PREPARING YOUR HOME TO SELL
It is important to make your home look its best before putting it on the market. Impressing the people that walk through your home will help you get an offer closer to your list price and sooner. Here are some tips to help you get started.
First take a look at your home. Act like you are a potential buyer. Look at your home through buyers’ eyes. Start a list of things to do. Then read below adding to your list as you go.
EXTERIOR OF YOUR HOME
Let us begin outside were potential buyers decide if your home is one they want to tour. Most buyers will drive by your home before they call the real estate agent to request a showing. Make that drive by Love at first sight!
Landscaping can make a home look stunning! Make a trip to the nursery and add fresh mulch and color to those flower beds. A landscaper might be a wise investment. Keep your lawn watered, mowed and trimmed. Your yard should be free of debris. Keep trash containers, lawn equipment and bicycles housed in your garage or behind the house. Does your driveway, porch or deck need sealed? Clean out gutters. Calk around windows and doors. Completing any general maintenance items makes potential home buyers and home inspectors happy!
The front door is where the potential buyer(s) stand while the real estate agent is preparing to enter the home. Try a fresh coat of paint or a good cleaning on your door and porch. Anew welcome mat and a wreath adds an inviting touch. Fresh flowers in a pot will add beauty and fragrance.
INTERIOR OF YOUR HOME
Reduce Clutter! Closets, cabinets, drawers, counter tops, book shelves, garages and storage sheds: Eliminate and Organize. Consider adding hangers, racks, hooks or shelves for your mops, brooms, rakes, shovels or anything that needs stored. It will make your closets and garage look neat and impressive. Too much furniture? Your home will seem to grow as you get rid of things you really don’t use. Time for a garage sale or a visit to the Good Will or Salvation Army. If that does not work and you still look cluttered try a storage unit or a relatives basement.
Clean, Clean, Clean! If you have thought about hiring a house keeper, now is the time. Clean your home like you have never cleaned it before. Your windows, doors, walls, floors, appliances and toilets should sparkle. Your home should look and smell fresh and clean. Beware of pet odor. If you live with it you probably don’t notice it. Ask your real estate agent or a trusted friend what they think.
Replace any damaged, stained or dated flooring. This is a wise investment because of the impact it has on the buyer. Steam cleaning can also make a big difference for lightly soiled carpeting. Choose neutral colors if you are replacing any flooring. Remember to protect your flooring during showings by providing door mats in your foyer and entry ways.
Consider replacing any outdated appliances, counters and cabinetry in your kitchen and bathrooms. Replacing cabinetry and vanities can be a vast improvement but can also be a costly one. Sometimes a new countertop, a fresh coat of paint or new appliances can make an outdated kitchen look new. The same with bathroom vanities and fixtures. Be careful with the extent of your makeover. These improvements might not add more value to your home but they may help you get an offer sooner and closer to your desired list price. Again, Be careful what you spend on updates! Get your real estate agents opinion before you make changes.
Fresh paint can make a home look new! Eliminate dated paint colors and wall paper. Bold colors are never recommended by your real estate agent although certain colors that are in style are inviting and actually makes your home more appealing. Get your real estate agents opinion before making changes.
Repairs. If your home has maintenance issues, it is more likely that potential buyers will lose interest. If you do receive an offer a bad home inspection can kill the deal. Complete any repairs needed. Paint anything that needs painted. Loose door knobs or handles should be tightened. Any broken windows should be repaired. All light fixtures should have working light bulbs. Rooms must have sufficient lighting. Use highest wattage to make your rooms bright. It is also wise to have your HVAC system and chimney cleaned and serviced for the year if you have not already. Leave the receipt for the potential home buyer and inspector to review. Any routine maintenance completed by the seller shows pride of ownership. If you are unsure about completing a repair, ask your real estate agent.
Staging your home. Remove items usually left on dressers and counters such as small appliances, personal care products, photos and jewelry. Put them in cabinets and vanities. Replace them with a plant or a piece of decor that will compliment the room. Photographs and refrigerator magnets need to be removed from sight.
Decorate each room as if your home is going to be in Better Homes and Gardens. Spend a little money on new rugs and towels for the kitchen and bathrooms. Also try sprucing up your bedrooms by updating bedding comforters, pillows and window treatments.