5 Things to do BEFORE You List Your House
Selling season will quickly be upon us & if you have plans to move this spring/summer now is the time to start getting your house in tip top shape in order to receive top dollar. Does the thought alone overwhelm? Not to fret, you don't need to re-furnish your house with all the latest, BUT you do need to clean & refresh so that your home will show the very best it can.
While you are making plans to leave you're home & perhaps you're already losing your attachment to it, you have to remember the buyer's perspective: they're looking for their dream house...and it just might be yours, if you show it properly.
So FIVE things to do BEFORE you list your home.
1. Focus on the front. The very second a buyer drives up to your home, there are deciding whether or not they like it. Is your yard overgrown? Trim it up, even the trees. Typically on inspection, the inspector will call out any trees that are overgrown or touching the home, which means before you close, you'll have to trim them up anyway. Just get it done before you list it. Is your front door chipped? Paint it. Is your welcome mat ragged? Replace it. Then pot some seasonal flowers & you've set the perfect stage for them. Before they even open the door they've already started to feel at home.
2. Clean up & move out. Well, don't literally move out, but move out as much clutter as you can. Especially in your closets. Buyer's love a home with ample storage & even if your home as it, if you're closets are bursting, buyer's will get the impression it's crowded & there isn't enough room. Clean out every single closet, donate what you can & rent a storage unit if you have to...because I'm even talking about that garage of yours. The one with boxes piled to the ceiling. Yeah, get those cleaned out too. Then pull on your rubber gloves and get to scrubbing, literally. A sparkling clean house gives buyers the impression of pride of ownership. They'll assume you've take great care of it the whole time you've lived there if it is sparkling. This give buyer's great peace of mind. If you need to call a cleaning service, do it.
3. Paint. This is case by case in some instances, but my general rule is this: If you have a red family room, repaint it. I know you probably love it & I'm sure it looks wonderful, but most buyers will be turned off by it. Realistically a can of paint + supplies costs you $50 + an afternoon. It's worth it. From a buyer's perspective if they know they can move in without having to paint right away? Major selling points, plus, a fresh coat of paint covers up all those nicks & dings you've got going on too. Not sure which color to paint? Go for a great griege (mix between gray & biege) ask your local hardware store what their top 3 neutral paint sellers are & pick between those.
4. Lighting + Small Repairs. Got a door your toddler colored on? Fix it. A bathroom towel bar that's loose? Tighten it. A door that squeaks when you open it? Oil it. All those little things that stopped bugging you, they will bug new buyers. Just like you give your car a good detail before you sell it (or am I the only one that does this?), do the same to your house. Once you've got all the little repairs made, consider your lighting. At the very least, make sure you've got working lightbulbs in everything (and turn all the lights on & open all the windows for showings), and perhaps consider updating a few fixtures if they are looking a bit dated. It's relatively inexpensive but packs a big punch.
5. The Kitchen. Take serious stock of the state of your kitchen, most buyer's say they are looking for a home, but they are actually looking for a kitchen. If you're inclined to spend any money, this is the place to do it. Seller's typically re-coup 85% of what they spend in this area. Some ideas? Update sink + hardware. Add hardware to your cabinets. Replace light fixtures. Paint your cabinets -- you can't go wrong with white, but I'm seeing a lot of two toned kitchens lately as well. Gray islands + white surrounds. If you're unsure, consult with a local real estate agent or walk some new build projects in your neighborhood to see what is on trend where you live. At the very least you need to clear the clutter on the countertops & in the cabinets & pantry. Before showings, put away just about everything, the cutting board, the paper towel, the blender, take them all off your counter.
Hi, I'm Amy. When I'm not scouring the valley for the perfect new house, you can usually find me in the kitchen with a gaggle of kids. Chips, salsa and a Diet Coke are usually in hand.