How To Prepare Your Home for Sale Checklist
The real estate market is competitive. It does not matter whether it is a seller’s market or a buyers market, the market is competitive. A how to prepare your home for sale checklist may be just the edge you need to muscle out the other seller competition in your area.
Selling your home is a big deal. Making your home more appealing to qualified buyers is not something you can approach willy nilly. A how to prepare your home for sale checklist can ensure that you do not overlook any detail and that your home sells quickly.
Make Your List Check it Twice
Your how to prepare your home for sale checklist should be flexible and it should be well thought out. Make the list, then go through it again. Consult with your agent to see if they have any suggestions, and that consider adding those points to your list.
A how to prepare your home for sale checklist should be looked at as a guidance for your projects but not a terminal list. In other words, staying flexible, and being willing to make adjustments as you go is important.
Some things should be incorporated to any sellers how to prepare your home for sale checklist, while other things will be exclusive to your particular home situation. For example, landscaping, should e on every seller list. That curb appeal is critical to get buyer’s attention.
Your list may include things that are more specific to your home like hiring a garage door service to repair that squeaky garage door problem. In all cases, make the list, check it over, get some professional input, and stay flexible.
What is Special About Your Home?
Your how to prepare your home for sale checklist should be focused on highlighting the special features of your home. For example, your home has cathedral ceilings in the foyer that give the home a grand entrance. On your checklist you should include things like clearing away any cobwebs, painting the foyer to make it feel even larger, and decluttering the foyer to highlight the wow factor.
Breaking your how to prepare your home for sale checklist into small easy to accomplish tasks starting with highlighting the wow features will make the tasks seem less daunting. For example, if you have a swimming pool this can be a big selling feature, consider what it will take to really make it a welcoming sight to potential buyers.
Making a list that is focused on putting your money where it will deliver the best ROI is vital to successfully sell your home. In other words, don’t focus on areas that are not going to be big selling points with buyers.
Remember that you are competing not only with other owners in your neighborhood but with a local real estate developer that is building new homes. You have to find the things in your home that deliver character and make your home more attractive to buyers than a cookie-cutter developer home.
Landscaping is a big winner for many reasons so make sure that it is on your list of how to prepare your home for sale checklist. You want your yard to be inviting, and you want there to be plenty of curb appeal when people pull up. Even if your landscaping is not especially inviting right now, make sure it is on the list of how to get your house prepared for sale.
If you need to consult with an arborist or hire one to clean up your trees, go for it. It is a worthy investment. Experts agree that landscaping can add about 14% value to your home. About 5.34 million homes were sold in 2019 and many of those homes were sold because the outdoor areas let buyers envision living a lifestyle that included beautiful outdoor entertainment space.
Remember those local developers that we talked about competing with, one of the things that they cannot offer is mature landscaping. If you got it, flaunt it, it will give you an edge.
What Else Needs To be On Your How to Prepare Your Home for Sale Checklist?
There are simple, inexpensive things that should be on everyone’s how to prepare your home for sale checklist. Here are a few things that should be on yours:
- Paint everything a neutral color. Paint is cheap and a worthy investment. Paint the walls a neutral color. You want to give buyers the opportunity to picture how they would decorate your home, a neutral paint color gives them a blank slate to envision your home as their dream home.
- Declutter every space. Decluttering is important. Making the home feel less personal is a great way to give buyers the opportunity to feel like they can make it their own home.
- Have the carpets professionally cleaned. You do not have to invest in new flooring, as a matter of fact, it is strongly discouraged. Pay for professional carpet cleaning it will freshen things up and make your house more attractive.
When you are making your how to prepare your home for sale checklist, keep in mind that one of the ways to quickly sell your home is to get rid of the clutter, make sure it is clean, and inviting, and make it feel less personal.
If you need to rent a storage space to stash all the extra stuff you have around the house. Don’t forget to add clean out the garage to your list as well. Tidying up the garage, attic, basement, and other storage areas will make them look larger, and help to sell the house. No buyer likes to see a cluttered area. It makes it hard to see how much space is available to store their stuff.
