Getting Ready to Sell
Have Your Home Pre-Inspected
The very first step in preparing your home for sale is arranging to have your house pre-inspected. The very best thing you can do to protect the value of your home is to make sure that all deferred maintenance is corrected, and ensure that all of the major systems (electrical, plumbing, structural, roof, and HVAC) are in good working order before your home goes on the market. I almost always recommend that homeowners have the house inspected by a licensed inspector to identify any problems that should be addressed. You can be sure that any existing problems will be much less expensive to fix or replace before your home goes on the market than when a buyer’s inspector finds them. This is a $400 investment that pays off well in the end.
De-Clutter and De-Personalize to Delight Prospective Buyers
Have you ever heard that REALTORS® want your house to look like no one lives there while it’s on the market? While I wouldn’t go quite that far, it is critical that your home is de-cluttered and de-personalized as much as possible. Ninety percent of buyers are not able to see past the artwork and personal photos on the walls, the toy box spilling over with stuffed animals, the extra furniture pieces, or the knick-knacks on the shelves and counter tops. As a result, REALTORS® often have to help prospective buyers imagine their own furniture, their art work, and their lives in your house. Thus, it may be necessary for you to rent a storage room for a few weeks to stow away these items while the house is listed.
Consider Home Staging
Staging is still a relatively new concept to sellers, but it is catching on quickly (thank you, HGTV). I often recommend that sellers hire a professional stager to help them arrange their existing furniture, or bring in furniture to help show off the house in the best possible light. Remember that the photos in the MLS are critically important, and are critical to encouraging buyers to come see the house in person. A well-staged home makes a great first impression. Staging can evoke an emotional response to a house; it can distract a buyer’s eye from dated fixtures and finishes; and it can help buyers more easily picture how their furniture will fit in the home.
Make the Outside of Your Home Look as Appealing as Possible
We all know the importance of curb appeal. If your home needs a paint job and you’ve been putting it off, don’t wait any longer. A freshly painted house is a magnet for a good offer. At the very least, it is critical that regular maintenance be performed, like mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges, and sweeping the driveway and sidewalk. If possible, plant a few colorful flowers near the front door and replace the worn out doormat. Little things mean a lot.
Keep Up Appearances
As hard as it can be sometimes, especially if you have children living at home, it really is so important that you maintain your home’s appearance and always have it ready for showings. Even so, when we set up your listing, I will always make sure you get plenty of notice before prospective buyers show up so you can spiff things up before they arrive.