Preparing Your Home for Sale



PREPARING YOUR HOME FOR SALE!

How to Increase the Value of your Home!

The following tips have proven to help homes be sold sooner for more money!

The basis of this information has been collected through trial and error over my 23+ years’ experience.

And all of these tips have proven to help sellers sell their homes and have enticed the buyers to BUY!

NOTE:

The last two tips are to be considered for those who plan to sell their home 1-2 years out!

TIP ONE:  Painting and Carpeting

  • A fresh coat of paint will make a room look new and clean!
  • Be sure to pick a paint color that is neutral as neutral colors appeal to most people. I have seen many buyers walk into a home with rooms painted bright or vibrant colors and they walk out because they hated it!

  • Buyers will always look down at the floor when they walk into a room. So be sure that the carpets are clean, and if they are worn, consider getting them replaced!
  • Worn/dirty carpets, badly painted or dirty walls will make a buyer think that there are other issues with your home even if there is not!
  • New carpets will make it shine that much more.
  • Dusting- Surprisingly dusting can make the house look brighter & cleaner!
  • Clean the Windows – It makes the home sparkle!
  • Baseboards-Let’s not forget these they are often dirty as they are low to the ground. Make sure the baseboards are cleaned, if they are beyond cleaning or repair you should get them replaced!

TIP TWO: Energy Costs

  • Save money now, it can help you down the road when you are ready to sell your home!
  • Most utilities offer free energy audits-Take advantage of this as it can help you!

  • I have seen buyers favor homes that have lower monthly utility costs over anything else in the home! So know your facts!
  • Frequent question from buyers, "What is the average utility bill cost?"

TIP THREE: The Kitchen

  • In most homes, buyers will spend a lot of their time in the kitchen. Make sure your kitchen is ready for this.
  • If you have appliances that are dirty or old, get them cleaned spotless or consider replacing them!
  • You do not need to spend a lot of money replacing your stove or refrigerator with top end appliances, but you do not want buyers walking into a kitchen and see a dirty stove or refrigerator and have them walking out because of it!
  • Do not forget to clean out drawers, cabinets or pantries as buyers will open these!
  • Knobs and handles-Make sure these are cleaned, secured tightly and have no sharp edges!
  • Fixtures and outlets-Make sure they are cleaned, in working order and easily accessible.
  • Dusting- Surprisingly dusting can make the house look brighter and cleaner!
  • Trash can-Make sure these are out of sight, but also make sure they are cleaned, not overflowing and are odorless!
  • Exhaust hood-These tend to get forgotten about because the tops of them are usually out of site, but do not forget to make sure the light and fan are in working order and that they areclean!
  • If you need a referral to a good cleaning service, let me know and I will send you a couple of names!

TIP FOUR: The Bathrooms

  • Bathrooms typically get the most critiquing by buyers. Therefore you need to make sure they are in Tip-Top-Shape!
  • Similar to the kitchen, make sure that any old fixtures are replaced and that the floors, mirrors, walls, bathtubs and showers are CLEAN-CLEAN-CLEAN.
  • You can replace bathroom fixtures easily these days without spending a lot of money.
  • Knobs and handles-Make sure these are cleaned, secured tightly and have no sharp edges!
  • A fresh coat of paint can go a long way here, too.
  • Dusting- Surprisingly dusting can make the house look brighter!
  • Trash can-Make sure these are out of sight, but also make sure they are cleaned, not overflowing and are odorless!
  • NOTE-I have seen buyers walk out of houses after walking into a dirty or smelly bathroom!

TIP FIVE: Curb Appeal

  • First impressions count! Similar to a fresh coat of paint for a room, a yard that has the grass cut nicely goes a long way.
  • Make sure your yard is manicured! Does the yard need some maintenance? If so, DO IT!
  • Weeds-Remove, spray or get rid of weeds!
  • Entry way-Maybe place a pot of flowers by the front door, a clean welcome mat or a nice piece of wall art-Buyers will notice the entry way-make sure it is inviting!
  • Does the front of the house need fresh paint or residing?
  • Walk outside and take a look at your home. What are the thoughts that pop into your head? Do the gutters need to be cleaned? Does the lawn need to be mowed? Are the windows clean?

  • Are there any broken windows or shutters that need repair?
  • Be sure to pick up any unnecessary items in the yard.
  • If your walkway or driveway needs to be refinished, do so –It can make all the difference!

  • Trash bins- Position these so they are not visible from the street!
  • Landscaping-You may not need to hire a landscaper, but you want to make sure your yard is presentable!
  • If you need information for someone that does this type of work, let me know and I will send you a couple of names.

TIP SIX: Clutter Be Gone!

  • I have seen buyers walk through homes that have too much stuff everywhere and comment to me “This house just looks messy!”-Don’t let these types of comments be about your home!
  • When a buyer thinks a home is messy, they assume that there are other problems with the home, even if there is not!
  • This is something that even I deal with sometimes; we just get so used to things laying around that we do not even see them anymore. They almost become invisible!
  • Do de-cluttering in two stages.

Stage One: This is for those who are considering selling their home within 1-2 years!

  • Get anything and everything that you have not used in the last few months/years or do notanticipate using in the foreseeable future, boxed up and placed in storage (neatly!).
  • This would include clothes that you have not worn in long time.
  • Dishes/appliances that you have not used in forever.
  • Paperwork, mail or old magazines lying around.
  • Toys, games or other items that are not used frequently.
  • Bathroom items that are not being used.
  • Bathrooms- Make sure the counters are cleared-a cluttered bathroom counter can bedispleasing to the eye!
  • Dusting- Surprisingly dusting can make the house look brighter!

Stage Two: This is when you are getting close to listing your home for sale.

  • Now you want your home to be ready for buyers to walk through and have a good impression so that they think to themselves, "This is a gorgeous home, the owners must take care of it! I can see myself in this home!”
  • This will help make moving day easier after your home is sold!
  • Pack up more clothes that you are not going to wear anytime soon.

  • Pack up toys, knick-knacks, appliances and miscellaneous items that are not being used: This includes every room, hallway, cabinet and drawer in the house! Put these in boxes and place into storage neatly.
  • Note-If you label all the boxes with the room they belong to, for example: "Kitchen" and what is in the box "Dishes", this will make it much easier to know where to find these items once you move into your new home!

TIP SEVEN: Hire a Home Inspector

If you are thinking that you might sell your home in the next year, consider this:

  • Most buyers will hire a home inspector that will inspect your home for any and all issues: wiring, foundation, installations, housing codes, etc.
  • You do not want to be surprised by the results of a home inspection during your sale! When you accept an offer on your home, you want to close the deal with as little hassle as possible.
  • Benefits of having a prelist home inspection- you can use the home inspection as a, “What do I need to do” guide.
  • Please keep in mind that home inspection reports will be detailed and may startle you initially, similar to reviewing your results from a physical if the doctor is not present!
  • If you decide to go with a home inspection, have me come over after your home was inspected so I may review it with you! I will give you advice on what is common in the current market and what is not. Every market is different, so just because you see something that looks scary on the inspection does not necessarily mean that it is a huge issue!