When you decide to list your home, you don’t realize the magnitude of that decision and the onslaught of things you now must do in order to get your home into pristine showing and selling condition. An endless amount of cleaning and scrubbing, organizing from top to bottom, inside and out; picking apart your property and décor deciding what will stay and what will be departing. What needs a little attention and what can stay as is?
The new reality of selling in our marketplace in most cases is “repair to resell.” You can’t just throw it on the market anymore and pray it will sell. With expert advice from an MLS Realtor or Real Estate Professional as well as astute buyers that want the most turnkey property available to limit the dollars, they need to sink into the home after the purchase. Prepping for a sale has now become an extremely well-planned triad of repairs with a bit of renovation and presentation.
There are some areas that you simply must not ignore:
- Structural and Mechanical
Buyers just simply do not want to have to fork over 10-20K when they buy a home. Buyers are looking at the condition of the shingles, air conditioning and heating systems, electrical panel and plumbing. You may not have to replace any of these items, but the idea is, is if they are on their way out the door – you will most likely get more value in replacing them before you list than having it identified as a deficiency and negotiating down post inspection.
How does the outside of your home look? Does it need a paint job? How do your window trims look, do they need to be scraped and painted? Are there cracks in your stucco or parging that need repair? Does your main door need a paint job? It is imperative that your home wows people the first time they pull up to come see it. The exterior of the home will most likely be the first photo on MLS® and a plethora of other websites. It is definitely worth the time to spruce up.
If it’s the dead of winter outside, you are pretty limited to what you can do – the suggestion would be to dig up some pretty pictures you may have on your phone. Spring and summer, you need to cut back overgrown plants and trees, mow your lawn regularly and water it to keep it looking green. This costs nothing to do but time and is worth the time you invest.
Most buyers are visual people and need to be wowed the moment they walk in the door. How do your walls look? Doors chipped up? Could your door and window trims use some fresh paint? If your home needs a bit of a makeover, go to a paint store and ask about the recently trending colour palates. Make sure its not too off the wall and would go with multiple colours of furniture. Perhaps update any old light fixtures or install some pot lights if your living room doesn’t have much light.
Kitchens are where families fundamentally build their bonds. Buyers always try to envision how life will be in the kitchen space day to day, even if they are not gourmet chefs. Anything you can do to modernize your kitchen is crucial; whether is as simple as changing cabinet hardware or as complicated as refinishing old wood doors. The investment in time and money may be worth it.
Keep them clean and tidy and keep the toilet flushed with the seat down. (I know, it seems so obvious but you would be surprised.) Make sure any caulking around the shower is cleaned and refinished if its peeling. Dust the fan and clean any humidity stains off the walls and ceiling.
Flooring goes a long way and is in the top 3 of what my buyers address when looking at a home. This is one of the primary changes you could make if you could only afford to make 1. There is a plethora of options in a wide range of prices as well. There should always be something available for any budget. Laminate flooring is durable, cost effective and comes in a wide variety of styles. New flooring can make your home look completely different and give the buyers the look they didn’t know they needed.
Of course, these are merely my ideas on some items you can start with when preparing your home for sale. Decluttering closets and storage rooms go a long way and you always feel good when you get those clothes, toys, and knickknacks no one has used for years to the Salvation Army and into the hands of people and kids that could use them often.
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