When a homeowner is going to sell their home, their thoughts usually go to straight to listing price. However, before you begin to think about list price, there are some things you should do first. If you hope to sell your home quickly, then it’s about more than just price. Appearances matter and appearances can send signals to a potential buyer.
Before you do anything, grab a camera and take pictures of the interior and exterior of your home. It doesn’t matter if you’re not the best photographer. Use your smart phone if you have to, just take pictures. Then have a look at those pictures. Does your home look like a magazine home? Does it look like it belongs on a real estate brochure? If the answer is no, then you have your work cut out for you. As a home seller, you want a potential buyer to walk into your home and envision themselves in that house – their house, not your house.
Here are some tips for the home seller on getting their home ready to be listed:
1. Declutter – a lot. The nicer your home looks, the cleaner it is, and the more well-kept it appears then the easier it will be to sell your home. Look at those photos you took, and if you see lots of “stuff” in your pictures, you know where to start decluttering.
2. Personal photos must go. So must any toys, personal belongings left out in the open. Religious symbols of any kind are usually best left in drawers.
3. Power wash! It’s amazing how dirty the outside of homes can get and are left untouched by the homeowners. As a potential buyer walks up to your front door, they will be looking at exterior details: door, windows, front porch, steps, back deck, etc. Are they all clean? Are spider webs gone? Ant hills eliminated?
4. Make minor repairs. Do you have a broken door handle or window pane? Now is the time to fix these things. Buyers will notice even small things like that and wonder what else you haven’t repaired or have neglected to maintain in the house.
5. In some states, pre-listing home inspections are common practice. Not having one done if potential buyers are expecting an inspection report could be a red flag for them. You might consider doing a pre-listing home inspection because it’s also helpful to you as the seller. You will know what, if anything, is wrong with your home. You’ll have the option to correct any issues or sell your home “as-is” and price it accordingly.
6. Consider having a termite inspection done along with a report you can present to potential buyers. Most home inspectors or pest companies can perform one for a relatively low price.
7. Stage your home if necessary. If your furniture is looking tired, mismatched, or out of place in your own home, then imagine what potential buyers will think. Your realtor will be able to advise you on the hiring of a stager. It might be worth while to spend money on staging your home if it helps you sell it for top dollar and sooner rather than later!
8. Stage the outside as well! Make sure your home is not just sparkling on the outside. Make sure the landscape is enviable! Plant seasonal annuals near the front door and anywhere in the landscape where it could provide added