Here is a little trick you can use if you do not want to invest time in painting the whole house. Consider painting just the trim, doors, and door frames. A high gloss white paint will add a little pop to your space and give it a clean crisp look. However, if you have some very custom colors painted on the walls, you should paint the walls something neutral.
If the walls are in good shape with a few scuffs and marks here and there, you can get away with washing the walls. Use a mild cleanser like dish detergent and a damp rag.
If you cannot manage the cleaning, and prep work on your own, consider hiring some professional help. Getting certain things done is critical enough to call on outside help if you need it.
Where Should You Not Put Money or Effort
It is a great idea to get some new window coverings, but new windows should not be on your how to prepare your home for sale checklist. You want to make your home look great but you do not want to sink in thousands of dollars to do it.
Things like new windows are a great investment when you are going to stay in the home because you get to enjoy the ROI that you get from things like energy savings. The fact is windows do not sell homes. They are looked at as some added value, but buyers would much more prefer some new appliances over new windows.
Doing major renovations to sell your home is never a good idea because they are expensive, and usually do not deliver as much value as you think they will to the purchase price. Of course, besides the expense, there is the time factor involved with major projects.
Now if you live in a popular retirement area, making some changes to make your home ADA friendly or to help a senior see possibility of being able to maintain independent living that may be a worthy investment. Of course, there is a huge difference between adding a handrail in the bathroom and adding an elevator. Use good judgment when it comes to how much money you want to invest to make your home appealing to any audience.
Be Weary Of Over Eager Agents
Your selling agent is your partner in selling your home. They invest time, energy, and marketing to sell your home. They have a vested interest in you making it as easy as possible for them to get buyers interested.
In many cases, if the how to prepare your home for sale checklist was left up to your agent, you would have an incredibly long list of things that need to be accomplished. Your home may need a new air conditioner and some paint, but your agent sees tons of potential if you are just willing to put the money into “this and that”. The intentions are good but you have to be able to say “no”.
Set a budget for the money that you can reinvest into getting your house into great shape, and do not let anyone persuade you to take on debt or get in over your budget. At the end of the day, a savvy agent will be able to sell your home without the new seal coating on the driveway, new kitchen countertops, or another extravagant investment.
Do what you can afford to do to make your house look its best. Now is not the time to make major investments in the home, unless of course, the heating system needs to be replaced or another system that will prevent the home from being sellable.
Use Technology To Decide
You do not have to be a real estate professional to take advantage of apps for real estate investors to figure out what should be on your how to prepare your home for sale checklist. Investors know what sells a property and what does not. Getting in on some insiders tips from people that make money off selling real estate is an easy option. It can help you to compile a worthwhile list and help you to decide where you want to put your money.
Gathering some pro tips can help to ensure that you create a how to prepare your home for sale checklist that gives you the quick sale results that you want and helps you to save some money. Seeing what other people are doing to get their homes ready for selling can be just what you need to come up with your own plan.
Some Common Mistakes Other Sellers Have Made
You may love Aunt Sally’s giant hutch that takes up a lot of wall space, but buyers will see just a smaller room that looks cramped. Remember we talked about how important it is to declutter the space. Remember when you bought the house how you felt about it, you want to bring that same feeling to potential buyers. Overcrowded, over-cluttered, odd-looking personal items are all well and fine in your world, but not when you are trying to convince someone that they can be happy here to.
Declutter and depersonalize the space. Leave a few pictures out, but do not overwhelm people with personal gear. Don’t make this mistake. Put a reminder on your checklist to clear away anything that draws attention away from the greatness of the house.
Another common mistake is hiding problems. If the basement leaks, locking the door and saying no one has seen the key in 20 years, will not get your house sold. If the basement leaks after every rainstorm you can either fix the problem with a sump pump or you can disclose the issue and know that you will have to be a little more flexible in your pricing.
When Should You Start Your How To Prepare Home For Sale Checklist?
The best time to pull your list together and get to work is as soon as you decide you will be selling your home. Coming up with a thought on how to prepare a home for sale checklist can take a little time. You want to be able to get to work and get that listing out there.
A final tip, when you make you how to prepare home for sale checklist, be sure that you also set a schedule for when each item on your checklist will be addressed. Stick to your list and follow your schedule and the list will be completed before you know it.