract from the space, features, and best offer for your house.
1. SPRUCE UP THE OUTSIDE: Make the front entry bright and cheery with colorful potted plants and flowers. Trim shrubs, pull weeds, add new mulch, mow the lawn, restain the deck, and remove any grease stains on the driveway. Touch up peeling paint on the house and exterior doors, especially where the buyers enter. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
2. PAINT WHERE NEEDED: Paint is one of the most cost-effective ways to make your home more appealing to a potential buyer. Brightly colored rooms should be re-done in a basic, neutral color. Touch up paint in the areas where there are stains, chips or scuffs. The less painting a buyer feels like they need to do, the better.
3. ORGANIZE ROOMS AND CLOSETS: Get rid of items you don't need and organize the items you do need. Don't forget the garage and storage rooms. Buyers will check to make sure they have enough storage. Fewer items in these areas will make the space feel bigger.
4. MAKE YOUR HOME FEEL SPACIOUS: Rearranging furniture and reducing knicknacks can be one of the easiest (and free!) ways to make your home feel larger and more marketable. Create an easy traffic flow. The less furniture and stuff in a room, the bigger it feels to the new buyer.
5. LET THERE BE LIGHT: Open up drapes and blinds for photos and showings. Replace the light bulbs in your home with higher wattage bulbs and clean the fixtures and shades. Buyers appreciate light and feel more comfortable in areas that are well-lit.
6. MAKE YOUR HOME SMELL GOOD: Add subtle air fresheners that give off a clean smell, especially in bathrooms and areas with pet odors. Avoid potent flowery air fresheners that just cover up the smell. Open windows and air the house out when you can. In some instances you may need to hire a professional cleaner to eliminate major odors such as pet urine or cigarette smoke. Even though they aren’t a major structural change, odors are a major deterrent for buyers.
7. CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN: This includes wiping down walls, cabinets, light switches, light fixtures, windows, sinks, and tubs. Detail the floors and baseboards. Get the carpets professionally cleaned if needed. There’s no substitute for a clean house. De-clutter and organize kitchen and bathroom countertops, and store away personal items.
These are all things you can do in the month or so leading up to when you actually list your house on the market. Have additional questions about preparing your home for sale (or wondering what NOT to invest in before you sell your home?) Send questions my way using this handy contact form, and I’ll be in touch.