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What to do before you put your home up for sale

Putting Your Home Up For Sale!

When it comes time to put your home up for sale there are a few things you need to do to get ready for the sale. Selling a home means a whole lot more than just placing a “For Sale” sign in your front yard.

We have compiled a list of steps to follow to help you get your home market ready.

  1. Find a great real estate agent to work with

Selling your home yourself may sound like a walk in the park. It’s never just take some pictures, quickly find a buyer and pocket the cash you would otherwise pay an agent. We know It can be tempting, especially in a hot market like we are in today, but resist the urge, We have found that a “For Sale by Owner” transaction is almost always a disaster, causing you to sacrifice both your time and your money.

That said, don’t just choose any agent.  Do some research to find a real estate agent (or ideally a few) who is knowledgeable about your specific market, and then interview them to make sure they are a good fit.

A great realtor can also offer you some advice on choices that may need to be made in the next steps listed below.

  1. Consider your curb appeal

What happens when a buyer pulls up in front of your house? They look it over, right? Make sure the first thing prospective buyers see of your home makes them to want to see more. Buyers do tend to judge a book by its cover. Invest some time in some relatively easy fixes like planting colorful flowers and repainting your front door. Simple things like that can make the home look well kept and your buyers will want to see more.

  1. Declutter your living areas

Do a clean sweep of counters, windowsills, tables, and all other visible areas, and then tackle behind closed doors areas such as: closets, drawers, and cupboards. Whether you like it or not buyers are looking in those spaces to see what they have to work with in organizing their items in the home. And if your house is overflowing with stuff, they might worry that the house won’t have ample space for their own stuff.

Less is definitely more when it comes to getting your house ready to show for sale.

Take the excess and donate it or pack it up and put it in a storage space. The added bonus to taking care of this now is that it’s one less thing you’ll have to do when it’s actually time to move.

  1. Depersonalize your space

The next step on your declutter list? You want to remove any distractions so the buyers can picture themselves and their family living in the house.

A wall full of family photos, a room full of personal items, or bold artwork and furniture that might make your home less appealing to your future home buyer. The goal is to create a blank canvas on which house hunters can project their own visions of living there.

  1. Repaint walls to neutral colors

You might love that red or orange accent wall then great, but if it’s your potential buyer’s least favorite color, that could be a turnoff for them. Something as seemingly simple as the color of just one wall could send potential buyers off to look at the next house.

It will be rare that anyone hates neutral color. In fact, in being so neutral makes it a bit easier for a buyer to picture what color they would want to paint a room or accent wall.

  1. Touch scuff marks

Even if you can’t do / don’t need a full-on repainting project, pay special attention to scrubbing walls and then touching up baseboards, walls, and doors to make the house sparkle and look cared-for.

  1. Fix any loose handles, etc…

You would be surprised by the negative effect things like a loose door handle or missing/blown lightbulb can have on a buyer. It would probably take 30 minutes or less to tighten all door handles and swap out lightbulbs.

Sure these are small things, but it can make a buyer stop and think, “What else is broken here?”.

  1. Add some plants or flowers

Green is good, because plants create a more welcoming environment. Make sure you don’t overdo it though as you could make the home seem like a lot of work to keep up with. You may also want to consider a fresh bouquet of flowers or bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter or dining table.

  1. Conduct a smell test

Whether from pets or unused drains, foul odors, even slight ones, can be a deal breaker. The problem though is that you might be used to those smells and not even notice them. It’s always a good idea to invite a friend/ unbiased third party in to try to detect any pet smells or lingering odors from your kitchen or other areas in your home.

If the smells are obvious to them, you might need to do some deep cleaning, because many buyers are on to you. The “masking techniques” such as candles or plug-in room deodorizers aren’t helping and those scents may even over power potential buyer’s noses forcing them to leave your home without seeing it completely.

  1. Clean, clean, then clean again

And then clean some more. You want your property to look spotless at all times. Take special care with the bathroom, making sure the tile, counters, shower, and floors shine and smell fresh.

Keeping your home clean at all times make preparing for any showings that much easier.

  1. Hide your valuables

From electronics and art to jewelry, make sure that your valuables are out of sight. Preferably locked up or stored offsite.

  1. Consider staging

Does your house scream 1992? If so, then you may want to consider professional staging. Nothing invigorates a house like some new furnishings or even just a perfectly chosen mirror. Home stagers will evaluate the current home condition and belongings in your house and determine what elements might help to highlight your home potential. They could recommend that you buy or rent some items, or they might just reorganize your knickknacks and bookshelves in a whole new way. Either way your home could potentially get a higher purchase then it would have brought otherwise.