Preparing to Sell
Although we are in the midst of the holidays, if you are considering selling your property next year now is the time to get serious. Listing your home for sale can take a lot more prep time than most people think, especially if you want it to show in it’s best light. Choosing the right person and company to list your home is only one piece of the puzzle. Here are the top 5 things to consider if you are serious about selling your home next year.
- Declutter, declutter, declutter!
The unfortunate reality is a truly staged house is one that is not conducive to everyday living. Everyone has ‘stuff’ in their house that they keep meaning to get rid of, haven’t used in forever or simply do not want anymore. Purging items that are no longer needed in your house is a great way to prepare for selling. It can also be so rewarding to have less ‘stuff’ laying around and you can get the benefit of giving to those in need. Declutter everything from kitchen and bathroom counters to book shelves and closets. Removing extra furniture, personal items, nicknacks and clutter allows potential buyer to see the space, structure and flow of the house better.
- Touch up paint & flooring.
Touching up paint can help give your house a fresh clean look. We always recommend staying neutral and light in color as it brightens dark rooms and does not overwhelm buyers. Ceilings with water stains are a huge indicator of possible defects. Even if the problem has been fixed you are required to disclose it but leaving the old staining says you did half the job. If the wall paint is in good shape and you don’t want to paint the other recommendation is to wash the walls. When it comes to flooring sometimes fully refinishing hardwood floors is necessary but not always. Minwax makes an inexpensive product for wood floors called Wood Floor Reviver that works great to bring flooring back to life and give it a nice shine. Make sure any vinyl, linoleum, tile or carpet is in good condition. If it is not, consider replacing or offer the buyer a credit to replace.
- Clean from top to bottom.
A clean house indicates to buyers that the house is loved and well maintained. Buyers absolutely notice how clean the house is. Although having your house on the market and feeling as if you have to keep it show ready all the time is stressful and a bit annoying it will help buyer appreciate the high regard you hold for keeping your house in good condition.
- Get up to date on utility servicing.
From furnaces, boilers, water softeners, sprinkler systems, smoke detectors and alarm systems each of these utilities require regular servicing and home inspectors note if they do not have service tags or records. The ability to provide records on when these items were last serviced alleviates the need to bring in service providers as a result of a home inspection. It also proves to a buyer how much you care about your property and keeping everything in good working order.
- Collect all records for carrying costs, improvements and repairs you have done in the past few years.
Having records on what heating, cooling, electricity, plowing, trash, water/sewer, and any other regular fees will help you be prepared for questions buyers often ask. Very few buyers purchase a home without having a general idea of what it costs to carry and maintain. These numbers don’t have to be exact but should give buyers a general idea. It is not necessary to provide costs for improvements or repairs but having records of repair people and service providers is something helpful for buyers. A plumber, electrician or contractor who already knows the intricacies of a home is always great to have especially if the systems are not cookie cutter.
Hiring a stager is a great and inexpensive way to get help and guidance with this process. I always recommend Robin Webster at Great Impressions Staging. Robin provides exceptional service at a reasonable price and she is always willing to help clients above and beyond. From initial consultations to full house staging, Robin is the best.
Starting early to prepare will help you feel less overwhelmed when it comes time to list. Oh, and if you are thinking about selling your home, make sure you give me a call and happy selling!