Get Your Home Ready To Sell
You want to sell your home quickly and profitably, and a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) can help. While they market your property and screen potential buyers, it’s up to you to give your home a simple, inexpensive sprucing-up that can go a long way toward a speedy sale. Here are a few tips you can use to get your home ready to sell:
1. Focus on the exterior of the home. First impressions are lasting impressions, so be sure the outside of your home is clean and inviting. Paint or replace surfaces that are faded or worn, and make sure your front entrance is welcoming to visitors.
2. Keep the house neat and clean. Buyers may see the surface condition of your home as a sign of what’s underneath. Keep windows, doors, walls and other surfaces clean. Steam clean carpeting and other fabrics as needed. If you need to, hire a cleaning service to ensure the place is always tidy.
3. Small repairs can make a big difference. Replacing or repairing worn woodwork, faded wallpaper, loose knobs, sticking windows and broken light switches are all ways to make your home more appealing. Repaint marred walls. Repair caulking in bathtubs and showers. Minor flaws can be seen as huge problems when potential buyers are examining the space.
4. Big repairs can make a bigger difference. Any obvious major issues with your home should be addressed before the home is on the market. If you don’t plan to fix major issues (like roof replacement or foundation issues), they should be disclosed up front and taken into account when you’re pricing your home.
5. Accentuate the positives of your home. Arrange each room to bring out the best attributes. Open draperies and curtains, and make sure each room is being shown for its best purpose. For example, if you were using an extra bedroom as a toy room for your children, turn it back into a bedroom before showing.
6. Remove unnecessary furniture. Spacious rooms are better displayed when they aren’t crammed full of furniture. Any furniture not needed should be stored off-site, donated or sold.
7. Remove other unnecessary clutter. Everything in the house should be put away neatly. Even your attic, basement and closets should be well organized to show their full potential.
8. Pay attention to homey details. Keep fresh, clean towels in the bathroom, and use candles or air fresheners to make each room smell pleasant. Keep the beds made and looking comfy.
9. Strategically light your home. Avoid overhead lighting, which can make rooms look washed out and lifeless. Instead, arrange lamps to create the illusion of intimacy in large rooms, and highlight the best parts of your home by turning on lights in the most livable spaces.
10. Do your best to create a comfortable atmosphere. Bake cookies or bread on the day of a showing. Keep the heat (or air conditioning) at comfortable levels. If you have a fireplace, light it during winter-time showings. If the weather is nice, open a window to let in the breeze.
11. Minimize distractions as much as possible. Potential homebuyers already may feel overwhelmed by all there is to take in during a showing, so try to be sure there aren’t any unnecessary disturbances. Feel free to turn on classical music during screenings, but keep the volume low. Be sure all televisions are off.
12. Keep animals out of the way. You love your dog and cat, but a potential homebuyer may not feel the same way. If at all possible, remove the animals from the home during showings, or at least be sure they’re contained to a small area.
13. Try not to be home during showings. Potential buyers may feel uncomfortable in the presence of a homeowner, so try to find somewhere for you and your family to go while people are touring the house. If you are home, never apologize for the appearance of your house – be positive!
14. Have records at the ready. Even if a buyer doesn’t study them, having records available shows you have nothing to hide. Have copies of your gas, electric and water bills from the past 12 months available, and be ready to show home improvement and repair bills.
15. Leave the selling to the professional. Only your Certified Residential Specialist should discuss subjects like price, terms, possession or objections with the buyers. You hired an expert for a reason!
A Certified Residential Specialist has even more tips and tricks to share to help you get your home ready to sell.