You’re thinking of putting your home on the market but just the idea of all the work involved has your blood pressure rising with anxiety. You’re struggling to even begin to wrap your head around everything that you’re sure needs to be done before that “For Sale” sign gets firmly planted in your yard.
There’s no need to stress when preparing your home for sale. There are six simple things you can do to have your home market ready with little stress and (even better) expense. If you focus on these six items and have the guidance of a good real estate agent, you’ll be changing that sign from “For Sale” to “Sold” in no time at all.
1. Landscape – You don’t need to go out and hire a professional to install retaining walls and water features here. Just make sure you’re keeping up on basic yard maintenance. Mow the lawn regularly and keep any shrubbery nicely trimmed. Get rid of the weeds and plant some flowers for a little bit a color. If you’re like me and lack that green thumb, potted flowers will do the trick and save you time. If your yard looks taken care of, buyers will assume your home is well taken care of too.
2. Paint – Over time, walls get scuffed and dirty from everyday living (especially if you have kids and/or pets). OR, that paint color that was so on trend and you loved 10 years ago just looks dated and out of place, now. A fresh coat of paint will do wonders to make your home look brand new. Aim to paint every room using one or two neutral colors. If you can’t do every room, focus on the rooms that have taste specific colors first. That primary color scheme is great for your 3-year-old’s playroom but could be a bit too much for potential buyers. Don’t forget to touch up the trim throughout the house, too.
3. De-clutter – It’s so easy to fill every nook and cranny of your home when you can. You might believe the fact you can fit so much stuff everywhere shows just how spacious it is. However, when you do that, you actually make the space appear smaller. Take this opportunity to de-clutter. Clear off kitchen and bathroom countertops, remove extra furniture and even clean out closets and storage spaces. My general rule of thumb is if you haven’t used it in more than a year then you need to get rid of it. Not only will this make your home appear bigger but it will also make your own moving process easier with less stuff to pack and move later.
4. Clean – No brainer, right? You’d be surprised how often this doesn’t happen. Get the carpets cleaned, wipe down cabinetry and doors, mop, etc. A good deep cleaning will give your home a face-lift and it’ll make you feel good too. Also, keep it clean for showings. Make sure there are no dirty dishes in the sink, rings in the toilets or smelly trash lying around. It’s difficult for buyers to get past things like that when viewing a home so don’t ask them to. Give them every reason to buy your home and don’t give them an excuse to walk away.
5. Repair – Remember all those things that you were going to get to later but never did? Well…later is now. Buyers and their agents will notice every little thing that is in need of repair and will use that as a reason to make an offer less than what you’re looking for or not make an offer at all. So, remember that leaky faucet you’ve been meaning to seal or that loose door knob that just needs tightened up? Get it done. Most of these things just take a minute or two of elbow grease but will go a long way in getting your home sold.
6. Organize – This one kind of goes hand and hand with de-cluttering. A little organization can go a long way. Buyers are going to be looking in cabinets and closets because they want to know how much storage there is. When you keep storage spaces organized, those spaces appear to be even bigger and more impressive to a buyer. Take the time to organize your garage, basement, closets and cabinets and your buyers will not only be impressed with all the space in your home but it’s another step in making the moving process easier for you after your home is sold.
Everyone hears the horror stories of the home-selling process but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you focus on the six items above and follow the guidance of a good agent, your home will be sold in no time.