Working to get your home ship-shape for showings will increase its value and shorten your sales time.
Many buyers today want move-in-ready homes and will quickly eliminate an otherwise great home by focusing on a few visible flaws. Unless your home shines, you may endure showing after showing and open house after open house — and end up with a lower sales price. Before the first prospect walks through your door, consider some smart options for casting your home in its best light.
1. Have a Home Inspection
Be proactive by arranging for a pre-sale home inspection. For $250 to $400, an inspector will warn you about troubles that could make potential buyers balk. Make repairs before putting your home on the market. In some states, you may have to disclose what the inspection turns up.
2. Get Replacement Estimates
If your home inspection uncovers necessary repairs you can’t fund, get estimates for the work. The figures will help buyers determine if they can afford the home and the repairs. Also hunt down warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for your furnace, washer and dryer, dishwasher, and any other items you expect to remain with the house.
3. Make Minor Repairs
Not every repair costs a bundle. Fix as many small problems — sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, dripping faucets — as you can. These may seem trivial, but they’ll give buyers the impression your house isn’t well maintained.
4. Clear the Clutter
Clear your kitchen counters of just about everything. Clean your closets by packing up little-used items like out-of-season clothes and old toys. Install closet organizers to maximize space. Put at least one-third of your furniture in storage, especially large pieces, such as entertainment centers and big televisions. Pack up family photos, knickknacks, and wall hangings to depersonalize your home. Store the items you’ve packed offsite or in boxes neatly arranged in your garage or basement.
5. Do a Thorough Cleaning
A clean house makes a strong first impression that your home has been well cared for. If you can afford it, consider hiring a cleaning service.
If not, wash windows and leave them open to air out your rooms. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells. Wash light fixtures and baseboards, mop and wax floors, and give your stove and refrigerator a thorough once-over.
Pay attention to details, too. Wash fingerprints from light switch plates, clean inside the cabinets, and polish doorknobs. Don’t forget to clean your garage, too.
Consider having your home inspected before you list it. In doing this, you will learn if there are any major repairs needed and can address them before the house goes on the market. This also shows the buyers and their agent that you have been proactive.
When it comes to finding the right home inspector, your RE/MAX agent is a great source for recommending someone. Once the inspection is completed, you will be able to determine the next steps in preparing your home for sale.
Your house needs to be neat, clean and orderly in preparing it for sale. Organizing and pre-packing items that are not regularly used will create a spacious feeling. Storage is one of the top items on a buyer’s list; therefore it’s necessary to show that your home has the space desired.
Does each room in your house feel spacious?
Is your house clean from top to bottom?
Pre-pack all items that you do not need while selling your house
Pre-pack off-season clothing and items
Decide where you can store your boxes and extra items How does your garage look?
If your basement is unfinished and used for storage, how does it look?
Flooring is very important in preparing your home for sale. Buyers want a home that is move-in ready, and the flooring will reveal how well the home has been maintained. Up-to-date flooring is one of the most attractive features for buyers.
Your exterior says a lot about how your home is maintained both inside and out. It creates a lasting impression when buyers drive by your home or view photos online, so show them that your property is well cared for. When buyers see an attractive exterior, they will be excited to view the interior as well.
Buyers want to purchase a home that is move-in ready, and this includes the paint color. If your house is painted in very bright or unusual colors, potential buyers may be turned off or feel they can negotiate on your asking price. Neutral colors are restful to the eye, and most buyers want to live in the home awhile before deciding if they want to change the paint color.
“Depersonalizing” is an important step in selling your home. Since you’ve made the decision to move, you need to commit yourself and remove your identity from the house. You need to let go emotionally, and this can be a tough process. Focus on turning your home into a ”model home.” By disconnecting yourself from your house, you enable prospective buyers to emotionally connect and envision themselves living there – and not feel as if they are guests in your home.
Buyers want to fulfill a wish list, not a to-do list. When they see a bunch of fix-up projects when walking into your house, they’ll turn away faster than you can say “water damage.”Oftentimes it’s not one big thing, but a lot of little things that turn buyers away. If there are problems and a significant to-do list, your house will drop to the bottom of their list, or attract an offer much less than what you’re looking for. Present buyers with a complete package that is move-in ready – a home they can be comfortable and happy in.
Take an objective look at your house to determine what updates and repairs are necessary. Establish a timeline and budget to determine what needs to be completed to improve the overall presentation of your home. Buyers today are looking to purchase a home that does not require work. They are also willing to pay more for a house that has been taken care of, so show them that your home is in turn-key condition.