Imagine walking into a store, looking around and seeing an array of items for sale. One wall filled with handyman tools, hammers, drills, screw drivers. Right next to that is the Baked Goods section. And right next to that, a toiletry section. Your first thought would be, “What are they selling?” When a potential home buyer walks into your home, you want to make sure that they don’t have that same response.
You want your home to show clean, uncluttered and in good condition. How many times have you walked into your own living room and thought, “I need to get rid of that” or noticed a broken window and thought, “I’ll get to it later”. When you’re getting ready to put your home on the market you want to take concise measures to make sure your house is ready. Grab your clip board, a note pad or your iPad, walk to the center of each room in your house and look around. How many things are you going to box up and take with you? Make note of it. How many things have outgrown their usefulness? Make a note of that. Check your closets, how many clothes do you still fit into? Are you really going to keep that 1978 tuxedo? Now’s the perfect time to go through and prepare for a garage sale or trip to the Goodwill. You need to get rid of anything that isn’t going to go into your next house.
Next, take a look at all the sentimental items you have in your home. Do you have walls lined with your child’s first finger paintings from floor to ceiling? A clear and uncluttered wall gives your home the appearance of more space. Once you’ve managed to put away a fair amount of sentimental items, your Goodwill items and garage sale items, you can have a clearer view of any rooms that need to be repainted or any cracks that need to be repaired.
Clearing out the clutter will enable you to see how big each of the rooms really are, a huge selling point for buyers…
Next you want to walk around the outside of your home. When was the last time you had your windows professionally washed? Are your Christmas lights still on, but it’s now July? Time to get out the ladder and pull those down.
Is your grass a lovely shade of brown, when all the neighbors have a lovely shade of green? Are there any plants with colors that will attract a buyer and give your home great curb appeal? What about your shutters, are they hanging on one hinge and do they look newer or have they seen better days?
Next is a controversial topic. Should you as a home owner schedule a home inspection prior to putting your home up for sale? Some say “caveat emptor”, let the buyer beware. Others say, protect yourself by knowing the issues with your home upfront. This can help you determine if you should come down on the price you were thinking of listing at, have repairs done or offer a credit to the buyer. The cost for a home inspection is typically between $300 – $400 dollars and it can avoid any surprises once a buyer has their own inspection done. It can also lessen the chance of a lawsuit later. Some agents don’t agree with this methodology, but my first priority is to protect you, my client.
You also may want to consider having a professional appraisal done. This ensures that the square footage is accurate and the price of your home is set appropriate to the current market.
The next thing you need to determine is when you want to show your home, during what hours, which days, etc. You can set this up with your agent ahead of time to avoid any unpleasant surprises. The more flexible you are the better. Too many restrictions are a turn off to buyers.
Most important, be realistic. Don’t let sentiment and attachment hold you back from selling your home. Be fair, be practical, and be ready to negotiate.
Do you have suggestions for prepping your home for sale? Email me and I can post it to share with others.
Thanks for reading!
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