When selling a house, homeowners want to know the secret to a quick sale and money in their pocket. The secret is simply creating the best possible first impression. In today’s competitive real estate market, it is important to prepare your house so it stands out from the competition. Spending a little time and money to prepare it can help you sell your house quicker and for top dollar.
Before you put your house on the market, consider the following steps to a sold house:
1. Hire a Home Inspector: A competent home inspector will thoroughly inspect your house for possible repairs that you may need to fix when preparing your home for the market. In most cases, buyers do not want to move in and make repairs and improvements. They want “model-ready” and the items that need fixing, they will want an allowance. In the long run, it pays to know what to expect and rectify the problems that potential buyers will want repaired before signing on the dotted line.
2. Update & Make Improvements: Updating your house could be as simple as changing the light fixtures to remodeling a kitchen or bath. Improvements will give your house an updated appearance that potential buyers look for when purchasing a home.
3. Replace Carpeting: Replacing worn-out carpeting is very important for the overall appearance. When buyers walk through a home for sale, they will immediately start deducting every item that needs replaced from the price of the house. A lot of home sellers believe that giving an allowance for items that need to be replaced will be an added incentive. However, the negative impact of worn-out, dated items could be the cause of a lost sale.
4. Rent a Storage Unit or Use a Friend’s Garage: Most sellers will need to remove about half of their furnishings and accessories. The goal is to increase the appearance of square footage by removing these pieces. A room with fewer items will appear larger.
5. Fresh Paint: One of the least expensive ways to get a fresh, clean, up-dated look is to paint. Home buyers want a home that is in “move-in ready” condition. To make the rooms appear larger and appealing to most, use neutral color paint such as sand or taupe.
6. Update the Front Door: The front entrance to your house should look as inviting as possible. Your goal, of course, is for the potential buyers to make it passed the front door and into the house. This means that the front door should either be replaced or freshly painted depending on its condition. You may want to also consider replacing the handle if necessary.
7. Curb Appeal: Apply fresh mulch, trim all bushes and add colorful flowers in the front beds and beside the front door.
8. Clean, Clean, Clean and Then Clean Some More: If you do nothing to prepare your house for the market, at least make sure it is squeaky clean. Hire a professional cleaning service, do whatever is takes to work top to bottom, inside and out cleaning things you never knew were there. The windows need to sparkle, the floor needs to shine, carpets and drapery should be spotless or replaced.
9. De-clutter & De-personalize: Staging your house to sell is completely different than decorating your home in which to live. This step is where your storage unit will come in handy. Remove unnecessary furniture and accessories that cause clutter or make the room appear smaller. Remove all personal items such as family photos, awards or personal collections. Potential buyers need to be able to visualize their family living in the home and not be distracted by the current seller’s personal belongings.
10. Sell your House: This is, of course, the most important step. If you have followed all of the preceding steps, you have just maximized the potential of a sold house and money in your pocket.