STEP #3: PREPARING YOUR HOME
Before you put your home on the market, take an impartial look at your property, inside and out. You may have only one chance to pique potential buyers’ interest when they view your home, so don’t let easily correctable flaws stand in the way. Your REALTOR® can assist you in recommending specific renovations and touch-ups that will make your house stand out to buyers. He or she should be able to explain expected returns on investments you make to enhance your home’s salability.
Take an Objective View of Things
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.
- What is your timeline and budget?
- What updates have you been putting off?
- What repairs are needed?
- Repair or replace even the smallest items
- What condition are your windows in?
- What condition are your permanent light fixtures in?
- What condition are your doors and trim in?
- Do you have any holes or cracks in your walls?
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?
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.
- What condition is your carpet in?
- What color is the carpet?
- What style is your carpet – Cut pile or Berber?
- Take into consideration the rooms you are carpeting, as this will help determine what style to select.
- If you need to replace your carpet, do you need to re-do every room?
- If not, select something that will work with rest of the carpet in the house.
- What style of vinyl flooring do you have? Does it need to be replaced?
- Do you have hardwood? Does it need to be refinished?
- Do you have hardwood under your carpet?
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.
- What major repairs are needed?
- What minor repairs are needed?
- Make a list of what needs to be done
- Sweep or shovel walkways, driveways, patio/deck (salt in the winter)
- Maintain front, back and side yard
- Place flowers or winter arrangements on your front porch and/or in front of the garage
- Remove all festive lights and decorations
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.
- When was the last time you painted your house?
- Do your walls need to be painted a neutral color?
- If they are already neutral do they need a fresh coat of paint?
- Determine whether or not your house has a warm tone or cool tone before selecting your paint color
- Do you have wallpaper?
- Remove all wallpaper and paint a neutral color
- Do your doors and trim need a fresh coat of paint?
- Repair any holes or cracks in the walls and ceilings
- Put a fresh coat of paint on the ceiling to give the entire room a clean look
“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.
- Remove all personal and family photos
- Remove all memorabilia
- Pre-pack books and music that do not appeal to a wide range of buyers
- Pre-pack your collections
- Remove and pre-pack any items that could be potentially offensive or disagreeable
- Store away and organize children’s toys, games and books