PREPARING YOUR HOME FOR SALE
When preparing your Home for Sale, these 10 Tips to get Maximum Price for your home are quick, easy and inexpensive and really should be considered to show case your home for buyers.
If you want to sell your home and if you are like most sellers, you want to get get top dollar for your home in the shortest possible amount of time.
I like to do a walk through with the seller of their home. This allows the seller to tell me about what they have done to the home and allows me to see the floor plan and get a sense of the features and benefits of their home so I can showcase those to the buying market.
Most importantly it gives me an opportunity to give tips or suggestions to the seller that will make their home more salable keeping in mind that most sellers don’t want to spend a fortune updating or fixing a home they will soon not own.
Here is a list of 10 Quick, Easy & Inexpensive Tips for preparing your home for sale to help get a seller top dollar in the shortest possible amount of time for their home!
New Fresh Paint
One of the most important tips for preparing your home for sale is how the walls present themselves.
It’s incredible what a fresh coat of paint can do to a room. It not only makes the room feel “clean” but also can brighten a room and make it feel larger. When selecting colors for a room think to yourself, what would the majority of buyers prefer.
The safest bet would be selecting a very neutral color like a beige or off white. It makes it extremely easy for the buyer of your home to paint over with the color of their choice.
If you are not a neutral color type of person and want to select something a bit more bold, then we suggest selecting earth tone colors. We’re finding that the trend with today’s buyers prefer earth tone colors, such as browns, tans, warm grays, and greens.
I can speak of this first hand with my own home that is filled with color that is anything but neutral, however, if when the time comes to sell, I will have to take my own advice for my home to appeal to the majority of buyers to get me the best price in the shortest amount of time.
Clean Carpets and/or Floors Preparing your Home for Sale
Who doesn’t like the smell of a new car or freshly cleaned laundry? The cleaning of your carpet and/or floors makes a great first impression. This is especially true for homeowners who have pets and carpet. Don’t let that “wet dog” smell turn potential buyers away! Another turnoff is cigarette smoke odors. Buyers will walk into a home and turn right around if the odor in a home is unpleasant. Take the time to steam clean your own carpets or hire a company to do it. It’s relatively inexpensive and will be worth it!
I had a client who wanted to sell her condo and the carpet was so bad, I seriously doubted if any buyer could see beyond it to the features and benefits of her otherwise lovely condo. She replaced the carpet, mind you not with a high end carpet and yet the transformation was astounding. She received multiple offers and sold her condo at a premium price in a very short period. Clearly, the investment of new carpet was paid back and then some.
Remove Outdated Wallpaper
Most buyers do not want to deal with Wallpaper. I could go as far as saying Wallpaper is out, however, in high end homes, it may work, but generally speaking the trend for the majority of buyers is they prefer clean neutral colored painted walls to wallpapered walls.
If you can do it yourself it is essentially free (minus your time & effort). Removing wallpaper is relatively easy if done properly while using the correct products.
Wallpaper removal equipment can also be rented very reasonably and works wonders in the removal process.
A colleague of mine had a listing, attractive home, but the issue was wallpaper. The seller refused to remove the wallpaper because it had sentimental value, which is understandable but the sellers had moved out of this home into their new home, never to return to this wallpapered home! They could not sell it, so it was rented.
Inspect Home Before Listing
I must admit not many sellers do this, but it can really help in determining price and appeal, especially if you have lived in your home for a long time.
A good home inspector will look at your home from top to bottom and provide a report (some utilize photos) upon completion of the inspection. While it may not be feasible or make sense to repair every single item on the report, it would be extremely beneficial to fix anything that is a potential safety issue (ex: frayed electric entrance cable, double tap in breaker box, etc…).
These are issues that a good home inspector is going to find when a prospective buyer hires them as well as being possible issues when the bank appraiser comes through for the mortgage financing. They likely will ask for them to be corrected before moving forward with the transaction and it’s better to be ahead of things then not. Also the more things that can be “fixed” or corrected prior to the bank appraiser coming thru, the less he or she will be looking for.
In addition, provide any potential buyer a copy of the inspection report, it can put them at ease. A common fear a buyer has is that sellers can/are concealing defects/issues with their home. Providing them with a report is a great way to make them comfortable that this is not the case.
If you do not want to do the repairs, then price the home accordingly.
“Less is more.” Buyers don’t want to have to maneuver around piles of clothes, tables, or furniture. Some sellers assume that it’s better to have furniture and “stuff” in the house while it’s for sale so buyers can see how people live in the home.
If you are committed to selling your home, then packing will be necessary, so why not start packing some of the odds & ends before to maximize the appeal of your home.
Think of how model homes are staged for new home developments, I dare say that many of us do not live like these model homes present themselves, (so clean & uncluttered) but needless to say, new home builders use this very effective way of getting buyers to buy their new homes, so why not copy them.
Buyers have many thoughts running through their mind as they walk through a home that could potentially be theirs. “Will my furniture fit in this living room?” “Will my bed fit in this room?” “Is there enough closet space for my clothes?” Don’t let your great family photos on your living room wall distract them.
Just remember the decluttering tip, “Less is More.”
Update Light Fixtures
That light fixture from 1980 that is still in the entryway of your home, just like wallpaper, is out! You know the one that looks like a candy dish! New light fixtures in the bathrooms, hallways, bedrooms, or kitchen are easy to install and relatively cheap. Check out your nearest light store to see what the current trend is for light fixtures.
Ok, so you do not want to replace the light fixtures, than at least make sure all light bulbs are working!
It can be frustrating when you go to turn on a light and realize the light bulb isn’t working.
Not a great way to show a buyer how you maintain your home. This is a very quick, easy, & cheap tip preparing your home for sale that makes a difference!
I like to turn on as many lights as I can to showcase the home, this can be really difficult if the light bulbs are burnt out.
Clean and Inspect Furnace
Just like having a home inspection prior to selling, if possible, have your furnace inspected as well, if it has not been within the last 12 months! Many home inspectors will look at the furnace with the cover off and will suggest if it looks like it hasn’t been serviced recently that it be cleaned and inspected prior to closing.
Make sure the contractor puts their sticker on the furnace and writes the date that the servicing was completed.
I have been talking about a lot of interior tips, but “First impression is the last impression.” The first thing a potential buyer will see is the exterior and what a better way to WOW them then with great landscaping.
This does not mean install the most expensive shrubs or bushes, but make sure your grass is cut, remove crabgrass, remove weeds from flower beds, and edge the beds.
These tips for preparing your home for sale can take an hour or two of your time but can be the deciding factor on whether your home or a competitive home is the one a buyer selects.
I have had buyers say no to seeing the interior of the home simply by the curb appeal or lack of it in most cases.
I do hope Preparing your Home for Sale 10 Tips to get Maximum Price for your Home is helpful to you.
Kathy offers a wide range of real estate solutions for sellers, buyers and investors, attracting clients who demand excellence—in marketing, negotiations, market knowledge—and a genuine concern for their needs. Kathy services all of Ventura County beautiful Cities: with an emphasis on Ventura, Oxnard, Camarillo & Ojai