If you're looking to sell your home fast and for more money, there are likely a few things you need to do before putting it on the market. Listing your house without properly preparing it could be likened to going to a job interview in your pajamas...it's not putting your best foot forward. Follow these guidelines to give your house the best chance at being a buyer's first choice.
Do A Walk Through: Tour the house as if it's not your own, or better yet have a friend that is truthful and direct do this task for you. Visit each room and look for problems or things that might concern you as a buyer. Be honest with yourself about what needs to be fixed and make the necessary repairs.
Declutter: Clutter is distracting and makes your home feel smaller than it actually is. If there is anything that you don't use on a regular basis, box it up and get it out now. You'll have to pack it up when you move anyway, so why not get a head start? A good place to start is the kitchen. Clearing off countertops makes the kitchen space feel larger.
Depersonalize: The more personalized your home is, the more a buyer sees you and not the house you want them to buy. You want the buyer to focus on the features of your home, not your wall of family photos. A buyer needs to be able to visualize their own things in the home. So, remove personal pictures, collections, knickknacks, and hobby paraphernalia as well as excess books, magazines, movies, or newspapers.
Deep Clean: A fresh, clean house goes a long way to leaving a good impression on a prospective buyer. Kitchen counters, appliances, toilets, showers, and other surfaces should be wiped clean. The refrigerator should be odor free. Windows should be washed, carpets cleaned, and other flooring surfaces treated or polished as is appropriate. The more cleaning you have done the less cleaning the buyer perceives they will have to do... and that is definitely an added bonus to a buyer.
Stage Your Home: A well staged home will make buyers feel comfortable and will present your home in the best light. A home with furniture shows better than a vacant home. But a vacant home shows better than one that is cluttered and unkempt. Try to find the balance between these two extremes. Properly placed furnishings can create the "sense of home" you want a prospective buyer to experience. You want something in every room, but think minimalist. The goal is to get the buyer mentally placing their furniture in the home and making it their own.
Check for Water Damage: There is nothing more unsettling to a buyer then the discovery of water damage. Water issues are tied closely to the possibility of mold, which makes many prospective buyers' hair stand on end. Check your crawlspace and other areas of your home that could have potential water issues. If you find anything of concern, make the necessary repairs to remedy the problem immediately.
Make Sure Electrical Items Operate: All electrical outlets, light switches, and appliances should be in proper working order. When a potential buyer turns something on and it doesn't work or doesn't work properly, it raises red flags about the soundness of the property. Ensure that any burnt out bulbs are promptly replaced.
Taking care of these items requires some work, but it is definitely worth it. A well prepared home will sell faster and for more money. It will also make moving easier when the home does sell, since some of the repairs and much of the boxing up and moving out will have already been done. For more tips and ideas on preparing your home to sell, give us a call or send us an email.
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