Preparing Your Home For Sale
In today’s competitive real estate market, you want to present your property in the most appealing manner possible. Your REALTOR® can assist you in determining if repairs or cosmetic changes would enhance your home’s marketability. Your REALTOR® can provide referrals of repair companies if you require assistance.
While you do not want to undergo a major remodel, you do want to highlight your home’s assets. There are a number of considerations that require objectivity and a critical eye in evaluating your property.
A homebuyer’s first impression is based on the view of your home from the street as they drive by to take their first look. Walk across the street and look at your house, and those around yours. Drive up the street and see how your home looks in comparison to your neighbors’ homes. If you cannot get the potential buyers out of the car and into your home, you do not have a sale.
- Invest in minor landscaping. Make sure the yard is neatly trimmed, the lawn mowed, edged, and watered. If you have an area for flowers, buy colorful blooming plants and add them for vibrancy.
- Clean gutters and remove leaves or limbs on the roof, driveway or walkway.
- Don’t forget the backyard. Remove items that make the yard appear cluttered or small, and be sure that dog “litter” is removed daily.
- When viewing your house from the street, if it does not look fresh and well maintained, consider painting. Select a color that fits well into the neighborhood and allows your home to create a sense of welcoming.
- If your roof leaks, repair it. If not repaired, you must disclose the leak. This could lead to the buyer wanting an entire new roof, when it may not be required. If you know the roof leaks and do not repair it and do not disclose it, you will be liable to legal action.
- Make certain that your front door and entry are immaculate. If the door needs painting, do so, and polish the hardware until it shines. Remove any clutter or decorative items that make the area feel small. You want to neutralize the area, so that the buyers can visualize this as their home. Also, be sure that the locks are in perfect working condition. Trouble with locks does not create a good first impression.
- Give all windows and doors a once-over to assure that they open and close easily. Replace any cracked windowpanes, and wash windows if needed.
- To give the impression of maximum square footage, you may be required to rethink your current décor, and you may want the advice of your REALTOR®. Remember, your goal is to neutralize your home so that your furnishings do not distract potential buyers, but have a canvas in which they can imagine their own furnishings.
- Paint can be your smartest investment when selling a house. Not only does it give your home a fresh, clean feel with a small expenditure, by selecting neutral colors, you appeal to the widest possible number of buyers.
- Unless your carpet is old and worn, or terribly out of date, simply hire a good carpet cleaner. If it needs to be replaced, choose an inexpensive carpet in a neutral color, but select a good grade of carpet pad. Replace or repair broken tiles, and clean and repair grout.
- Sinks, tubs and fixtures should look shiny and new. If this cannot be accomplished by cleaning, buy new ones. For a small investment new fixtures give a huge impact. The same applies to counter tops.
- Your home should appear spotless and immaculately maintained. If you do not have the time or equipment required to achieve this goal, you can hire a professional cleaning crew to go through and clean your home on a onetime basis. This investment can pay great dividends, as it will create a positive impression.
- If you have rooms filled with oversized furniture or collections, rent a storage unit and remove unnecessary furniture, decorative items or large plants.
- Analyze the lighting in each room and add lamps or up-lights with high wattage bulbs to eliminate dark areas.
Recruit your REALTOR®’s assistance in staging your home for sale. It is important that you depersonalize your home as much as possible, and that you neutralize the décor so that it is not a reflection of your tastes, as much as it is a setting in which the buyer can visualize living in your home.