How do you get your house ready to sell?
Living in a home is a very personal experience and unique to each individual and family. Home owners become emotionally vested in their homes. Preparing your home for sale is essential to getting your home sold because Buying and Owning a Home are both very emotional experiences as well.This emotional attachment makes living in your home a personally rewarding and satisfying experience. Selling a home on the other hand requires a home owner to take a step back from their attachment and evaluate the home objectively from the perspective of a would-be home buyer. This objectivity is one of the more challenging aspects of preparing a house for sale. Failing to take this all- important step can mean the difference between a smooth, fast sale for maximum price and a lengthy, frustrating sale for far less than you want or should have had. Having an experienced, skilled professional to guide you will help you avoid the latter. These tips will get you started on being ready for SOLD! not just For Sale of your house.
1. Why A Pre-Inspection When Selling A House?
Before spending money on a remodel them before they discourage potential home buyers from making an offer. Taking this step also prevents you from encountering big problems when a home buyer has their own inspection. (From Forbes.com) “A pre-inspection gives you, the seller, a heads-up if there are problems that a potential buyer will likely want repaired. … Because a pre-inspection lets buyers know what they’re getting from the beginning, they can factor any needed repairs into an offer.” While it is highly likely that an educated home buyer will want to have their own home inspection and that two home inspectors might notice a few different things, it’s unlikely that either of the two inspectors would miss any major (expensive) issues. So you as the home seller avoid any big surprises from the buyer’s home inspection that could be very expensive or even kill your home sale. Additionally, you present your home and yourself as transparent, open and honest to a home buyer. Having a home inspection, making it available to the home buyer, as well as a list of items and receipts you have repaired will make anyone feel more comfortable about making an offer on your house. Taking the step of having a home inspection before the marketing of your house begins will save you Time, Money, Frustration and more.
2. How Do You Boost Your Curb Appeal?
First impressions are incredibly important. Research indicates that humans form opinions of people, places and things within 10 seconds. So it should come as no surprise that curb appeal can influence a home buyer’s opinion on the rest of your home before they ever step inside. The exterior of your home is your first chance to make a good or bad impression. Don’t neglect the exterior of your home when it’s time to sell. Here’s a partial list of items to check:
- Windows & Screens – Clean and check for damage, replace.
- Front Door – Clean or paint, stain, replace.
- Landscaping – Weeded, mow, trim
- Add Plants, Flowers – If landscaping needs a lift
- Garage – Keep the garage door closed
- Shutters – Check for damage & paint
- Power Wash – Porch, walkways
- Brick work – Check for damage & replace.
- Roof – Sagging, discolored, loose shingles? Does it need to be replaced?
- Siding – Check for condition & damage
- Lighting – Check if in working order, replace or clean bulbs
- Railings – Repair, paint.
- Gutters – Make sure they are in good shape and straight
- Trash Cans – Store out of sight
- Porch – Keep clean, open, easy access to door.
3. Are Closets, Closets, Closets Important?
When a closet is at or near capacity it works against your goals as a home seller. Whether a home buyer realizes it on a conscious level or only on a subconscious one a full closet will appear smaller than it actually is and also create the impression that the home does not have enough storage space. So, clear out your closets by donating, giving away, throwing away or moving to temporary storage outside the home those items you don’t use anymore or don’t need regularly.
4. How Can You Make Your House Look Bigger?
Let The Sunshine In — And More. A dark dim room with heavy curtains and low lights can feel cozy, relaxing and provide a comforting level of privacy — when it’s your home and a familiar space — but to a home buyer this same environment appears smaller, a bit foreboding and dirty. Maximize the size of your rooms and make them feel more inviting by removing heavy dark drapes or at least making certain that they are open with at most a sheer curtain to allow maximum window light. Additionally make sure all light fixtures have the maximum recommended wattage bulbs and that the bulbs are clean and dusted, so they give off the greatest light possible. Remember to make sure that all lights are on for any scheduled home showing!
5. Should You Replace Flooring When Selling Your House?
Maybe, but you certainly want to — Make Your Floors Shine — Carpets or wood floors that are dirty, dingy, scuffed, worn or scratched are huge turn-offs. The potential home owner doesn’t want to see the wear and tear of daily living. If your carpeting is dingy, have it cleaned either professionally (easier, but more expensive) or DIY by renting a cleaner (more time and effort, but money saving). If your carpeting is heavily worn, have it replaced. If your hardwood floors have scuffs or scratches use a specialty staining pen to take care of these or have the floors buffed or refinished if the damage is excessive.
