While the current real estate trends make this a seller’s market, homes that are not property prepped for sale can still sit unsold for months at a time. Just having a home with a “For Sale” sign in the yard isn’t going to cut it. If you want to sell your home quickly and for top dollar, follow these 10 tips to prep your home for a flood of offers.
- Spring Clean it One Last Time
One last, final spring cleaning is a great way to start prepping your home to sell. A clean house makes an excellent first impression and lets buyers know that the home has been maintained and cared for. Wash the windows, shampoo the carpets, launder the drapes and linens, clean the baseboards and cabinets as well as the regular cleaning such as vacuuming, dusting, and scrubbing the bathrooms. If that sounds overwhelming, call in the professionals and have a cleaning crew take on part of or all of the cleaning work.
- Let the Sunshine In
Buyers love light. And the more open and light-filled a home is, the bigger it feels. Remove heavy, dark window dressings and replace with new, inexpensive sheers. Use higher wattage bulbs in fixtures and lamps and make sure all your lampshades and light fixture globes are dusted and cleaned.
- Minor Updates Make a Major Difference
Minor updates like new cabinet hardware, a more modern paint color, new drapes or lighting fixtures won’t cost you a ton of money, but will make your home feel newer and buyers will feel like they have less renovations or updates to make themselves. Choose hardware and fixtures that are not too taste specific. Ask the sales person at your local hardware or lighting store what the most popular style is right now and go with that. While a large, expensive renovation may get your house sold – you likely won’t recoup all the money you put into it right away, so choose smaller, but effective updates that won’t break the bank.
- Create the Illusion of Space
One way to make buyers see more storage space is to remove about half the items from all of your closets. Nothing screams “this house has tons of storage!” like an empty shelf. Take all of your clothes that are not the current season and put them into storage. Arrange the remaining clothes neatly in your closet to create the illusion of tons of space.
- Take Yourself Out of Your Home
You’re not selling YOUR house. You’re selling A house. You want buyers to be able to see themselves in this space – not your family. Remove photos, trinkets, and personalized items. It will also help to declutter the house, which brings us to our next tip . . .
- Declutter Your House!
The best way to declutter your house is to invite a good friend over who will be honest with you about what items are distracting or taking up too much space. It’s hard to be objective about your own home. You may love your collection of kitten figurines, but a good friend will let you know that they may need to live in storage until you’re at your next place.
- Stage Your Home
Decluttering and cleaning are not the same as staging. Professional stagers are available in nearly every city to help you with getting your home ready for the market, but you can also try to tackle this yourself. Your realtor can help, as they will know the kinds of layouts and items that turn buyers on or off. The best thing you can do is pare down your home to just the necessary items and update any items that are very out of date. Do you have a huge sectional that takes up your entire den? To a buyer, that may make the room look small and cramped. A new love seat and some updated arm chairs can make the space look large and livable.
Curb Appeal is Your First Impression
Before potential buyers even step foot in your home, they are going to see the outside of it first. And if that first impression is bad, they may not even want to go inside and see all the updates you’ve made. Make sure your lawn is mowed, hedges are trimmed and any toys or recreational items are in storage or put away. If outdoor light fixtures are worn or outdated, replace them. Plant some bright flowers or put out potted plants and make sure any flower beds have been weeded and mulched.
Keep it Clean
When your house is on the market, buyers may come by at any time, and you’ll want your house to be ready for them. As difficult as it may be, try to keep the house clean and tidy at all times so it’s always ready to be shown.
- Use the Right REALTOR®
Probably the most important thing you can do to get your house sold is to choose the right REALTOR® for you and your home. Choose someone who has sold many homes in your neighborhood or city and knows that particular market very well. Make sure they are up to date on all the latest technologies for selling homes including virtual tours and social media marketing. This can make all the difference in the world.
A seller’s market doesn’t guarantee your house will sell, or at least that it will sell quickly. Use these ten tips to help get your home looking its best and sold before you know it.