With low interest rates, a strengthening economy and optimism about existing property sale value, many of those who waited-it-out are now ready to search for a new home. But before you upsize, downsize or transfer to a new location, you may first have to entice buyers to your property to get what its really worth.
Evaluating your home with a licensed real estate professional will shed light upon the sale of comparable properties, and what you can expect for yours. Local agency web sites and zip code real estate searches allow you to see what is inside the homes on the market in your area, and what you are up against to attract buyers to your property. Likewise, the internet may be the first place a perspective buyer will look at your property, so before your begin the preparation process, take photos of your property inside and out to gain a buyer’s perspective and consider your improvements accordingly.
At the top of the list is to de-clutter and de-personalize. Take a close look at each room, each closet, garage and shed, and remove all of the excess. This is a good time to make donations, visit consignments shops or discard what’s been grown out of, grown tired of, or outlived it’s usefulness. For a reasonable fee, a storage facility offers the option of storing items that you don’t want to part with. Pack away out of season wardrobe, personal items, photos, sports equipment and memorabilia, as you want the buyer to imagine themselves and their favorites in this house, not yours. Once this important item has been checked off the list, it will make the rest a bit easier.
Organizing your newly de-cluttered spaces costs nothing more than an afternoon to accomplish. Closets should have like items stored or hung together. Stow shelf items in baskets or bins, and hang clothing on same kind/color hangers. Make beds with neutral covers, and coral loose items on tabletops or counters with trays. Toss a new throw on tired upholstery. Keep an empty bin handy in bathrooms & kitchen for personal items to stow before showings. As with closets, organize open bookshelves with like items together. Keep a small crate in a service area to keep your pet safe during showings.
Refinishing hardwood and polishing stone surfaces will make them look newly installed. Clean or replace carpet. Fresh paint in heavy traffic areas, and as needed, will go a long way with first impressions. Using a neutral color in adjoining rooms will make spaces appear larger and appeal to a broader audience.
If the kitchen and bathrooms sell houses and yours are either old or personalized, then spending money here is quite important. Depending upon the suggested list price of your home there are various upgrades to suit your budget. Prepare your cabinetry with polishing or painting, and consider new knobs. Replacement dollars on granite counters and new appliances are well spent. Stainless appliances and chrome plumbing fixtures are most popular, and are available in every price range.
Don’t underestimate the importance of clean. A thorough top to bottom cleaning of the entire house, windows and woodwork is just as important as each and everything else. And after everything is up to snuff, make sure all of the lights and bulbs are fully functional to show it off.
The exterior should have a list of its own. Curb appeal is the first impression a buyer will have of your property, both in person and online. Be sure the lawn is mowed, the shrubs trimmed, and all of the beds are weeded and mulched. An exterior clean up will make the best sales photos and the rest of the selling seasonal maintenance easier.
Once you have done your part, leave the rest to the experts and call the movers!