Pricing, marketing, negotiating, coordinating attorneys, brokers, agents, inspectors, appraisers and more… that’s the job of your Realtor. When it comes to preparing your home… that is where you will do the bulk of the heavy lifting. Selling your home is hard work, but you have to trust that the more of these things you do in advance, the easier the road between acceptance of an offer and the closing on your home. Here is a snapshot of what to anticipate doing with your home. When we meet, we will create a list together of what you can accomplish before photos are taken.
The first place most people will see your home is on the internet, which is why quality photos are of the utmost importance. But potential buyers don’t want to see your kitchen counters covered in appliances (even if you use them daily) or your desk covered in stacks of paper. If you are planning to move, it’s never too soon to start packing up the non-essentials and putting them out of sight – a garage, a basement, or – best of all – a temporary storage unit. Why? It gives the appearance of spaciousness, cleanliness, and potential; all things you want potential buyers to associate with your home. It also ensures those photos will come out looking like the pages of a magazine.
...and a note about personal items. It may sound cold, but you want your home to look like no one lives in it. A blank slate makes it easier for buyers to pictures themselves and their stuff in your home. This means removing family photos, personal artwork, and probably that magnet collection on your fridge that you’ve been working on for 25 years (we all have them!). This is hard for some people to do, but again – think of it as pre-packing and getting one step closer to your ultimate goal.
Some people find this step exciting and fun while others don’t understand the point. When selling your home you want to neutralize it to appeal to the widest majority. Those bright orange walls and the art deco wall paper may make your home sit on the market longer than it should. The convenient and comfortable layout of your living room may make the room feel smaller than it is. Staging allows the focal points of your home to shine while also distracting from things that may not be the best selling features. Rest assured I will help make suggestions that limit the inconvenience to you and maximize the return on your time and effort.
The large majority of buyers are going to hire a professional to do a structural and mechanical inspection of the home and unless you’re a magician, the list will be long. Typically, anything considered an environmental or safety hazard falls to the seller to repair (or provide a credit), but other things can come up as well. While you’re preparing your home to sell, it’s a great idea to start working on the list of things you already know about. Leaky faucets, burnt out bulbs, a missing wall plate. This conveys a sense of pride of ownership that buyers find very appealing and cuts down on the amount of re-negotiating you might need to do after an inspection. Some sellers even take it a step further and hire an independent inspection before listing to make the process go that much more smoothly. We can talk about whether or not this makes sense for you during our consultation.
You will see this on any real estate blog or article you can find from now throughout eternity: first impressions are the most important. Start out by your mailbox (and while you’re there, check if it needs any maintenance) and take a walk around your property as if it’s the first time you’re seeing it. Does your home need a power wash or to have the moss cleaned from the roof? Maybe hire a local landscaper to come and lay down mulch or do a full clean-up. Check for overgrown shrubs and be sure to mow regularly while your home is on the market. A few hanging plants or pots around your main entry can make a huge difference! Whatever you do, don’t underestimate the value of curb appeal.