If you are planning on moving this spring or summer, now is the time to start preparing your home for sale. There is plenty of competition and inventory in most areas of the country. If you are lucky enough to have location, location, location in your favor requiring nothing more than a “For Sale” sign in your front yard, this post isn’t necessarily for you.
But…you might want to pay attention anyway if you’d like to learn how to sell your home fast.
The majority of homeowners need to do a little prep and hard work in order to get their home ready to sell. That is, if you have any chance of giving their home a “Best in Show” in your neighborhood.
The reason I say that you need to begin getting your home ready to sell now (it’s mid-February) is because there is a long list of items that you need to check off and/or tend to.
I tapped into a few great resources:
No time to waste.
Here is your basic honey-do list to get you started.
1. Fix everything that is broken. Take a walk around your property and your house and take note on your curb appeal and parts of your house that are in disrepair or need a little sprucing up. Make a list of interior problems and prioritize them by “must-do” working your way through to “would be great to do”.
2. De-clutter the entire house. Sell, giveaway or store all unnecessary items. Remove all of the scatter rugs, out-of-season clothes, and excess furniture. Make do with a little less of your modern conveniences for a short while. Remember that you are preparing, or staging, your home for prospective buyers. Clutter = No elbow room.
3. Depersonalize the house. It’s easier for prospective homebuyers to imagine their stuff in the house if your stuff is everywhere.
4. Get ready to clean like you’ve never cleaned before…inside and out. Windows, the exterior of your home and bathrooms are major areas of concern.
5. Look at your floors. Carpeting that has frays or that is worn thin needs to be replaced. Don’t bother with the best carpet that they have to offer. A low-pile, neutral colored carpet is the way you want to go. Rent a steam cleaner to thoroughly clean your carpet if they are in good shape. If you have hardwood floors, look at them carefully and refinish them, if necessary.
6. Be sure to have matching appliances in the kitchen. Don’t go out and spend a small fortune on top-of-the-line appliances. If you haven’t replaced your appliances in the last several years, it will pay to have new ones installed. Kitchens are one of two major selling points in a home.
7. Speaking of selling points…let’s talk bathroom. If you have a dark blue toilet or vanity, it’s time to make a change. Buyers like white toilets, tubs and sinks. While you are at it, be sure that the bathroom lighting and plumbing fixtures have the same finish and are fairly new.
8. Mismatched hardware throughout your home isn’t very appealing. Do you think people won’t notice that your front door handle and hinges are brushed nickel and that the back door is brass. Wrong! Make it all match and keep it modern.
9. Neutral colors. You knew it was coming. Paint that red dining room beige. You’re trying to sell your house to potential homebuyers and you have no clue what their tastes are. You will appeal to a much broader spectrum of buyers if you stick with neutral colors. Paint is cheap and easy.
10. Look at your cabinetry in your kitchen and bathrooms. Have a good friend (with taste) come in and tell you the truth. Do they look great? If not, reface and/or repaint them. Add new (matching) hardware while you’re at it. You can also add trim to doors, crown molding to the top and a trim piece along the edge of the bottom to fancy things up a bit at minimal cost.