Get Your House Ready | So you want to sell your house. Where do you start? Start by getting your house clean and well presented. One of the most important things you can do is declutter your house. You are going to be moving so think about this as pre-packing things you won’t need before you move. If you are going to be getting rid of items before you move, do it now. Pack family photos and religious iconography. Why? Because you want your house to appeal to buyers and allow them to picture themselves living in your house.
Clean you house! If there was ever a time for a good, thorough spring cleaning, it is when you are preparing your house for the market. Clean your windows to let in more light. Clean the insides of your appliances. People will open your refrigerator! Obviously wash all floors and surfaces. If you have carpets, hire a cleaning company to steam clean them. This will not only make them look cleaner, but will also help with any smells. Replace any light bulbs that have blown and change the batteries in your smoke detectors. I can’t tell you how many people do not do this! It is a very little item to take care of. Not doing it means your house will be darker, especially if the showings are in the evening, and there will be an annoying beep every few seconds distracting the buyers from your house. If you do not want to do any of this, hire a cleaner. For a few hundred dollars you can save yourself a lot of effort.
Make sure your house has curb appeal! This is your buyers first impression of the house and you want it to be a good one. This means everything from trimming overgrown trees and bushes, to planting flowers or hanging some flower baskets, to power washing the front of your house if it needs it or repainting the front door. Make sure your house really shines. And keep in mind – Landscapers, painters, etc will be busy in the spring. Book them early!
Also take this opportunity to fix anything that is broken or is a safety concern. These will likely come up in the home inspection anyway, so it is best to take care of them upfront. For instance, if you have an outlet that doesn’t work or isn’t grounded, fix it.
What improvements should you do? If it has been a while since you have painted your house or if the colors are very dark or taste specific, consider painting throughout including trim. Buyer like soft neutral colors. Replace small items that are worn out and old looking. A new chandelier in the dining to replace an outdated one is fairly inexpensive and can change the look and feel of the room.
If you are considering a major renovation, like a kitchen or bathroom remodel, contact a real estate agent early to see if the return is worth it. Some major renovations are worth it. This will depend on your hyperlocal market and on what features buyers expect for the money. If you have a timeline to sell by, some renovations can help you sell faster.
It takes time to get your house on the market and a lot of work is done before you list your house. You will need time to do any repairs that your agent suggests. You may even consider getting a pre-inspection of your property so you know about any issues in the house. You can take care of some of them before listing the house to make your selling process smoother.
You will also need time to get stagers and photographers to your house. The spring market means the best stagers and photographers are booked so getting on their calendar earlier is the key to getting the right people in your house.
Getting started early also means your agent can start marketing your house in the agent community before your house comes on the market. This will give agents with interested buyers a chance to get them ready for your listing.