Thinking of selling sometime this year? Get a jump on the competition and start preparing now. One of the most common situations I come across are sellers that want to put their home on the market, but the property isn’t quite ready to bring top-dollar. Some of the preparations can be done in a weekend, but other projects that can increase your property value or make it more appealing to buyers can take some time. Landscaping doesn’t “green up” in a week and freshly pruned trees and bushes don’t always look great. Also, beginning the preparations early in the year can alleviate a ton of stress. If you are thinking about the possibility of selling this year, give me a call and I can come by and evaluate your home and give you an idea or punch list of things that will help you sell quicker than the competition and command top dollar. In the meantime, here are some ideas of what you can do to get your home ready to show:
When selling a house, you want to make sure that the people looking at it can picture themselves living there. Removing some personal items such as family photos, and removing things from around the house and counter tops like cosmetics, hair products or small appliances can go a long way in helping the buyers visualize the home as a “blank canvas” that they can “paint” with their own furniture and other items that are their taste.
Take the chance to lighten your moving load! Donating items taking up extra space in the closet and getting rid of unnecessary clutter makes your space appear larger and more desirable. Clear off any extra clutter on counters, magnets on fridges and books off of nightstands. You may consider renting a storage unit, and look at it as an opportunity to get a head start on your packing. Most people realize they have much more than they need and having yard sales or making donations early in the year will reduce your stress later and make things easier for you as you really fine-tune your home for sale.
Along the same vein, taking a chance to organize areas like closets and shelves make a huge difference in how your home appears. This can be as simple as taking time to make sure your home entertainment center is free of excess wires, to taking the time to make sure everything has a place in the closet. Containers or baskets make everything look more orderly and will make the move easier. The way your closet looks can tell a potential buyer how you care for and maintain some of the components of the home that aren’t visible on an initial walk-through (items like HVAC system, hot water heater, rain gutters, how appliances run, etc.)
It might not make sense to put too much money into a home you plan on selling, but a few cosmetic tweaks can have a big impact on how it shows and eventual sales price. Are there any unsightly holes or annoying leaky faucets? Some buyers might be put off by simple things, so small things like painting any bright accent walls a nice neutral color or making sure obvious things are in good repair can influence how the listing is viewed. I can tell you which repairs are necessary and which repairs/upgrades will give you a good return on investment.
- Clean, Clean, Clean
One of the biggest “make or break” moments is when a buyer looks at a home that is clean or not. If a potential purchaser walks into an area and it’s visibly dirty or smells, chances are they aren’t going to be too comfortable taking much of a look around. Making sure carpets are vacuumed, things are dusted and wiped down and there are no unpleasant fragrances is something that absolutely must be done when trying to sell a house. Areas like kitchens and bathrooms should be cleaned frequently when showings are happening. A deep cleaning before your home hits the market is always a good idea. Some buyers will check things like window tracks, blinds and more. It is imperative to have a clean, good-smelling home. If you have pets, additional and frequent cleaning may be needed.
- Amp Up the Curb-Appeal
Almost all buyers like to take the chance to do a drive-by before they make an appointment to see a house so they can get a feel for the house and the neighborhood. Make sure to keep the lawn mowed, trim up any shrubs and maybe plant a few flowers for some color. The front of your house is the first impression, so make sure it’s a good one!
These are just a few ideas to get you started. When I come and view your home, I can give you a detailed list and to-do items in order of importance. You will be surprised how much better your home can sell and how much you may be able to add to your bottom line with some tips from a professional and a little work on your part. Some sellers are worried that their home has to be perfect before I come out for an evaluation. That is NOT the case. I can see through a “lived in” home. I have kids and understand that things can’t always be perfect (I have also ideas that will make your kids want to help in cleaning and keeping the home in showing condition when it’s on the market-ask me about that when I come out). Call me today to get a jump on the competition!