Now that you’re ready to list your home it’s time to prepare the property for sale!
I’m sure you’re even more excited than I am to get it on the market, see buyers coming through, and of course, get an offer. Selling a house is a fun and exciting process, but it can also be stressful and aggravating at times.
One of the most important things to remember is that you only get one chance to make a first impression with prospective buyers. The time you initially take to prepare your home for sale will prove invaluable once it hits the market. To officially begin the journey, please give these helpful tips a quick read as preparing the property is a crucial step that should not be overlooked.
While this list might not get into every little detail that relates to your specific property, it does mention items that should be done. In the end, investing time, effort and/or resources into the property will benefit you as a seller greatly.
Disassociate Yourself from the Home- It’s time to remove your attachment to the property and think of the sale as a business transaction. Your mindset must change from selling “your home” to selling a house that you happen to own and doing whatever it takes to make it stand out amongst the competition.
Select a REALTOR®- When choosing to work with a REALTOR®, you’re choosing to work with someone who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) with a membership comprising over 1 million brokers and salespeople who are bound by a strong Code of Ethics. As a REALTOR®, I’m continuously pursuing educational opportunities, attending conferences, as well as taking part in local community groups and events to become a more seasoned real estate professional.
Get Your Documents in Order- Prepare yourself for inquiries that might arise regarding the property, as well as, be able to present necessary documentation that your listing agent, attorney or potential buyers may request. Ex: deed/mortgage satisfaction, letter/copies of rental agreements, average utility bill expenses, tax bills, list of recent updates/improvements to the property, etc.
De-Personalize, De-Clutter & Get Organized- Create an environment where buyers can envision themselves in the space. Remove as many personal items & photos as needed to help keep potential buyers from becoming distracted during showings or viewing online photos. Go through the entire house tossing, donating & packing up everything to make the house feels less cluttered and more spacious. Clear bookshelves, tabletops, bedroom dresser tops and china cabinets of ‘nick-knacks’ as it also helps to eliminate distractions and makes spaces feel bigger. Don’t forget the basement, attic, and garage. Also, organize closets and kitchen cabinets/drawers by neatly stacking dishware or placing items in decorative storage boxes.
Remove Your Moveable’s & Lighten Up! -Take the time to remove whatever items you plan to take with you. Ex: window treatments, lighting fixtures, packed boxes and any other items not included in the sale of the property. Get rid of heavy drapery and window coverings as they can make a space feel dark. Open up the blinds and shades letting light in from every available window. Bright, sunny rooms sell houses.
Remove It or Replace It- Walk through the house and make a list of all things which need to be repaired and/or replaced.
o Paint rooms to freshen them up in neutral colors
o Paint the front door, garage door, and any exterior trim to make the house more appealing
o Replace burned-out light bulbs & outdated light fixtures
o Replace broken or outdated appliances, leaky faucets & fixtures
o Re-caulk/Re-grout tiles in bath & kitchen
o Fix any broken locks, doors, sliders, screens, and drawers to ensure all open easily
Make the House Sparkle & Shine Inside & Out-
o Vacuum and clean all carpets, rugs & window coverings. Mop the floors
o Dust the furniture
o Wash the windows & don’t forget the window blinds
o Put our fresh kitchen & bath towels, blankets & bedspreads
o Air out closed spaces and place lightly scented air fresheners throughout the home
o Remember the utility room… wipe down tops of water heater, washer & dryer
Consider Curb Appeal of the Home- Make sure the lawn is mowed, leaves are raked, and landscape hedges are trimmed. Plant flowers to make the home more inviting and appealing from the street. Make the front entryway picture-perfect with lovely planters, a bench, and a new mailbox. In the winter months, make sure snow is shoveled from the driveway and sidewalks.
Final Staging- Arrange furniture making sure pathways are clear and rooms feel spacious and defined. Adjust and align window shades/blinds so they are level and let the maximum amount of sunlight into rooms. Pay close attention to bathrooms ensuring the toilet lids are down and private toiletries are not visible. Take one final walk through and make adjustments considering the buyer’s perspective. Now that the property is ready to show, call your REALTOR® to arrange for pictures to be taken of the entire property- inside & out.
It is Showtime! - Schedule steady convenient times, including both weekdays & weekends, when the house can be shown to buyers. Do your best to make the home available for open houses. Maintain the cleanliness of your home, inside and out, daily. Keep promotional flyers showcasing the house on the kitchen counter for buyers to take with them.