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Getting Your House Ready for Sale

Research Housing Market

The first step in getting your house ready to sell is to figure out whether it is a good time to sell or not. Market conditions fluctuate regularly and houses tend to move faster during certain times of the year. Realtor.com is a great place to analyze market trends and decide the ideal time to list your house for sale. Sellers can also utilize Realtor.com to find some local, comparable homes that have recently sold to use as a benchmark of the market conditions, as well as come up with an estimate of the value of your home. It can cost anywhere from 9%-10% of the sale price to sell a home, so the proceeds from the sale need to cover those expenses if the seller hopes to turn a profit.  A well-respected realtor should be able to assist with everything from finding local comparables to determining a reasonable listing price.

Home Inspection

Inspections aren’t a required step when selling your home, but it can be a great investment when getting a house ready to sell, and avoid wasting time and money on unnecessary repairs. A pre-sale home inspection also can give potential buyers information and intimate knowledge of the property. Even if the house looks to be in great condition online and in person, buyers will want to know what is working as it should as well as anything that will need to be fixed. Getting the inspection first and completing all of the repairs at the same time will drastically reduce the amount of time and money sellers typically will spend on renovations and repairs. Going over the inspection report with a realtor will help sellers make the distinction between which items are worth fixing and which are not. Getting a home inspection helps potential buyers feel more confident when submitting an offer and, in turn decreases the chances of them backing out.

Curb Appeal

The curb appeal of a property is the first impression a seller has on a potential buyer. When a buyer gets out of their car, they will have an immediate positive or negative reaction. Great curb appeal is one of the best things homeowners can do to increase their home’s marketability, it can also be incredibly affordable. Keeping the lawn mowed, hedges trimmed and gutters cleaned is a great start to creating an inviting and orderly front lawn. Another cost affective way sellers can spruce up their exterior is to install flower beds and mulch to create a more “finished look”. As the exterior of the house becomes more curated, sellers often feel compelled to power wash their driveway, walkway and outside of their house, to get rid of any pollen, mold or dirt that has built up over time. Repainting the front door is also a popular method sellers use to upgrade their curb appeal, repainting a drab front door can decidedly alter the impression the outside of the house will make on prospective buyers.

Declutter

Decluttering and organizing a space will go a long way in appealing to potential buyers. When a home is clutter-free, buyers are able to focus on the actual home instead of on the superfluous junk, knick-knacks and overflowing closets.  Bu byers love seeing space and storage, the more, the better. Concentrating on one room/area at a time can help to get through an entire home systematically. Removing half of the stuff out of closets then neatly organizing what is left will give the impression of more storage space. After each room is completed, overflow should be boxed up and labeled, if the house has a garage, its perfectly okay to stack the boxes in there until the property is sold, however storing boxes in a basement can obstruct the buyers view of a potential selling feature. If sellers run out of room, renting a storage unit can be instrumental in creating enough space and removing unwanted or cumbersome items from the house, and creating a clean, spacious, uncluttered home.

Deep Clean

An inarguable step when preparing a property for sale is carrying out a deep clean of the entire house. Ideally being completed just before staging, the goal should be to eliminate any doubt from a prospective buyers mind. Every surface, toilet, and floor will need to be scrubbed and wiped down. Rugs and curtains need to be cleaned, and every nook, cranny, and corner needs to be entirely devoid of dust bunnies. Hiring a professional cleaner can save time and stress, as well as improve the chances that nothing goes unnoticed. Buyers will be walking through with a fresh set of eyes, and will notice things that are often overlooked by the seller. Many sellers elect to repaint the interior of their house, painting over orange and green walls with neutral colors like whites, light greys, and light beiges. This will make the home appear brighter, bigger, and more welcoming, conveying a blank slate to buyers. Repainting almost always makes a great impression, and first impressions are everything when preparing a home for sale.

Staging

Staging a home can really help to sell faster and for more money. The kitchen should always come first. The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless, and sellers will more than likely get 85% of their money back. The most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware. When staging it is important to strike a balance between a staged home and a lived in home; over styling can make the house look inauthentic and overly formal. Arranging furniture to best showcase the floor plan and maximize space is crucial when setting up a property for showings. A great way to cut down on clutter is by putting away personal photos and picture frames scattered throughout the home. Making the staging manageable and low maintenance is also key when beginning to show a house, the house needs to be ready to show at all times.

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