Getting Your Home Ready to Sell

So, you want to sell your home? When most people decide to sell their home, they want to get it out there and sold as fast as possible, making as much money as they can. Sound about right? I completely understand where you are coming from, but listing your home without getting it ready can be a huge mistake. Imagine your home being on the market for 6 months or longer and having to make multiple price reductions just because you skipped this very important step. Now that you know how extremely important this step is, let's talk about what you can do.

Fix the Small Things

Dripping Faucet

Most people looking to buy a home are looking for a property that they can move into and not have to make any immediate changes. If someone views your home and sees broken trim, cracked light switch covers, loose door knobs, or dripping faucets, they may walk out without another thought. All of these things can be fixed inexpensively and can keep your potential buyer looking at the good things and not focusing on the bad.

Fresh Coat of Paint

If paint is falling off the siding, most potential buyers won't even make it through the front door. While it may take a day or two to scrape off peeling paint and putting on a fresh coat, it will greatly pay off in the end. The cost of paint is inexpensive compared to the improvement in appearance and the subsequent improvement in potential buyers. Inside, the same is true. Something to remember when you are painting is to paint with neutral colors. Buyers may love the dark blue or bright yellow in your home, but if they can't visualize their own furniture in the rooms, they're less likely to seriously consider your property.

Trim the Trees and Grass

Curb appeal is an important part of getting people in your home. If you have dead limbs in your trees, wilting flowers in the flowerbeds, or grass overgrowing in the sidewalks, you'll turn a lot of people away. Trimming the trees, cutting the flowers, keeping the lawn mowed, sweeping the porches, and edging and sweeping your sidewalks will bring in more buyers, increasing the probability of receiving an offer at or near your asking price. Remember to clean the gutters and any debris from the roof, making sure that your downspouts are extended away from the foundation. If you want to go the extra mile, take some time to plant some flowers and put out some new mulch.

Replace Light Bulbs

Increase the light output by increasing the size (wattage or lumens) of the light bulbs in your fixtures. More light brightens a room and makes it feel more comfortable and inviting. You can also add a drop of vanilla extract to bulbs on lamps, to give a nice, fresh smell to the room. Keep in mind: Many showings occur after dark, so make sure all of the outside lights have bulbs that are working.

Remove Personal Items and Clutter

Buyers will have a hard time seeing their family making your house their home if there are family pictures and collectibles throughout the house. I know it can be hard to do, but go ahead and box most of those items up. By boxing them up now, you'll get to your new home faster, where you can put them all back out.

Pay close attention to the kitchen and bathrooms. If you have a lot of cosmetics or personal care items, put them in a basket so you can easily remove them from the counter area before a showing. Remove small appliances from the kitchen counters to allow the buyer to see the countertop space Buyers need to be able to visualize the whole space and clutter just makes a space feel smaller. The same is true of oversized furniture. If you have oversized furniture, a buyer may have a hard time visualizing their furniture in the space. If you can remove an item or two, it will make the space feel larger and more open.

Also, if there is a light fixture, a wall mirror, or a decorative light switch cover that has sentimental value to you, you need to remove it prior to listing. Once a buyer sees these items, they expect that they are going to be included with the house. It may be very difficult to negotiate these items later. Go ahead and replace them now to save the headaches.

Clean Thoroughly

A clean home makes a good impression to both the eyes and to the nose. Don't stop at just dusting and vacuuming. Be sure to wash all windows, inside and out. Clean and polish any hardwood floors.

Get a Home Inspection

Getting a home inspection can really help you get ready to sell your home, especially if your home is an older one. What you don't want to happen is to get a contract only to find out that your home needs a new furnace or has major foundation issues. More than likely, you'll have a list of small things that need to be fixed, but may scare a potential buyer. If you know about these issues, you can then fix the issues before listing your home. After you've fixed the problems, some inspectors will reinspect the property for free and give you an updated report. Some inspectors charge a nominal fee for this, but it can be worth it. You can have the inspection report available for every showing to give buyers some relief and confidence in your home.

Keep in mind: Most buyers will have another home inspection performed during the closing process. Remember that each inspector may notice different things and their reports may differ.

Please call me at 417-439-5371 or email me by clicking here if you have any questions.