Home Selling Tips & Preparing Your Property for Selling
Even though the housing market has been robust, you still must make a strong effort when you sell your home. Besides the usual in setting prices, running ads and evaluating offers, you must be prepared to the work of physically preparing your property for sale.
The preparation will pay off in increased offers and the ability to sell at the price you want. Here are some simple tips to prepare your property.
1. Look for issues to be addressed.
Take a good, clear-eyed look at your property. If you have lived there for a number of years, you may be used to a certain issue and not realize how it will be perceived by a potential buyer. Remember, buying property is a major investment, and the buyers will be very careful in inspecting the home themselves and using a home inspector. This may be a good time to bring in a home inspector to identify issues.
2. Take a look at other properties in your neighborhood.
If houses are selling in your neighborhood, it may be worth the time to drive around and note what has been done to present the property. This is also a good time to call in a real estate agent and get his or her opinion about what will need to be done to get the most out of selling your property.
3. Rate what needs to be addressed.
Some improvements are mostly picking up and cleaning. Others will take more time and cost you money. Look at this as an investment. You may need to clean, repair or replace a furnace. You may need to replace the water heater. There may be plumbing or electrical issues to be addressed. You may have broken gutters or a roof that needs repair.
4. Identify cosmetic issues. Some of the issues you find will not directly affect the new owner’s life, but will make the space more attractive.
- Repainting the interior.
- Putting in a new carpet.
- Patching interior holes.
- Cleaning the space.
5. Creating curb appeal.
Curb appeal means the exterior of your property is clean and attractive. This is important because many potential buyers will make a decision about pursuing a property based on what they see when they drive by. Clean up the yard thoroughly by cleaning up any weeds or unwanted plants in the front of the house. Rake up dead grass or leaves, and keep the yard mowed and edged.
- Trim the hedges or shrubs.
- Pick up any trash from your front yard and keep it cleaned up.
- Clean the windows on the front of the house.
- Fix broken windows and patch caulk as needed.
- Pay attention to how the window treatments appear from the outside, and replace or clean those that are showing wear and tear.
- Make sure the exterior screen and interior front door are in good repair.
- You may want to repaint the door.
- Remove toys and yard maintenance equipment from the driveway and keep it picked up.
- To help in curb appeal and to show off your property at night, consider upgrading your exterior lighting.
- Repair any non-functional lights.
- Pay attention to your back yard, especially if it is visible from an alley or side street. Use the same techniques you would for the front yard.
6. Use an objective opinion.
Hire a good Realtor for an objective opinion. You may not need to hire an actual home inspector to look at your property before you sell. A relative or friend with some experience in selling real estate can walk through your home and give you a good idea on whether you need to fix things up or not.
7. Create (Interior) Cosmetic Appeal
Keep your home bright. Use lighter window treatments and remove objects that may block sunlight. Make sure the windows have been washed recently. Consider using fresh flowers to help brighten a home interior. Clean up the clutter in the basement, garage or attic. Anyone will expect a house to have some clutter, but excessive trash will reduce the appeal. Patch the walls, and repaint as necessary. You may not need to repaint the entire home (buyers will probably have their own ideas on painting). Make sure any new paint matches the existing paint. Many homes have cooking, pet or mold odors. Try to identify and eliminate the causes of any offensive odors.
8. CHECK THE “BONES” Of The Home
After size, style, and location, a home buyer’s primary concern is the condition of the home’s basic structure and major mechanical systems. Most buyers do not want to invest a great deal of money correcting problems in such critical areas.
- Roof structure and covering
- Foundation, basement, and/or crawl space
- Central heating and air conditioning systems
- Electrical system
- Plumbing system