So you have decided to sell your home. You are excited about the prospects, but also a little nervous. You want to get the best sale price you can, but other than getting a professional cleaner, you’re not sure what you should do to prepare. Well, fear not. This article should help point you in the right direction. Here are ten items you can start working on.
1. Know how much your utilities cost. This might sound like an odd place to start, but it’s important that you be able to tell your realtor and potential buyers what you pay each month for utilities. The amount will have to fit into the buyer’s budget, so these numbers are relevant.
2. Collect house manuals. When a buyer purchases your home and moves in, he/she will want to know what is in the home and how to care for it. If you do not have original manuals, consider ordering some or printing them off from the Internet.
3. Put away valuables and medicine. For the sake of safety, it’s better to store these items. Some homeowners opt to use offsite storage for valuables. This might be something to consider, especially if you intend to have multiple open houses.
4. Take care of basic maintenance. Go through your home and take inventory of any mechanical features due for routine cleaning or tuning up. You should take into consideration your water heater, air conditioning and heating systems and appliances.
5. Repair. Repairs can take the form of anything from fixing flooring to spackling walls to sealing windows to addressing plumbing. Go through your home, room by room, and make a list of needed repairs. Then start taking care of those one by one.
6. Landscape. You’ve heard of curb appeal, right? Curb appeal is largely dependent on the attractiveness of your landscaping. If you do your own landscaping, make sure you weed, rake, mow, etc. It might be helpful to have a professional landscaper come in to assess your yard, make recommendations and take care of anything that needs to be done.
7. Don’t forget about decks, pools and driveways. Outside is just as important as inside. Potential buyers will want to see that decks are secure, the wood healthy. Driveways should be free of cracks and need to be sealed. Pools should be clean and in good working order. Sheds should be in good condition. You want all of these elements to add, not detract, from the beauty and value of your home.
8. Have your home professionally staged. In a previous article, we talked about the importance of home staging. If you want your home to be attractive, you will need to depersonalize it so potential buyers can visualize themselves living there. Start by de-clutttering your home. Donate, give away or throw out unused and unnecessary belongings. Make the most of the space you have for the things you really need. Show buyers there is room to grow.
9. Re-paint. A fresh coat of neutral color paint often can make a great difference in how potential buyers view your home. Dirty, scratched or faded paint is a huge turnoff. You can choose paint colors yourself, or, for maximum benefit, ask a home stager to recommend a color.
10. Re-floor. Carpets age and wear, hardwood fades and shows scratches and tile cracks. Check all floors to ensure they are good condition and show well. If not, consider replacing.
Preparing to put your home on the market can seem like a lot of work. It takes time to do things right. So plan ahead, factor in the time and prep your home for market. In the end, it’s worth the effort because it will actually reduce stress when buyers present offers. Remember, a well-prepared home will keep you competitive, and it should bring you the highest sales price in the shortest amount of time!
If you would like more tips on preparing your home for sale, call Belinda Jacobson-Loehle at 703-338-9678 or email Belinda@JacobsonRealty1.com.