Get Your Home Ready To Sell
You do not always need to spend money to make money, and when selling you will not always get back dollar for dollar what you put into your home or investment property. If your home is in overall good shape, a fresh coat of paint and simple yet charming staging can do the trick and leave a great impression on buyers! The time to remodel is when you plan to stay in your house, not when you’re going to sell. Keep in mind, however, that the typical buyer does expect the home they purchase to be up to date on maintenance so it does help to ensure all systems are in working order and the roof still has some life left on it. If not, these issues can come up on an inspection report and buyers will then request the necessary maintenance is performed before closing.
Now, let's get to the basic steps you can follow to turn your home into a space that allows a buyer to see their own life in! This is your first impression, so it had better be a great one.
Step 1) First things first – have a garage sale. De-clutter and de-personalize.
We all have too much stuff, and clutter can be distracting to potential Buyers. When preparing your home for sale, you want to eliminate as much as possible—books, knick knacks, storage boxes, off-season clothes, your giant shoe collection, etc. It’s important to neutralize your space so that potential Buyers can see themselves living in your home—and that means putting away personal photos, fridge magnets, large toys, mementos and collections. Gather everything you don't see yourself taking with you and organize a garage sale, whatever doesn’t sell can be donated and you'll get a tax deduction to boot! Once the clutter is cleared away, it will be easier to see what needs to be done.
Step 2) Deep. Clean. Eat off the floor clean, people.
What would you expect in a hotel or vacation home? Channel that. Let's wash the baseboards, wipe down the cabinets, wash the windows inside and out, remove the cobwebs from the ceiling, clean inside your fridge, oven, and microwave (yes buyers will look there), clean and organize inside your closets and kitchen cupboards, dust under your stuff, put away game consoles, and have the carpets professionally cleaned. Sadly, the cleaning doesn't stop when your house goes on the market, it should be show ready at any given moment–every day, you’ll need to make your bed, do the dishes, clean the floors, pick up after the kids and keep it smelling fresh.
Step 3) Staging - flatter the space.
The goal of staging is to make a home appealing to the highest number of Potential Buyers. Stage every room for it’s natural purpose- optimize the use, look and feel of every room in your home. It might mean converting your home office to a third bedroom, adding, removing or re-arranging furniture, painting the walls, replacing light fixtures or investing in some fluffy towels for the guest bathroom. Ya know, spruce the place up a bit! You can bring in a professional stager, find some inspiration on Pinterest, or work with your REALTOR. Whatever way you choose, making your home appeal to the greatest number of Buyers doesn’t have to be expensive, but it will take a little time and effort. Let's remember: the effort you put into transforming your home will impact how long it takes your home to sell and of course, the price you get. And, buy a new welcome mat, you want buyers to be smiling as they enter your home.
Step 4) Repairs - get that honey do list done.
It's okay, we all have a tendency to procrastinate fixing the little stuff – the leaky faucet, the noisy disposal, the broken shelf in the kitchen cabinets, the loose gutters, the door that closes if you put a little back into it. Bringing in a handyman to complete all those little fixes will go a long way to communicating to potential Buyers that your home has been well-maintained (and you’ll wonder why you put it off so long). And make sure there are no burnt out light bulbs or dead batteries in the smoke detectors!
Step 5) Pre-listing home inspection
Now, this is optional, but it is extremely helpful and ensures there are no surprises or unexpected expenses. Having an inspection done before you put your house on the market will help you identify any issues with the home that might be objections for Buyers. For example, the home inspector may determine that your house needs a new roof. Armed with that information, you can choose to either a) fix the roof before putting the house up for sale, or b) factor it into your asking price. Either way, having accurate information puts you in control of how the deficiencies in your house will affect the price you get for the house.
Freaking out a little? Don't ! The Crist Team can help you with alllllll of this. We have an arsenal of contacts ready to assist you.
Here are few other ideas that you may find useful as well:
- Curb appeal - edge, mow and fertilize the lawn regularly. Make sure it’s well watered and reseed any sparse areas. Trim hedges, weed lawns and flowerbeds, and prune trees regularly. Cut back overgrown shrubbery that looks scraggly or keeps light out of the house. Keep the walks and driveway swept.
- Put a bright coat of paint on your mailbox so it jumps out to buyers as they're coming down the street.
- Check the foundation, steps, walkways, walls and patios for cracks and crumbling, and reseal if possible.
- If you have siding or brick, power-wash it. If you have a painted exterior, consider repainting in a neutral shade. This is especially important if there is any peeling.
- Make sure the porch light works.
- Inspect and clean the chimney, lay logs in the fireplace.
- If the doorbell doesn’t work, repair or replace it.
- Spring for some brightly colored potted outdoor flower arrangements for the front yard near the entrance.
- Keep your garage door closed.
- Paint the front door.