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12 Best Ways How To Prep Your Home For Sale
Dated: November 16 2015
Featured Image Photo credit: MarkMoz12/Foter/CC BY
So you’re thinking of selling your home. However, a lot more goes into selling a home than just slapping on a for sale sign. Sure your trusted Realtor will handle all of the marketing and appointment setting but as a seller there are many things you can do to not only find a buyer quickly but also get top dollar for your home. To help you present the best listing possible we put together a simple yet effective list of the 12 best ways how to prep your home for sale.
Start With The Outside
As they say there is no second chance to make a first impression and the first impression any potential buyer will have will be the outside (curb appeal). To make this impression a lasting one, there are a few simple things you can do. Planting fresh flowers or installing a flower box is an effective way to make your home inviting. If the paint on your door is fading, get some paint and slap on a new coat. Numbers fading or missing? Buy new numbers for your home. The key is in the details. Buyers want a home that they’ll love walking into every day.
Smell is the Strongest Sense Tied to Memory
So now you have potential buyers through your doors, you don’t want your home to remind someone of a litter box or gym locker room would you? Eliminate bad smells. If you’re immune to your home smells get a second sniffer in there to detect any foul or weird odors. To give your home the ultimate inviting feel bake treats for an open house. Fresh baked goods often trigger happy memories and a “homey” feel. Not much of a baker? Well you can always light up candles with baked good scents. Other aromas that work well with putting people in a calming mood are tea and lilac candles or reed diffusers.
The Initial Eye Test
So your curb appeal is tight and the place smells like a million bucks, potential buyers will now do an initial scan of the place. This is where your cleaning skills come into play. All clutter must be attended to and everything from cooking utensils to undergarments should be stored or tucked away nice and neat. Make sure all surfaces are dusted, wiped and sparkling. When a buyer sees the attention to detail and the effort you put into cleaning they will automatically associate that with the love you put into maintaining the home. If you do not have time to do a thorough cleaning we suggest hiring a cleaning company to handle the dirty work.
K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Stupid)
Make the place as simple/neutral as possible. What do you mean you ask? Well for starters if you have electric blue walls in your living room you may want to dial it back a notch. Paint all colored walls to a neutral color. Even though paint is a cosmetic change, it can turn-off potential buyers. Also if you have an absorbent amount of personal items and memorabilia, it’s a good idea to take those down. Buyers will have a hard time imagining themselves in the space if your presence is all over the place.
Go With The Flow
Before you have anyone over for an open house or showing, take a dry run (walk) through your home. Were you able to walk unimpeded and have a natural progression through the place? If the answer is no then eliminate anything that disrupts the flow. Whether it be furniture, decorations or clutter, being able to tour the interior fluidly is important for your home to show well.
“Success is in the Details”
Remember that “honey do” list you’ve been meaning to get around to. Now is a better time than any to tackle those chores especially those that can give buyers a false sense of danger. For instance if you fixed a leaky roof, tend to the water marks. Don’t fall into the trap of “oh I’ll just leave it for the new buyer” because guess what? You may not have that luxury. The more a potential buyer feels they have to do to the home the less inclined they will be to open their checkbook for an offer.
A Guarantee Brings Peace of Mind
Nobody likes unexpected problems. It not only creates stress but can also ruin a budget. Create peace of mind by having all paperwork and guarantees of your mechanical and structural work you’ve recently done, such as having your hot water or furnace serviced and documented. Having the warranty on-hand for a recent roof repair or appliance you plan to leave with the home can also heavily sway a buyer as well as increase your chances of getting top dollar for your home.
It’s your home therefore only you know what the current functionality of each room is. Whether it was turning an extra room into a closet or the basement into an office, buyers may not see the vision with your current set-up. Try your best to stage each room and create a purpose. This is where staging comes into play. If you have a spare bedroom don’t just have a random piece of exercise equipment or a random piece of furniture, create purpose with a complete set-up. Let bedrooms show their potential and offices present themselves as such. Not every buyer will have the foresight to see each rooms potential so here is your opportunity to create the vision.
Praise the Porcelain Gods
One of the most overlooked rooms of the home is the bathroom. Even though bathrooms are one of the biggest selling points in a home they often times go neglected. This room should not only be included in your deep cleaning but feel free to go the extra mile and create a spa feel if possible. Clean and fresh towels should be present along with a clean shower curtain and surface areas. If there is a window, let the natural light shine through and for goodness sakes make sure the toilet seat is closed!
Everyone is a Critic
When it comes to selling a home, brutal honesty and constructive criticism is what we need. Find a friend or family member that can come over, do a walk through and give honest feedback. It may not always be what you want to hear but it will definitely be what you need to hear. Having a fresh set of eyes on your home will allow you to find flaws, issues or other matters to address.
Everyday is Showtime
When your home is on the market you may never know when the next showing may be. Yes you can request lead time but if you request 24-48 hours this allows a potential buyer to view another property in the meantime. That’s 24-48 hours for that buyer to fall in love with another home that was ready to show. To avoid this scenario keep your home showtime ready. If you have pets it would be a good idea to have a friend or family member on hand to watch them while showings take place.
Have a Trusted Home Professional to Guide You
Image via Realtor.com
This is last on the list but is as every bit important as everything else. A well trained and knowledgeable home professional or Realtor will guide you step-by-step from the time you decide to sell until the the last document is signed at the closing table. To ensure nothing is overlooked or opportunities are missed, find an agent that can guide to a pain free and quick closing.
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