Thanks to HGTV and shows alike, gone are the days where no preparation is needed prior to placing your home on the market. There are now some necessary steps to be considered in order to set your home apart and sell at the top of the market. This may require some cash out of pocket, a dose of patience, and something most people don’t want to deal with. I totally get it! But ignoring these factors can ultimately net you less when you sell, or worse, not sell at all.
Here are 10 steps that I found to yield the highest return when it comes to preparing your home for today’s market. Let’s dive in!
Exterior- this is a very important step because the exterior of your home is the buyers first impression. It literally can make the difference between whether they call their agent to schedule a showing or pass. Look at your home through the eyes of a buyer. Stand street view and consider the following:
- Clean the outside of your home- power wash, even shampoo if you must! There are relatively inexpensive products you can find at your local home improvement stores that work wonders. One that I found effect is E-Z house wash. Clean your gutters, screens, and windows.
- Does your landscaping need a facelift? Depending on the time of year you are selling your home will determine how much time and energy you will spend here. Spring/Summer/Fall- take time out to brighten your landscaping, lay down fresh mulch.
- Make sure your front door is inviting, repaint if necessary
- Replace outdated exterior lighting fixtures
- Buy new house numbers if necessary- Be sure the buyers can see them from the street/curb.
- Buy a welcome mat
- Don’t overlook your mailbox. Does it need to be painted or replaced?
Eliminate as much clutter as possible. Clutter can cost you a sale. Rent storage units, pods. Ask a friend to borrow some space in their garage. If you are not able to spend extra money on storage, and rather not bother friends or family, you have the option of using your own garage if you have one. This space is the most forgiving to buyers.
Organize ALL closets and drawer spaces. Buyers may look there
Make any repairs. This is to avoid buyers from making a mental list of post purchase expenses. This will affect the amount of money you will ultimately walk away with at the closing table. For example, the leaky faucet in your kitchen may cost you $50 to repair. Well to the buyer they will see that as a way costlier repair and propose $1,000 less off the price of your home. The benefit of repairing all items upfront definitely outweighs the cost later.
Rearrange furniture to make rooms appear as large as possible
Clean. Make every surface shine from ceiling fans to baseboards. Don’t forget the interior windows, mirrors, and floors. Let’s really focus on scrubbing every inch of the kitchen and bathrooms. Lastly, take a look at the air vents, do they need to be cleaned or replaced?
Depersonalize every room. Remove photos, posters, or artwork. This may require spackling, and painting afterwards to take care of the nail holes. If you do decide to paint, let’s go as neutral as possible. I recommend flat white, it’s cheapest and it hides imperfections.
Buy new linen and pillows if necessary. Again, neutral is best.
Step 9- Probably 2nd most import next to exterior
Eliminate all odors- this is potentially another deal killer. Another tip- don’t trust your own noses, you live there. Ask a friend or family member that will be honest with you to walk through your home. This is especially huge if you have furry family member, smoke cigarettes or cigars. The last thing we want to do is have a buyer that is asthmatic or has allergies to animals or smoke to walk in the front door and decide to turn right back around because of the odor.
Step 10- My fav
Let go emotionally and get ready for an offer!