Home sale preparation is about preparing your home for the buyer. These are the must do 6 steps to selling!
So the day has arrived and it’s time to put that for sale sign up on your front lawn. Realtors will start making appointments, bringing in excited buyers– hopefully ready to purchase when they find the home that sends goose bumps up their arms and creates tears in their eyes. Home sale preparation is critical to a successful sale!
But wait…is your house ready to show? Have you examined it through an objective eye? Better yet, did you take the advice of your real estate agent from their perspective? Did you know that it takes just 90 seconds for a buyer to size up your home to make that first impression?
Home sale preparation is about preparing your home for the buyer. And, yes, it’s still a buyers’ market. But the following tips should help to generate that lasting, positive first impression to prospective buyers.
- Take a Fresh Look.
Although your home may look incredible to you, what is the buyer seeing? Can they envision life there with their family? This is time to cast an objective eye. Here’s a hint- Leave your home, either by car or go for a walk. As you re-approach your home, what is the first thing you see? Is there something that has negatively caught your attention? If you see it, so will the buyer! Curb appeal is one of the top most important items when selling your home. In fact, a 2014 Zillow survey showed that real estate agents ranked curb appeal as the top 5 selling features in a home.
Now, bring this critical eye inside your home. It is easy to become desensitized to its shortcomings; giving it a careful and thorough assessment will position you to clean, fix up and neaten your home before listing and putting it out there for the world to see.
Before putting your home on the market, get rid of clutter in every area including closets, attics, kitchen cabinets, drawers, bath vanities and shelves. Remember, this is no time to be sentimental- if you don’t use it, lose it. Potential buyers are put off by clutter. Decluttering is a key element to the home sale preparation.
Be sure to address furniture and fixtures — most of us put too much in too little space; the prospective buyer may view your home as too small. But, if you just can’t bear to part with some possessions, store them in the attic or some other place that’s out of sight to a potential buyer.
- Clean to Sell.
Once you have cleaned out the clutter, it’s now time to get down to the nitty gritty. This is the time to professionally clean carpets throughout the house, polish the floors, scour the bathrooms and clean between and behind the washer dryer where lint loves to procreate! It’s also a good time to “Old English” the cabinets, wash the windows inside and out and scrub a dub the tubs and showers. Get rid of any mold build-up and do minor caulking where needed. If your home seems clean, the buyers will walk away with a level of comfort, knowing that your home has been well cared for, and hopefully resulting in an offer, fetching top dollar.
Tip: Do not ignore the exterior of your home. Power washing will take off unwanted grime and mold, giving the home a shinier, cleaner appearance. Also, be sure to weed, and if financially possible, mulch the gardens.
- Repairs. The million-dollar question is what to fix and what to ignore.
The best way to answer that question is: If it affects the safety or structure of the home, you will be asked to fix it, nonetheless, when going through a home inspection. Some touch ups should be completed, if possible, patch and paint where needed, repair any broken screens, door jams and light fixtures, including the replacement of any burned out light bulbs.
- Show to Sell
Once the decluttering, repairs, clean ups and needed gardening have been completed, it is now time to be sure your home is properly staged.
Light is extremely important when a buyer is looking at your home. It can actually make or break the interest of a prospective buyer. If possible, turn on at least one light in each room-turning on lights and opening the shades or curtains will allow natural light into each room. Dark and dreary rooms are no-no. Do your best to create light even if there are no windows.
If you have a pet, especially a cat, make sure the litter pan is clean and placed in the corner. Have a dog? Febreeze! Febreeze! Febreeze! One of the biggest turn offs when someone walks into a home is the overpowering smell of a dog. Also, be sure your pets are properly contained; not everyone likes animals or may have fears or allergies.
- Market Pricing
Pricing can be your best friend or your number one enemy. Pricing too high is probably the biggest mistake you can make when trying to sell your home. When you do this, you are actually helping your competition. It is a hard concept to swallow, but overpriced homes send the buyer running to the next house down the block. Statistics consistently show that pricing at or right below market value brings more buyers, hence, possibly creating a bidding war-yielding a higher selling price!
Also, in today’s real estate environment, the home appraisal can kill a deal if the price is too high. Your realtor should be able to help determine the best price based on condition, amenities, location and competition.
Now go and do a successful home sale preparation!