Preparing your home for sale can be a really stressful time. There are tons of choices to make and everyone wants to optimize so that they can get the best price for their property without breaking the bank to get there. I hate to break it to you, but you will need to spend some money to get your home ready for sale. The good news is that a few small changes can have a huge impact and help your home sell quickly, saving time and earning you more money.
There’s tons of advice out there with different strategies and hacks on what to do to get the best price for your home. The truth is, it is often many small things that can make or break a potential buyer’s decision on your property.
The very first thing we provide all of our clients with when we’re selling their home. When you work with us, we provide a free consultation with an experienced professional stager. This is someone who has worked with real estate agents for years and knows what helps a buyer envision themselves in your home. They can give you specific and actionable feedback on how to show your home. I am a firm believer in bringing in experts who do their job day in day out. I have a great eye and can tell you a lot of things to do to your home, but I am an expert in selling homes. I leave lending, contracting, remodeling, staging to experts in their fields.
After your staging consultation, you’re going to have to do some decluttering. But you’re about to move anyway, right? So it is the perfect time to box up any out of season clothing, throw away those mostly empty shampoo bottles in the shower, and pack away some things from your shelves. Your stager will have specific advice about what should stay and what might be better to start packing. A general rule of thumb is to remove almost everything from your counters, clear off a significant part of any shelving, and make sure any under the bed storage is truly hidden with a bed skirt. Decluttering will make all the difference in your listing photos and when showing your home in person.
Overall Home Condition
Think like a potential buyer, does 8 year old carpet or a 15 year old furnace scream “great deal” to you? What if I assure you they’re in great condition? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Buyers are thinking about hidden costs, so you want to make sure the appearance of your property doesn’t give them anything extra to worry about. At a bare minimum carpet will need to be professionally cleaned. Replacing carpet is a must if it is mismatched throughout the home or stained beyond the help of a professional cleaning. This can be the difference that makes a buyer choose your house first.
You’ll also want to address any obvious needs like leaking windows, cracks or nail holes in the walls, and repaint high traffic areas, but don’t overlook the smaller things that point to how well you’ve taken care of the home. These are things like replacing air filters, HVAC inspections, cleaning return vents and replacing yellowed smoke detectors. If you can change a lightbulb, you can change a smoke detector and I promise the $17 for a new detector is worth it. These changes show that you’ve taken care of your home in small ways, and help potential buyers worry less about what hidden costs might come with your property.
We all know that first impressions matter, and the first impression a potential buyer has of your home is of the exterior. Attending to the exterior of your home means that buyers will want to come in and have a look around, and also gives them an impression of how well you’ve taken care of your home over the years. Fresh paint on the house itself and the front door shows that you’re maintaining the exterior of the home. Make sure the driveway is well maintained, which might mean a new coat of asphalt or a good power washing. You’ll also want to make sure any outdoor lighting is not weathered and is in good working condition.
Landscaping is another huge part of that all important first impression. No one wants to have the neighbor who never trims their bushes or has a mud pit for a yard. Make sure you’re not that neighbor and trim your bushes, lay down fresh mulch, and if your yard is muddy, throw down some seed and hay. Trust me, that’s better than looking at mud. I’ve even mulched yards for clients because I think it is that important. These first impressions help set the tone as buyers visit your property. Making sure your home is properly landscaped also saves you during the home inspection. Spending a little now can save you a lot later when a buyer isn’t asking for thousands off the price to fix these issues.
These are some of the most impactful ways you can prep your home to sell quickly and easily. We’ll be exploring more specifics in each of these areas in upcoming posts. In the meantime, if you’re looking to get started with your home sale, contact us to jump in!