Preparing Your Home For Sale

These are some small details that will not cost you a lot of money, but can make the difference enticing a buyer to choose your home over the competition. A minor makeover can improve the home’s general “wow” appeal, giving it the competitive edge in today’s market and allow you to sell faster and maybe for more money.

Buyer’s First Impressions Are Everything

First Things First For The Seller

  • Sweep up your front entrances to your home.
  • Wash or degrease your front door or possibly repaint/replace the door if needed.
  • Consider pet or food smells that may be in your home and do your best to remove those odors as they are “Big” objections by buyers.
  • Give the house a fresh coat of paint, add shiny hardware to the front door and plant a few flowers to send a subliminal message the house is loved and well cared for.

Upgrades That Make a Difference

  • Replace faded, peeling or torn wallpaper, in fact eliminate as much wallpaper as you can as this is a dated item in today’s interior design standards.
  • Repair, replace or paint worn interior and exterior woodwork.
  • Paint a neutral color over walls that look old or were previously painted too boldly.
  • Paint and Carpet is the biggest bang for your buck if you are on a budget and had to pick some updates.
  • If you are not on a budget, kitchens and baths sell homes, PERIOD!

Simple Repairs Can Make a Difference to Buyers

  • When a buyer sees things that need fixing, they see dollar signs, and begin to wonder what else is wrong.
  • Be sure to repair any loose knobs, sticking doors/windows, warped cabinet drawers, broken light switches etc.
  • These defects subtract from the value of the home and buyers always exaggerate the costs for repairs.
  • It will be far less costly do them before an inspector flags the repairs and make it look worse than it really is.

Let the Light Shine In

  • A dark home just isn’t as inviting, so open the curtains and blinds.
  • Turn on all lights during evening showings.
  • Replace any double pane windows where that look foggy, the seal is broken and needs to be replaced.

Clear the Clutter

  • Remove all unnecessary articles from your closets and garage. Your intent is to sell and move anyway so rent a storage unit to keep your personal treasure out of the home until it is sold.
  • Spacious rooms and large storage spaces are a great selling feature.
  • Remove family pictures, trophies, and knickknacks where closets and cabinets are no more than 30% full.
  • Consider having a garage sale to dispose of unwanted items.
  • Look around your home to determine where you can reduce a cluttered to have a clean appearance to buyers.

Safety First

  • Keep stairways and hallways clear.
  • Don’t overload electrical outlets.
  • Open the drapes and blinds as light and bright rooms give the impression this is a happy place.

Clean It Until It Shines

  • Clean windows, sills and all appliances.
  • Steam clean and/or replace worn carpets.

Nice Bathrooms Sell Homes

  • Check and repair caulking in bathtubs and showers.
  • Clear up any mildew stains as mold is a “Killer to a Sale”.
  • Display fresh, clean towels and make the room attractive.
  • Spray a light fragrance and make the room pleasant smelling.
  • Remove excess furniture to create an open home.
  • Make the beds with clean, attractive bedspreads.

Don’t Cause Controversy

  • Not everyone shares your sense of humor or political views so remove any signs, posters or art that might be controversial or offensive to prospective buyers.
  • Neutralize bold and trendy wall colors.

Make Sure A Room’s Primary Use is Obvious

  • A bedroom should look like a bedroom, not an office, hobby center or gym.

Bedrooms and Kitchens are Difficult To Stage, But Make The Effort

  • Clear everything off counters and nightstands, roll up the rugs and hide the laundry hamper.
  • Buff the cabinets with furniture finishing products and clean under the sinks.

Systems in Your Home

  • If your hot water heater, air conditioner, furnace and electrical systems are dated this will be a major objection by most buyers related to the cost of the home.
  • Anything past 10 to 15 years will be a negative to a buyer as they will have to replace them in time.

Now that your home has been visually staged, here are some well-tested rules geared toward helping your home to show easily and effectively:

Rule #1: Three’s a Crowd

  • Try to be somewhere other than home during showings.
  • The goal is to have the buyer feel relaxed, and not rushed, when viewing your home.
  • If you are present, they may not be comfortable looking at details or asking questions.
  • Further, it is the Realtor who knows what the buyer is looking for. They are better equipped to emphasize those key points to the buyers.

Rule #2: Keep the Music Down

  • Having easy-listening or classical music playing in the background adds to the ambiance of your home, but be sure to keep the volume low so that the Realtor and buyer can talk easily.

Rule #3: No Pets Allowed

  • Keep all pets, pet beds, litter boxes and feeding dishes out of the way, move them to the utility room.
  • Deodorize your home thoroughly of pets and possible pet odors, as many buyers want pet free homes.

Got questions on getting your home ready to sell – call or email Drew for a consultation:

Drew Seargent, Realtor