Getting ready to put your house on the market? It involves a lot more than just placing a “For Sale” sign in your yard. Before you sell your home, Realtor.com suggests that you make sure you’re prepared by completing these important tasks that are sure to pay off once potential buyers begin looking at your property.
1. Find a great real estate agent
In a hot market, it might be tempting to sell your home yourself and pocket the cash. Resist the urge, however, because “For Sale by Owner” transactions almost always lead to a sacrifice not only money, but time as well. Instead, conduct some research to find a real estate agent who is knowledgeable about your specific market, and then interview the agent to make sure it’s a good fit.
2. Consider your curb appeal
Because buyers tend to judge a book by its cover, you’ll want to ensure that the first impression they have of your home leaves them wanting to see more. That being said, think about investing some effort into relatively easy fixes, such as planting colorful flowers and repainting the front door.
3. Declutter living areas
When it comes to preparing your house for a showing, less is definitely more. Make sure all of your counters, windowsills, tables, and all other visible areas are rid of clutter, and then tackle the less obvious spots such as closets, drawers and cupboards. If your house is overflowing with stuff, it might give buyers the impression that there won’t be enough space for all of their belongings.
4. Depersonalize your space
Make sure buyers can visualize themselves and their family living in the property by removing personal items and family photos. Also, get rid of any bold artwork and furniture that might not appeal to the general public
5. Repaint walls to neutral tones
Although you might love that bright orange accent wall, it could turn off a potential buyer. Try replacing any potentially off-putting colors with a safe neutral color. Note: a light color will help buyers envision what the walls would like with the color of their choice
6. Touch up scuff marks
Make the house sparkle and look cared-for by scrubbing, and then touching up baseboards, walls and doors.
7. Fix any loose handles
A loose handle or missing lightbulb can have negative effect on a buyer. It can make them stop and think what else in the home might be broken as well.
8. Add some plants
Plants create a more welcoming environment. You also might want to consider placing a bouquet of flowers or bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter or dining table.
9. Conduct a smell test
Foul odors can be a deal breaker, but you might not even notice them. Try inviting an unbiased third party in to try to detect any pet or lingering kitchen smells from your kitchen. If the smells are pervasive, you might need to do some deep cleaning rather than simply trying to mask the odors with candles or plug-in room deodorizers.
10. Clean, clean, clean
Next on the list…clean some more! You want your property to look spotless. Take special care with the bathroom, making sure the tile, counters, shower and floors shine.
11. Hide valuables
From art to jewelry, make sure that your treasured items are out of sight, either locked up or stored offsite.
12. Consider staging
Nothing energizes a house like some new furnishings or even just a perfectly chosen mirror. Think about getting your home staged by a professional. Home stagers will evaluate the current condition and belongings in your house and determine what elements might raise the bar. They also might recommend that you buy or rent some items, or they might just reorganize your knickknacks and bookshelves.