5 Things to do Before Listing your Home for Sale
There’s a lot that goes into getting a house ready to be listed. You should speak with a local real estate agent to get a feel for the current housing market in your area, do your research to help you predict when is the best time for you to sell, come up with a reasonable price and valuation of your home – there’s a lot on the to-do list. It’s all well and good to put the time and energy into making sure that all the variables are just right to pull off a quick and beneficial sale, but it always pays to place extra attention on how the home looks to potential buyers.
Here are a few tips of what you should do before listing your home for sale:
When a buyer walks into a house for the first time, you (as the seller) want it to resonate with them. You want them to be able to look around the space and imagine themselves living there, having guests over, cooking meals for their families – it should invite them to think about it as their space, even when it’s still under your ownership.
One of the easiest ways to ensure that your house not only looks great but also piques the interest of potential buyers is to declutter your home. Purge your space of any unnecessary items, bag or box up anything that feels too personal (like documents with sensitive information, ashtrays, and political paraphernalia), and place anything not included in the home sale into offsite storage.
Decluttering your home will make the space feel larger and more inviting, and while leaving out personal touches like framed photographs and birthday cards are nice and can make the space feel more lived-in and realistic, it’s best to edit down as much as possible. A buyer might have a challenging time envisioning themselves living in your home if you have too many personal items laying about. Plus, you wouldn’t want a potential buyer absent-mindedly rifling through the unopened phone bills that you left on the counter, or perhaps making judgment calls on the space because they have a different sense of interior style. When in doubt, take it out.
It’s also wise to put anything that you intend on keeping, but that you don’t want included in the sale into some form of offsite storage.
Some homeowners might place cards on items that are strictly ‘not for sale’ to inform buyers of its ineligibility for purchase, but oftentimes this can lead to dispute as, psychologically, when you tell someone they can’t have something, they typically tend to want it more. If you don’t want to have to negotiate the sale of a precious family china cabinet that has been passed down since the early 1920s, it might be smarter to simply put it out of sight. If it’s not there, the buyer can’t see it, and therefore won’t want it. Plus, while having some furniture in the house is helpful as it lets home seekers know just by looking at the home that, for example, their king size bed can fit in the master bedroom with tons of floor space left over, removing furniture is also a great way for your home to appear larger and more spacious to potential buyers.
Another upside to going through the process of decluttering your home is that it gives you an opportunity to lighten your own load when you do eventually move out to allow the new homeowners to move in. If you’ve already done the majority of sorting through your things and discarding or donating what no longer serves you or is just taking up space, it leaves less work for you when moving day finally arrives.
Deep clean and organize your home.
Once you’ve sorted through all the junk, old report cards, and placed great-grandma’s china cabinet in storage, the next thing on your to-do list is to give your home a little TLC.
Start by doing a walk-through of your home, imagining that you are a buyer looking at this space for the first time. Make note of anything that looks grimy or dull or any spots that could use an extra bit of elbow grease. Then, use those notes to make a checklist of what needs to be cleaned and in what order for maximum efficiency.
Remove any scuff marks off of tile or linoleum flooring, dust every surface and crevice, and pay extra care to wipe down counters and any pieces of furniture. Put fresh, clean sheets on the beds and go over your carpets with a high-power vacuum – and if you haven’t done it in a while, giving your carpets a wash to get rid of any stains is a great way to enhance the look of your home. It might also be a good idea to enlist the help of a professional cleaning company as they can typically get into places you might not be able to, and they can also typically work around your schedule if you find that you just don’t have the time.
Then, once your home is decluttered and sparkling, take a moment to organize your belongings in a way that is both functional and attractive. If you need inspiration, try looking on Pinterest or visiting your local IKEA and checking out their showrooms for some great organization ideas.
(Image from https://www.homestratosphere.com/ikea-couch/)
If you’ve followed everything on this list of “what to do before listing your home for sale”, the next step is to make some repairs. New homeowners want to make sure that their new place is in tip-top shape, and that includes ensuring that everything not only looks the way it should but that it also works efficiently.
Cracked windows, peeling tub caulking, and burned out light bulbs can cheapen the appearance of a home and could result in lower offers from buyers. If you want to get the most out of your home, make sure to list everything that needs to be either fixed or replaced and set them right before listing your home for sale. This includes fixing any leaking faucets, freshening up grout, replacing ripped window screens, and painting over your child’s ‘wall artwork’, for example.
Remember that although you have been living in your home for a while, that potential buyers will be seeing the space for the first time, so they might tend to notice the little things that you have gone ‘blind’ to. Buyers can be critical and analytical of your space because when they decide to purchase a house, they want to make sure that it fits their lifestyle and their needs – they don’t want to have to make fixes after they’ve already moved in (unless they are intentionally looking to flip a property). Most would prefer a clean house that’s move-in ready.
Clean up the outside of your home.
As much as the appearance of the inside of your home is important, it’s also a good idea to pay some attention to the outside appearance of your home as well.
The state of your front yard, driveway (if you have one), and front steps will be the first thing potential buyers will see when they come to look at your home, so you want to make sure that they are in great condition. Have your bushes, shrubs, and trees trimmed; clean and repair your gutter; and pressure-wash the sides of your home. If you’re selling your home in the warmer months, try putting out some plants or adding some fresh roses to your landscape for a more inviting feel. Tidy up any outside furniture and put your kids’ bikes and playthings into storage. If you have a shed or a garage, it’s smart to organize and declutter that space as well.
Consider getting outside help.
Whether you just don’t have the time to get your home open house ready, or maybe you just don’t really know where to start, you can always get professionals in to help you have your home looking its best.
We recommend talking to a local real estate agent for advice on what is attractive to buyers right now. Whether that be specific interior design trends or high-end amenities, a real estate agent can help you decide what to display and what to put into storage to highlight the best features of your home. Plus, they can give great advice on what to do before listing your home and provide you with even more pointers on how to get a quick sale. They can also get you in contact with a professional staging company to help your home look as inviting and as aesthetically pleasing as possible.
Staging companies take all the guesswork out of preparing your home for listing. They can place the furniture for you in a way that makes your living room look larger than it is, bring in décor that elevates the master bedroom from cozy to luxury, and can even take professional photos for you that you can use in your listing. Any problem spots that might have been missed during repairs can easily be pointed out to you and rectified, and these companies come with all the best industry knowledge on what is trending right now to ensure a quick sale.
Selling your home and need an agent? Looking for great advice on how to sell your home quickly? Talk to one of our highly qualified real estate agents today! https://www.katronisrealestate.com/contact