The in's and out's of getting your home ready to sell!
When getting their home ready to sell, a common mistake people make is to spend a lot of money – renovations, new roof, and remodeling. Buyers will be impressed with these things; however, spending $5000 on remodeling will not necessarily add $5000 to your sale.
When selling your property it is time to make a mental shift from a home where your memories were made to an investment where someone else will begin theirs. When thought of as an investment you will want to consider spending as little money as possible for the maximum return. This doesn't mean you won't need to repair significant detriments to the property but can help minimize out of pocket expenditures. The money you do spend should be spent wisely on cosmetic, readily seen features like interior painting and lighting. The time to remodel is when you plan to stay in the house, not when you’re going to sell.
Next it is important to remember to be patient. If you think about everything that needs to be done to sell your house, you might throw your hands up in despair, or at least feel some anxiety. Take one step at a time, one small task at a time. Break it down to manageable-sized chores and you’ll have better results.
First things first – De-clutter, De-clutter, DE-CLUTTER! One good idea is to have a garage sale. Then whatever doesn’t sell can be donated to a charitable group, many of whom have pickup services available. Once the clutter is cleared away, it will be easier to see what needs to be done.
The first thing to look at is what a buyer will see when they approach your property. First impressions Matter! Regardless of the style of home you have, it is a good idea to mentally visit your property as a buyer would and see it as a buyer would see it. This is the first impression a potential buyer will have, so it had better be a good one.
Here are some things to consider for the outside:
1. Edge, mow and fertilize the lawn regularly. Make sure it’s well watered and reseed any sparse areas.
2. Put a bright coat of paint on your mailbox.
3. Trim hedges, weed lawns and flowerbeds, and prune trees regularly. Cut back overgrown shrubbery that looks scraggly or keeps light out of the house.
4. Buy a new welcome mat.
5. Check the foundation, steps, walkways, walls and patios for cracks and crumbling, and reseal if possible.
6. 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.
7. Make sure the porch light works.
8. Clean and align gutters and downspouts.
9. Inspect and clean the chimney.
10. If the doorbell doesn’t work, repair or replace it.
11. Repair and replace loose or damaged roof shingles.
12. Repair and repaint loose siding and caulking.
13. Remove oil stains from driveway and garage.
14. If you’re selling in the winter, keep walks neatly cleared of snow and ice. Otherwise, keep the walks and driveway swept.
15. Repair broken outdoor steps.
16. Spring for some brightly colored potted outdoor flower arrangements for the front yard near the entrance.
17. Keep your garage door closed.
18. Wash the windows inside and out.
19. Store RVs, boats and extra vehicles (anything that can’t be parked in the garage) elsewhere while the house is on the market.
20. Paint the front door
Now for the interior:
Smells!!! If prospective buyers walk into your house greeted by the smell of cat litter, cigarette smoke, mildew or pet accidents, there is little chance that even a reduced sales price will persuade them to buy.
1. Clean, clean, clean. This includes walls, floors, inside closets and cabinets – everything. If you must, hire a cleaning service to come in and do the job.
2. Get rid of clutter. Put away appliances you normally leave on counter-tops. This alone will make your house appear bigger and brighter. Clean out your closets, garage, basement and attic.
3. Paint the walls and ceilings a neutral color – off white or beige.
4. Repair cracks, holes and damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint, and tiles.
5. Replace broken or cracked windowpanes, moldings and other woodwork.
6. Repair dripping faucets and shower heads.
7. Buy new cabinet knobs and curtains for the kitchen.
8. Shampoo all carpets, scrub and wax linoleum, wash and wax wood floors.
9. Unclog slowly draining sinks and tubs.
10. Clean out the fireplace and lay some logs in it.
11. Mend torn screens. Clean out all window tracks.
12. Check to see that all windows will open and close.
13. Replace burned-out light bulbs. Use brighter light bulbs.
14. Make sure every light switch works.
15. Nail down any creaking boards or stair treads (drive two long finishing nails at opposing angles through the floor and sub-floor into the joist).
16. Lubricate any squeaking doors
17. Remove excess, worn or unattractive furniture.
18. Thoroughly clean all appliances (especially refrigerator and oven).
19. Replace old toilet seats and shower curtains.
20. Clear all cobwebs from corners and doorways.
21. Wash all light switches, handrails and doorknobs.
When it is time to show your "investment" (not your home) here is how to prepare for the potential buyer to walk through:
1. Keep draperies and shades open to let in the light.
2. Place fresh flowers throughout the house.
3. Have your home well-lit during showing.
4. At night, turn on porch light and outdoor lighting in back if you have it.
5. Set out colorful, luxurious towels in the bathroom.
6. Avoid having dirty dishes in the sink or on counters.
7. Keep any toys in the children’s rooms, bikes, wagons and skateboards in the garage.
8. Play pleasant music at low volume.
9. Spend the day of an open house away from home.
10. Find a friend of care center for your pets to be while a showing occurs. Even the most animal loving buyers may be uninterested in the property if they are too busy playing with your pets instead of picturing themselves playing with theirs. Understandably this can be a sensitive topic and can be a whole blog in and of itself.
11. Finally, unless you are selling it yourself, do not be home when an agent is showing your property. Let the agent do their job.
There is a lot that goes into selling a property and it can be overwhelming but it doesn't have to be! The above are just a few of the things which can be done to maximize the potential of your investment. We are very good at walking sellers through the process of getting their home ready and understanding the things which will be the best for strategically positioning their investment in a competitive marketplace. We will be happy to sit down and discuss your individual needs. Call us today!