Get Your Home Ready To Sell

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Real Estate

Get Your Home Ready To Sell

A common mistake people make is to spend a lot of money – renovations, new roof, remodeling. While buyers will be impressed with these things, spending $5000 on remodeling will not add $5000 to your sale. Spend as little money as possible, and spend it on cosmetic, readily seen features like interior painting. The time to remodel is when you plan to stay in the house, not when you’re going to sell.

If you think about everything that needs to be done to sell your house, you might throw your hands up in despair, or at least feel some anxiety. Take one step at a time, one small task at a time. Break it down to manageable-sized chores and you’ll have better results. It's best to hire an agent at lease 2 weeks before being ready to hit the market. Have the agent come walk the property and give you tips that will make it show better.  Ensure your agent provides tips and keeps you updated throughout the process. Do not be afraid to interview multiple agents before you select one.  

First things first – have a garage sale. Whatever doesn’t sell can be donated to a local charity or packed away. Once the clutter is cleared away, it will be easier to see what needs to be done.

This is your first impression, so it had better be a good one.

- Pull weeds and trim bushes and trees 

- Buy a new welcome mat or simple get rid of the old one if it is worn or extremely dirty.  

 - If you have siding or brick, power-wash it. If you have a painted exterior that is chipping or pealing, consider repainting before listing photos are taken. If the outside looks rough, buyer will assume the inside does too and look for the worst in the home. 

 - Make sure the outside light works, a lot of showings take place in the evening.  Change out any burned out lightbulbs. 

- If the doorbell doesn’t work, repair or replace it.

- Have roof inspected, it's a free inspection and will allow you to get ahead of any major issues with the roof. It also shows being proactive on home maintenance 

- Remove oil stains from driveway and garage, power wash if possible. 

- Replace any dead plants/trees in the front yard. Make the entrance easy to see and access. Nobody wants to walk though plants to get to the front door.  

- If possible use the garage for storage of packed boxes etc. 

- Wash the windows inside and out.

- Store RVs, boats and extra vehicles (anything that can’t be parked in the garage) elsewhere while the house is on the market.

Clean, clean, clean. This includes walls, floors, inside closets and cabinets – everything. If you must, hire a cleaning service to come in and do the job. Get rid of clutter. If prospective buyers walk into your house greeted by the smell of cat litter, cigarette smoke, mildew or pet accidents, there is little chance that even a reduced sales price will persuade them to buy. 

- Do not use too many air freshers or wax warmers. Some people are very sensitive to smells and may be turned off by it. 

- Put away appliances you normally leave on countertops. This alone will make your house appear bigger and brighter.

- Clean out your closets and garage, Replace broken or cracked windowpanes, moldings and other woodwork. Repair dripping faucets and showerheads.

- Unclog slowly draining sinks and tubs. 

- Replace torn screens. Clean out all window tracks.

- Check to see that all windows will open and close and lock properly 

-  Make sure every light switch works.

- Lubricate any squeaking doors

- Thoroughly clean all appliances (especially refrigerator and oven). Buyers will open these! 

- Clear all cobwebs from corners and doorways.

- Wash all light switches, handrails and doorknobs. Magic Eraser does great! 

On Showing Days

- Keep draperies and shades open to let in the light.

- Have your home well-lit during showing. Leave the lights on when you leave 

- At night, turn on porch light and outdoor lighting in back if you have it.

- Put clean towels in the bathrooms, put away the majority of the item on the counter 

- Avoid having dirty dishes in the sink or on counters. Put them in the dishwasher

- Keep any toys in the children’s rooms, bikes, wagons and skateboards put away and organized. 

- Leave pets outdoors or in crates if possible. Even the friendliest of pets can get protective of strangers coming in.