6. Are You Tempting Home Buyers?
Out Of Sight Out Of Mind. Do you have sentimental or particularly expensive items in your home? If you have items in the home that you know you will be taking with you that normally a buyer might expect to stay with the house or even might be tempting for them to ask for as part of the sale, put them in storage and replace them with something else. Whether these items might be high-end appliances, drapes, lighting fixtures or anything else, you don’t want to leave them in place as temptations to home buyers. While this issue doesn’t usually come up very often I have seen it enough that taking this step is well worth the effort. If they don’t see it they won’t even know to ask for it.
7. When Is Less More?
Maximize Your Storage Spaces. Most people GROW into their homes over time. Even very large and spacious homes have a tendency to fill up, often to capacity. We covered closets earlier, but consider the other larger catch-all spaces in your home: your garage, basement, attic, kids playroom or you may even have a designated junk-room. These locations tend to be magnets for collection boxes of seasonal clothing, Christmas or other holiday decorations, knickknacks, unused bicycles — the list goes on. If you are selling your house now is the time to eliminate this excess. Just as with the closets, donate, discard or put these items into temporary storage away from the house. Remember, SPACE SELLS!
8. Do Clean Homes Sell Faster?
Spoiler alert…YES! A clean home will look bigger, brighter, newer and more inviting. A thorough house cleaning is one of the best returns on investment ( ROI) a home seller can make. You can do this yourself or for a few hundred dollars (depending on your home’s size) you can hire pros to give your home a pre-marketing deep cleaning. On your list should be washing the windows, cleaning the floors, polishing the furniture and vacuuming the rugs. Give special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms. These two rooms are closely evaluated by home buyers. In the kitchen make sure you clean floors, walls, grout and all appliances, including the interior of stoves and refrigerators. In the bathroom the list includes fixtures, lights, walls, floors, tiling, grout, bathmats, shower curtains, mirrors, toilets and sinks. A clean home will sell faster and for more money. It’s one of the best returns for home sellers.
9. How Can You Get A Head Start For The New Home Owner?
Organize Warranties & Owner’s Manuals. You may not have seen some of these for years but get all the warranties and manuals organized and available in one file. Include all items that will be staying in the home when you leave:
- Security System
- Swimming Pool
- Automatic Garage Opener
- Water Heater
- Smart House Devices
10. How To Make It Easy For Home Buyers To See Themselves Buying Your House
A good choice is to Depersonalize Your House! Remove those personal photographs and family heirlooms. You’ll have to do it anyway when you move, and buyers tend to have a hard time seeing past personal effects. You don’t want your potential buyers to be distracted. You want the prospective home buyer to feel as comfortable as possible and to easily see the house as their new home. The majority of home buyers when touring a house do so with a semi-unease as though they are visiting a distant aunt’s home for the weekend — never quite able to relax completely and feel “at home”. As a home seller it’s in your best interest to minimize that feeling so that the home buyers viewing your house feel as “at home” as possible. Having lots of personal items displayed works against you and your goal. Pictures of Your family, Your trophies, Your plaques, Your degrees, your, your, your! Get the idea? Seeing all these personal items about can make a home buyer feel like an invader or at the very least make it more of a challenge to view the house as their home when all these items say otherwise.
11. How To Make The Smallest Room In Your House Pay Off BIG
The bathroom is the BIGGEST small room in your house. While bathrooms are small in square footage theimpact they have on home buyers is HUGE! Home buyers frequently spend extra time inspecting and evaluating a bathroom, and it’s no surprise — bathrooms have lots of fixtures, features and come in a wide variety of styles. With all the things a bath offers people to look at and poke around in, it’s in your best interest to make sure the impression your bath makes on them is a positive one.
Begin by simplifying your bathrooms appearance. Most bathrooms have cosmetics, toiletries and bathroom supplies across counters and in cupboards, medicine cabinets and closets. Give buyers a clean slate to see your counters, floors and storage. Don’t neglect the bath and shower. Keep the soaps and accessories to a minimum. Store cleaning implements like toilet brush and plunger away and out of sight. While you’re at it, stow the bathroom scale away; there’s no reason to remind buyers of the pesky pounds they are trying to shed.
Now that the surplus has been removed it’s time for a thorough cleaning. There is no such thing as a bathroom that is too clean, so clean it like within an inch of its life.Make it sparkling, shiny and streak free. You’ll want to maintain this level of clean throughout the home selling process; you may want to consider a maid service to keep you from being overwhelmed.