10 Tips to prepare your home to sell – Every seller wants top dollar for their home. Below are 10 of my top tips to help you get your home “show ready" before listing it active on the real estate market, insuring that you will get every penny that it's worth out of it when it sells.
1. Separate Yourself From Your House - You are essentially divorcing your home. Buyers want to be able to see themselves in your house. Take down all personal items: the children's artwork, family photos, even the crazy sculpture that Uncle Bob gave you last Christmas of the camel drinking from the fountain. You want buyers to be looking at your house, not your belongings. By removing these things, you'll keep them focused on what they need to be focused on.
2. Clean, Clean, Clean! - Your home must be spotless. You have to think of things from a buyer's standpoint. If you don't clean the baseboards, what else don't you clean? Maybe the filters for the HVAC? Perhaps you don't vacuum either? Do not give potential buyers any reason to think negative thoughts about your home. They will look in the oven, and the microwave, and the closets. You must clean everything. Make it smell good. Stay away from lavender, eucalyptus, and tropical aromas. Stick with more basic scents like fresh laundry or vanilla.
3. De-Clutter – Start to remove things you don't use on a regular basis before photos are taken and before showings begin. All hallways should be clear of items on the wall, small rugs should be removed, and unnecessary furniture needs to be removed and packed away. If you have to question whether or not something should go, the safe bet is to remove it and get it ready for your new home. Rent a storage unit to store boxes and extra furniture until closing.
4. Hide Your Valuables – Open houses are targets for thieves. Make sure you secure all of your valuable belongings such as your guns, jewelry, cash, and any prescription medication. Yes, there are bad people out there, and you don't want to become their target.
5. Do Repairs – If you know that the GFCI plug in the kitchen shorts out, replace it. Light fixture not working? Fix it. It will always be better to repair or replace these things before putting your home on the market, but especially before any inspection is performed. Buyers do not want to see a long list of items that need to be repaired in the house that they're about to move into. Simple repairs that might cost you $1,000 to complete, may be worth $10,000 to a potential buyer, so long as they don't have to be the one to deal with them, or never even see them in the first place, for that matter.
6. Open The Blinds – Make your house feel bright and airy. Open all of the blinds and turn on all of the lights. All of them. For every single showing. Clean the windows and remove window screens. Studies show that most buyers prefer good lighting over most things when looking for a home.
7. Curb Appeal – First impressions matter! The front of your house will be the first photo a potential buyer will see online, and also the first thing they see when arriving to view your home for the first time. Mow the yard, weed eat, and trim the bushes. Better yet, plant some bright yellow flowers in the flower bed. An even nicer touch would be to grab a decorative flower pot filled with flowers, and place it on the sidewalk that leads to your front door. Make people want to go inside!
8. Paint – I know you love the canary yellow office and the hunter green kitchen, but not all buyers will share your taste. Some buyers won't be able to see past certain things like paint color, and instead, will see all the work, work, work that they'll have to do to change it. But it's just paint, you say? It's fairly easy to just paint the walls, right? Exactly. So get it done. It will attract more potential buyers. Stick with neutral colors... taupe, beige, tan, grays, etc.
9. Clean Off The Counters – Get everything off of the counter tops. Yes, everything! The coffee pot, the knife set, canisters, towels, spoons. Everything! The only things even remotely acceptable to leave on the counter tops in the kitchen would be a nice matching KitchenAid® mixer and/or a paper towel holder. And if possible, remove those, too. In the bathrooms, remove everything except a nice soap and a hand towel for buyers to wash their hands, if need be. Everything else must go. Even things in the shower need to be removed and stored away. And leave the shower curtain open; it will make the bathroom appear larger. TIP: Plastic shoe bins work great for storing your toiletries, so you can pull them out when you need them, and hide them away in a bathroom cabinet when you're done. Buyers can sometimes not see past the clutter, and will get distracted by it, not seeing the great features of your home.
10. Price It Right – Be realistic about the price at which you list your house. Most sellers have the mentality of, “The higher the better... we can always come down.” While that may work in rare situations, it's easy to forget about the costs you will incur if your home does not sell quickly. Some examples would be additional mortgage payments, taxes, electric bills, storage fees, and costs associated with constantly keeping the home in "show ready" condition. Furthermore, the last thing you want to do is price yourself out of the market. Remember, homes that have recently sold in your neighborhood, dictate the market value of your home. Make sure your home is comparable in features and superior in condition, and then price it fairly.
What other tips would you add to my list?
Amanda Matherly REALTOR Rogers Healy and Associates
Rogers Healy and Associates Real Estate is a DFW based residential and commercial real estate company that was founded in 2007 by Rogers Healy. RHAdfw is passionate about developing long lasting relationships with clients while representing them to buy, sell or lease any home in DFW.