Sellers are often surprised at how much needs to be done even before their home goes on the market. To maximize your potential for getting the best offers, here are five things to think about first:
1. Look at your home from a buyer’s perspective
Your home looks great to you, but a prospective buyer will see things you may not notice. Scrutinize every detail as if you were looking at it for the first time. First, look at your home’s first impression (its “street appeal”). Does the exterior need washing or painting? Does the driveway need repair work? Is the landscaping in good shape?
Walk inside and size up the interior. Take a tour and imagine what a buyer will think about each room, look into cabinets, open doors, check out the bathroom. What impression do you get? Make a mental note of the things that might put off potential buyers, along with another list of the things that first attracted you to the dwelling. Remember, the home has become a great place for you, but a new buyer will see things that you don’t.
2. Clear out the clutter
Potential buyers are seriously put off by clutter. If they can’t see the positives your home has to offer, they usually won’t buy it either. So before putting your home on the market, get rid of clutter in every area: closets, attic storage, kitchen cabinets, drawers, bath vanities and shelvesâ€”everywhere.
Also, look for furniture and fixtures that you can get rid of. Most of us put too much stuff in too little space, making it look smaller than it actual is. Less stuff makes your home appear more spacious, so take your excess belongings and store them someplace out of sight.
3. Clean up!
After you’ve cleared out the clutter, it’s time to really clean. Have the carpets professionally cleaned, strip and polish the floors, scour the bathrooms, go over the laundry room, polish the furniture, scour out the cabinets, wash the windows and window coverings, and spiff up the kitchen appliances. In short, clean everything.
Don’t forget the exterior: paint or power-wash everything that needs the work. Remember, this is a ceiling-to-floor, roof-to-foundation clean-up project. It may not be fun, but it’s the cheapest way you can improve your home’s appeal.
4. Make repairs that pay off
After you’ve cleaned the place to within an inch of its life, the next project is making all the repairs necessary to attract a buyer. Do anything that is simple and/or obvious: touch up all the paint, fix the grout in the bathrooms and patch up any holes. If you think you may want to do more than simple paint or patching, call me first for advice on which repairs are actually worth it.
5. Size up the competition
As you think about a potential asking price, make sure you’re thinking like a potential buyer, who will be looking at homes on the market that are similar to yours. If you’re wanting to ask more than someone who has a better location or whose home is in better condition, understand that you will be at a disadvantage. You may be thinking, “Just bring me an offer.” But when buyers look at what’s available, your home simply won’t be considered. So be sure you are positioning yourself to win!
These five steps can put you on the right track to succeed before you even start. But every case has its own issues. If you have questions about selling your home or are wondering what it might fetch in the current market, feel free to contact me and I’ll be happy to help.