Being mentally prepared to sell your home is one thing, but being physically ready takes work. This time of year is when most sellers start mulling over the idea of listing their home for spring. If you’re one of those people considering putting your home up for sale here’s a list of things that will help make sure the home is visually ready to accept buyers.
Curb Appeal The first thing a buyer sees is the outside of your home. Make sure your shrubs, bushes, and trees are trimmed, and your lawn is neat after the winter thaw. If there is still some snow or mud left over, try to shovel and/or spray the walkway clean. Create a welcoming path into the front door that will leave your buyer ready to see more as their agent turns the key.
Spring Clean If a house is well maintained and clean the
buyers will assume the parts of the home they can’t see were meticulously cared for as well. If they see dirt, dust and other remnants of a disorderly house they may start to question what’s going on in the hidden parts of the home that they are missing. Make sure you do a thorough deep clean before you list your house and then maintain that sparkle as your home continues to be available for showings. It will also help you be prepared for any last minute showing requests if you manage to keep your home clean along the way.
Make Minor Repairs If you have a leaky faucet, a loose doorknob or a missing drain cover, get those items fixed before you list the home. Small repairs might not be a big deal to you, but to a buyer, it’s the minor details that stick out as they walk through your home. It would be a shame if something as small as an outlet cover turned them off before they even had a chance to consider your home.
Paint and Patch Remove any large paintings and frames and make sure to patch the drywall behind them. Any mounts would be better taken down BEFORE you list so that buyers are concerned about what the wall will look like once you remove your TV. Don’t go overboard painting your home, just make sure it’s touched up and clean looking. And choose neutral colors that any buyer could see their decor fitting in with nicely.
Get Ready To Move I tell my clients, “you’re selling your house, so the plan is to move anyway. Might as well start packing and make that one less thing to worry about later!” This will help declutter your home and give the buyer more opportunities to visualize themselves living in the space, but also help you have less to do later when you do finally have an interested buyer that wants to purchase. Just make sure to tuck the boxes away in a storage space or rent a space for a short time so that your home isn’t filled up with boxes instead of personal items.
Update The Small Stuff If you have outdated door handles, hardware on cabinets or light fixtures these items can easily transform an outdated house into a much more modern feel very quickly and cheaply. Spend a day replacing all of your old fixtures and hardware. You’d be surprised what some cabinet handles and new light fixtures can do to spruce the place up.
Check Your Light Bulbs and Batteries If you have smoke detectors beeping or bulbs that are out, fix those. People don’t want to walk into a house that’s chirping at them, and they want to be able to SEE the house. These are minor issues that don’t take much energy on your part as a seller, but when a buyer walks in and can’t turn on lights, they feel like there is something to hide in the dark.
Create An Ambiance Set up your living room, clear off old magazines and books and set your table. Make it home-like so when people walk through they get a sense of warmth. Also, as you start to show your home, it’s always a good idea to have the lights on so people can easily walk through and quickly see your hard work!
Window Treatments If you plan to take your curtains because they were homemade by your grandmother, remove them before you list your home. It’s best to replace them with something neutral and appealing as well as something that allows the natural light in. If you have blackout curtains in your bedroom, take them down. Put up something light and open so that people can see the windows and the way the light comes into the room.
Clean Up Your Sinks Tuck away your sponges, toothbrushes, unsightly towels and soaps. Unless it’s decorative, have a designated bin or drawer for these items so you can easily pack them up for showings.
Make Sure Windows And Doors Open Properly If you have doors that stick, windows that one open or cabinets that are falling off the hinge, test them and tighten or replace them before you list your home. Buyers get frustrated at a home inspection why they realize some windowns and doors don’t work properly that they didn’t test before because the weather wasn’t cooperating.
Your Patio And Back Yard Matter Too! If your deck hasn’t been stained in a decade or your yard is filled with muddy patches throw down some seed and do a quick stain on your deck. Buyers will usually walk around the outside before they even step in and you don’t want them not to take a look at the inside because the backyard turned them away!
If you’re considering selling a home this season, NOW is the time to start getting your home prepared! Spring will be here before you know it so get started working on your home’s appeal now, so you are ready to ROCK when the market is prime time to sell!