1. Identify repairs and make a planNormal wear and tear can add up, especially if you’ve lived in your home for a long period of time. From a door that squeaks to a window that sticks or a toilet that runs until you jiggle the handle, it’s easy to ignore minor issues that seem like quirks.
Buyers, however, may see these quirks as problems that lower the value of your home or as bargaining chips during the closing process. If you have too many noticeable repairs, buyers may also wonder if more serious issues lurk below the surface, and that could prevent them from making a good offer.
In the kitchen, appliances should be in working order. Examine cabinets and drawers to ensure that they open and close properly. Kitchen and bathroom faucets, fixtures and drains must be leak-free and operational. Bathroom tubs and showers should have no broken tiles. Also, look for signs of water damage.
Your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system should work and be leak-free. So should your water heater, smoke detectors, electrical panel and circuit breakers.
Outside, examine exterior surfaces, weather-stripping, eaves and windows. Look for damage such as peeling, cracks or rot. Decks and patios should be in good condition. Fencing should be free from damage, like rot or rust. Landscaping should be trimmed back from your home, eliminating the potential for causing damage.
Some repairs might be easy do-it-yourself projects, such as patching a hole in drywall or unclogging a slow drain. If it’s your first time making repairs like these, video tutorials on YouTube are a great place to get started.
More serious or complicated repairs may require hiring a professional. If your roof leaks, outlets don’t work, or you have cracks in your foundation, having the job done by someone who has the right tools and know-how can save time and ensure the repairs are done correctly.
Repairs and upgrades can increase the value of your home so you’ll need to consider the time and cost it will take versus the impact on your home value.
A pre-sale inspection can ensure all repairs necessary for the sale are handled before buyers walk through. If the inspection unearths costly issues, such as needing a new roof, you can decide to make the fix or price your home a little lower to account for the needed repair. Most buyers will include an inspection contingency in their offer so if both parties aren’t able to agree on repairs following an inspection, the buyer can walk away without a penalty.
2. Declutter and clean – make it feel spaciousBig kitchens, bathrooms and storage tend to be big selling points so it can help to make your rooms look as spacious as possible. Professional home stagers recommend that you remove 50% of your items.
Go through your home, decluttering and organizing spaces. Don’t just shove belongings in closets, cabinets, attics and basements, as buyers look inside all of those places. Use storage bins that can be tucked under beds or neatly stacked in a basement or closet. Baskets or cubbies inside cabinets can make things look neat and clean.
Decluttering also includes furniture. The scale of your pieces should match the size of the room, and buyers should be able to easily walk around spaces without bumping into furniture. Make sure furnishings don’t block doors, windows or architectural features. In a small living room, for example, consider removing end tables or accent chairs. Such moves aren’t convenient, but remember, they’re temporary.
You may need to rent a storage unit during the home-selling process. Keeping your belongings offsite is the best way to maximize the space in your home. Consider hiring a professional organizer to help you declutter. He or she can help you identify items to discard, store or donate. Organizers typically charge hourly fees ranging from $30 to $80, according to Angie’s List. This process also makes moving easier since you’ll have fewer items, and others already boxed.
After decluttering comes deep cleaning. Hiring a professional may prove the most effective way to do the job quickly and thoroughly. The average cleaning service charges $167, according to HomeAdvisor.com.
You’ll also want to clean carpeting, bringing the fibers and colors bring back to life. Rent a machine from a home improvement store for about $50, or hire a professional. The average cost of a carpet cleaning service is $176, according to HomeAdvisor.com.
3. Depersonalize your home and help buyers to see its full potentialIn addition to cleaning and decluttering, you should consider depersonalizing your home. The goal when selling is to have a buyer fall in love with your house, picturing themselves living there and imaging their belongings inside. That can be difficult if your home has your personal stamp all over it.
Neutralize the space by removing items such as family photos, souvenirs, religious symbols, diplomas and certificates, hobby supplies, and collections, including CDs and DVDs. You don’t want a buyer to feel like they’re intruding in your space or, worse, take offense at your lifestyle.
Also, consider updating your accessories and furnishings if your décor is outdated or avant-garde. You don’t want buyers to miss out on key features of your home because they’re distracted by your belongings.
These few easy steps will help you get ready to sell your home!!