By Jodie Chandler
Inventory is low. It is a seller’s market, and buyers are flocking to new listings.
Thinking of selling? Now is the time. But are you ready – more importantly, is your home ready? Getting your home ready to list can seem stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Where do you start (after calling me, of course)?
Believe it or not, there are a lot of people out there who are ready to sell, but the thought of getting their home ready to be listed for sale scares them off. It doesn’t have to be scary. First thing to do is take a deep breath and get off Pinterest. You have done the research, and we all want the most money for our biggest investment. Making a few small improvements to your home can mean more money in your pocket at closing.
But where to start?
The exterior of your home is the first thing potential buyers will see. Stand outside your home, and give it a good look. What do you see?
Maybe your home could use a good power washing, a landscaping refresh, a topcoat of mulch, some fresh flowers, a new door mat, or a fresh coat of paint on that front door? You want to make people look at your home when they drive by.
Also remember, when doing these simple updates outside, your neighbors will take notice. The moment that for sale sign goes in the yard, neighbors will be talking to their friends about all the updates they have seen you do. And hopefully convince them to take a closer look at all your home when it gets listed for sale.
Remove the clutter
Now, open that front door and open your eyes. Look around, and be “judgey,” because your buyers will be!
Imagine your home as if you were buying it for the first time. Start in one room and carry a box. By depersonalizing your home, buyers will be more apt to picture themselves there.
Now is a good time to start packing. Box your nick-knack collection and remove unneeded furniture to show off the size of your home. Remember, buyers are buying your home, not your stuff.
It is amazing what a fresh coat of paint will do for a room as well. Open those curtains, let that sun shine on your newly updated rooms.
Organize closets and the garage
The two areas of your home that get skipped the most: closets and garages. In your closets, remove what you don’t need. If you’re selling in the summer months, pack up all your winter coats, and declutter. Just think of it as pre-packing. Also, give your closets a fresh coat of bright white paint. Show off all your home’s storage; we all love our roomy closets and ample storage areas.
As for garages, a good cleaning and re-organizing will show off the size of the garage, plus will actually help you pack easier when your home sells. Also, pick a corner of your garage and stack those boxes you have prepacked; don’t forget to label them. Buyers know you’re moving, so they will understand.
Clean and decorate
It is amazing what a good cleaning can do. We all dread it, but put on some good music and go to town.
Wash those baseboards, clean the carpets, and make those bathrooms shine like brand new. It also doesn’t hurt to fluff those pillows on the couch. Even though buyers aren’t buying your stuff, they still take notice.
If you have pets, create a cute corner in your home just for them. Have a crate? Decorate it, make it look like a piece of furniture, and keep those food bowls clean and full!
Take a whiff
Now that your home is all organized and looking listing ready, there’s one more thing to consider – smells. Yes, I said it, and we all judge them – the good and the bad.
If you have animals, try to disguise that odor. Us pet owners don’t smell our four legged friends, however, people without pets do.
Also, think of the season in which you are selling, and use a fragrance that matches that season. A good trick is to clip Febreze car fresheners to your heating and air vents in your home, you’ll be amazed at what they can do.
Avoid a bad inspection
Now that you have your home looking (and smelling) good at a minimum cost, let’s talk about those high-dollar items that might come up in an inspection report. If you have some concerns about some of the mechanics or appliances in your home, consider having a professional out to inspect them.
My advice to a seller is that if you have been putting off a repair or replacement of an appliance, take the plunge and do it before you list your home for sale. Buyers like to see new “stuff.” It gives them comfort knowing that there’s one less thing they have to worry about. Just remember, the less things a potential buyer has to repair or update themselves, the more they will offer.
Nevertheless, be sure use some discretion and/or consult with your realtor. In many cases, some expenses may not be worth it.
A few common things I see on inspection reports that are easy simple repairs that will help you in the long run include: caulking around windows, clogged gutters, and dirty air filters. These simple items should be done before listing your home. It will show that your home is well maintained.
Keep it up
Once your home is listed for sale, the main task from there is to keep it up.
Get into a habit of spending a few extra minutes every morning to load your coffee cup into the dishwasher and make the bed. In the afternoons, take the time to pick-up for the night before binge watching Netflix.
This way, when you get a call from your Real Estate Broker that your home has a showing scheduled, you will be ready.
Jodie Chandler is a Realtor and broker with F.C. Tucker Co. real estate. Find him at talktotucker.com/jodie.chandler.