Preparing Your Home For Sale
These are some small details that will not cost you a lot of money, but can make the difference enticing a buyer to choose your home over the competition. A minor makeover can improve the home's general "wow" appeal, giving it the competitive edge in todays market and allow you to sell quicker, and maybe for more money.
First Impressions Are Everything
- Sweep up your front entrance.
- Scrub down your front door, and either paint it or replace it, if it looks worn
- Consider pet or food smells in your home and do your best to make them pleasant
Start With The Outside
- Give the house a fresh coat of paint, add shiny hardware to the front door and plant a few flowers to send a subliminal message the house is loved and well cared for
- Replace faded, peeling or torn wallpaper, in fact eliminate as much wallpaper as you can. We are not trying to appeal to the small group of buyers that may like it, we are trying to appeal to everyone.
- Repair, replace or paint worn woodwork.
- Paint a neutral color over walls that look old or were previously painted too boldly.
- Paint and Carpet is the biggest bang for your buck if you are on a budget and had to pick some updates
- If you are not on a budget, kitchens and baths sell homes, PERIOD!
Let the light shine, it's showtime
- A dark home just isn't as inviting, so open the curtains and blinds.
- Turn on all lights during evening showings.
- Replace any steamed up double pane windows or old-looking tinted windows. If your windows always look foggy, the seal is broken and needs to be replaced.
Simple Repairs Can Make a Difference
- When a buyer sees things that need fixing, they see dollar signs, and begin to wonder what else might need work that they can't see. Be sure to repair any loose knobs, sticking doors and windows, warped cabinet drawers, broken light switches and other minor flaws. These defects subtract from the value of the home and buyers always exaggerate the real costs to make these repairs. It will be far less costly do them before an inspector flags the repairs and makes it look worse than it really is.
Clear the Clutter
- Remove all unnecessary articles from your closets and garage. Spacious rooms and large storage spaces are a great selling feature.
- Get rid of family pictures, trophies, and knickknacks. Closets and cabinets should be no more than 30% full.
- Consider having a garage sale to dispose of unwanted items.
- Look into renting storage for larger items or boxes of things you aren't ready to part with but don't use every day. Include your favorite trinkets and excess ornaments. They won't have the same sentimental value to potential buyers and only distract from your home.
- Look around your home to determine where you can reduce a cluttered appearance.
- Keep stairways and hallways clear.
- Don't overload electrical outlets.
Invest in Eco-Friendly But Bright Lights
- Open the drapes or remove them completely. Light, bright rooms give the impression this is a happy place --and everone wants to move into a happy place.
Clean It Until It Shines
- Clean windows and appliances.
- Steam clean or replace carpets.
- Glue back any peeling wallpaper.
- Remove ashtrays and throw out the trash. Give the buyer the impression that your home has been well maintained.
Nice Bathrooms Sell Homes
- Check and repair caulking in bathtubs and showers.
- Clear up any mildew stains.
- Display fresh, clean towels and make the room attractive.
- Spray a light fragrance and make the room pleasant smelling.
Arrange Bedrooms Neatly
- Remove excess furniture.
- Make the beds with clean, attractive bedspreads.
- Consider laundering the curtains.
Don't Cause Controversy
- Not everyone shares your sense of humor or political views. Remove any signs, posters or art that might be controversial or offensive to prospective buyers.
- Neutralize bold and trendy wall colors.
Make Sure A Room's Primary Use is Obvious
- A bedroom should look like a bedroom, not an office, hobby center or gym.
Bedrooms and Kitchens are Difficult To Stage, But Make The Effort
- Clear everything off counters and nightstands, roll up the rugs and hide the laundry hamper.
- Buff the cabinets with car wax and clean under the sinks.
- Invest in pristine white bed linens and towels
Organize the Utility Room and Garage
- Hang up the bicycles, and roll up the hose
- Renting a storage locker is worth the cost if it helps you sell faster for a higher price.
Systems in Your Home
If your hot water heater, air conditioner, furnace and electrical systems are not new, understand that your homes value will be reduced because of it. Anything past 7-8 years will be a negative to a buyer because those items will likely need to be replaced prior to them being able to sell. This can be a signifcant cost and will put off many buyers. your price should reflect your use of these items and you should also be aware that buyers will be planning on paying for these items to be replaced at some point during their time owning the home.
Now that your home has been visually staged, here are some well-tested rules geared toward helping your home to show easily and effectively:
Rule #1: Three's a Crowd
Try to be somewhere other than home during showings. The goal is to have the buyer feel relaxed, and not rushed, when viewing your home. If you are present, they may not be comfortable looking at details or asking questions. Further, it is the Realtor who knows what the buyer is looking for. They are better able to emphasize those key points if you aren't tagging along.
Rule #2: Keep the Music Down
Having easy-listening or classical music playing in the background adds to the ambiance of your home, but be sure to keep the volume low so that the Realtor and buyer can talk easily.
Rule #3: No Pets Allowed
Keep all pets, pet beds, litter boxes and feeding dishes out of the way, move them to the utility room. Deodorize thoroughly.