Perhaps you’d like to wait for warmer weather or once the kids are out of school before you put your home on the market. That gives you several months to start doing some extra work on your home now that could pay off when it comes time to list it. Getting your home in tip-top shape before taking your chances on the real estate market could mean not only a higher list price, but also a quicker time frame for closing the transaction.
Consider the following items to add to your home preparation to-do list:
Make A Good First Impression
From the moment a potential buyer steps up to your condo door or pulls up outside your single family residence, it’s important to help foster positive feelings toward your property. First impressions of a condo will include its front door, and the first glimpse of a single family residence will include the front door, the home’s exterior, its shrubbery and the gutters. It’s important not to underestimate the importance of good lawn care, as a lawn that is lush and well maintained gives the impression that someone will care just as much about the inside of the home as they do the outside. Front doors should be cleaned and painted in a color that’s not off-putting to a large number of buyers. The area around the front door, whether it’s a rug or also includes a porch, should be free of dirt.
Declutter and Neutralize
It’s important for potential buyers to see their family’s day to day life in your home, which is why decluttering your place is a critical component of a successful home sale. Remove any personal photos or artifacts that would cause potential buyers to take note of your family or your organization methods, rather than the home’s overall design, structure and feel. You should think neutral when it comes to your décor items that remain. Not only do neutral colors make rooms appear larger, but they also keep the focus on the home’s design and structure rather than on a very polarizing wall or couch color. It’s also important to do some deep cleaning: Shampoo the carpets, steam the curtains, rebuff hardwood floors, do whatever it takes to make your home shine.
Have a Home Inspection
Having a home inspection conducted prior to listing the home is a great way to have an objective opinion on any repair projects you might need to undertake to drive up your home’s value. Home buyers will recognize the value of a home that doesn’t need major repairs upon purchase, so if you’re able to make some of the improvements now, doing so might net you more success on the market in the future. Areas that inspections often call attention to are the kitchen and bathroom. Figure out where these rooms need the most improvement, and based upon your budget, decide what you’re willing and able to do. Perhaps resurface a chipped bathtub, or reface outdated kitchen cabinets. Small changes like these could yield big payoffs.
Collect and Organize Documentation
Make sure to collect all the necessary data and paperwork potential buyers could possibly inquire about, such as the date of various inspections, the age of the water heater and furnace and the date and description of any improvements you have made to the property in the time you’ve owned it. Anticipate any questions buyers might have and make sure you have the necessary documentation and answers to back them up. This will save you time in the long run and let buyers know you’re on top of your home sale, wanting to make the transaction as smooth as possible.