Preparing Your Home For Sale

In today's market, preparing your home for sale is critical in order to receive top dollar.  Buyers are wanting "move in ready homes", because they do not want to do the work required to make the home "move in ready" and with interest rates are so low; buyers will pay a premium to finance the work that the seller's have paid out of pocket. 

It is very important, in today's market, to not "throw bad money at your home".  Preparation for sale is critical, although their are many improvements that will not result in a benefit or return on investment

First Impressions Are Everything

  • The first impression begins with the "drive by" to the first time you enter the home

  • Cleanliness and order is a must

  • Consider pet or food smells in your home and do your best to remove the smell (don't cover up with multiple air freshners and "mask the smell)

Start With The Outside

  • Fresh mulch and trim landscaping

  • Cut back dead or oversized trees

  • Add colorful Flowers

  • Clean, paint or replace the Front door 

  • Scrape and paint, peeling or old paint (especially around soffits and eaves and windows)

  • Repair, replace, re-surface the driveway

Important Updates

  • Replace faded, peeling or torn wallpaper, in fact eliminate as much wallpaper as you can.

  • Repair, replace or paint worn woodwork.

  • Replace old counters with Granite (in certain price points)

  • Paint a neutral color over walls that look old or were previously painted too boldly.

  • Replace worn or dated flooring (i.e remove carpet in bathrooms, linoleum / parquet flooring in certain price points, refinish damaged hardwoods)

  • Paint and Carpet are the best "bang for the buck"

  • Remember Kitchens and Baths sell homes.

Let the light shine, and show off your home

  • A dark home just isn't as inviting, Open the curtains and blinds (remove old / dated / heavy window treatments that can be a distraction).

  • Turn on all lights during evening showings.

  • Replace windows that are foggy, where the thermal 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!  They begin to wonder what else is wrong, 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. Many buyers believe there are 10 additional problems, for everyone that they can see.

Clear the Clutter

  • Remove the clutter!  Spacious rooms and large storage spaces are a great selling feature.

  • Get rid of family pictures, trophies, and knickknacks.

  • 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 get rid off.

Safety First

  • Keep stairways and hallways clear.

  • Don't overload electrical outlets.

Clean It Until It Shines

  • Clean windows and appliances.

  • Steam clean or replace carpets.

  • Remove trash.

  • Empty sinks and have no dishes out

  • 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.

Arrange Bedrooms Neatly

  • Remove excess furniture.

  • Make the beds with clean, attractive bedspreads.

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.

  • Remove stuffed animal heads, fish, and other taxidermy items

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.

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 may be reduced because of it.

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,  Deodorize thoroughly.

Rule #4: Temperature

If it’s hot, cool it; if it’s cold, light a fire…only if there’s a fireplace!

Rule #4:  Don't put "The Cart Before The Horse"

Trying to dispose of furniture and furnishings to potential buyers before he/she has purchased the house often loses a sale and shows an over-emphasized motivation to sell.

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