Preparing to sell your home can seem like a daunting task. Some homes will need more preparation than others, and the process will vary depending on each Seller's situation, resources, and local market. A good REALTOR can help you decide the best way to stage and market your home to maximize your potential Buyer pool and your profits! Here are 5 things to consider - and some suggestions on how to get them done - to help you get your home sold.
1. Deep General Cleaning: If you have the time to do a deep clean, then do it! If not, then consider hiring someone for the task. This should be a top-down clean and include things like removing cobwebs, cleaning ceiling fans and light fixtures and replacing burned out bulbs, cleaning wall switches and outlet covers, cleaning and polishing door hardware and handrails, cleaning windows and screens, cleaning draperies, window treatments, and comforters, cleaning carpets and rugs and polishing wood floors. Make sure to keep an eye towards details like cleaning appliances inside and out and around control buttons and knobs, and behind and under appliances and furniture.
2. De-Clutter And De-Personalize: Remove unnecessary and infrequently used items from countertops and vanities. Clear surfaces as much as possible and arrange bookshelves to look orderly. Take down any personal photographs and secure the extra house and car keys and prescription medications. Put away dishes and laundry, and pack up any seasonal items. This is a good time to go through your medicine cabinet and pantry and discard expired items. Not everyone will look through cabinets, but often Buyers will want to get a feel for how much storage a home has. You can't change the amount of storage your home offers, but you can maximize what it does offer, and show it in a positive light.
3. Check Your Curb Appeal: The front of your home will be your Buyer's first impression. They are likely to even drive by it well before they have an appointment to go inside. So, it's a good idea to take a look around to see if there's anything that needs attention. Having the exterior power washed or at least washed will have a huge impact. Make sure gutters, shutters, porches, steps, walkways, and patios are clean. Are there any stains in the driveway or carport? Can they be removed? Clean or replace your welcome mats and have landscaping trimmed and weeded. Are your doors, gates, fences, and doorbell in good working order?
4. Make A Plan: Prepare a short checklist for when you get the call that a Buyer is on their way. Do you need to get a pet out of the house? Keep the leash or crate close by and check the yard for anything 'left behind.' Some Sellers create a "Go Box" with prescriptions, spare keys, checkbooks, jewelry, and any other items they are may not be comfortable leaving in the home, but don't have a safe or another place to secure those items. Turn on all the lights before you leave, so Buyers and their Agents welcomed into the home, instead of fumbling in the darkness.
5. Go The Extra Mile: Consider having a home inspection done and making some - or all - of the repairs the inspector suggests, and have that documentation available for potential Buyers. Check drawers and cabinet doors to see that they operate easily and are clean. Organize storage areas like your closets, basement, or attic. Touch up any damaged interior and exterior paint, or consider putting a fresh coat of paint on everything. Consider replacing damaged, worn, or dated flooring or other fixtures or surfaces. Repair or replace any damaged framing, trim, or siding. Replace caulking in bathrooms. Replace old toilet seats. Refresh bathrooms with new shower curtains, rugs, and towels. And don't forget to ask your REALTOR for staging and decorating advice and resources!