GETTING READY TO SELL
Before putting your home on the market, you’ll want to create a plan to enhance your property. Many clients find it helpful to keep a notebook or binder to organize all the details related to selling a home. Tour your home inside and out, asking these questions:
- As people walk through the door, what will they like or dislike?
- What needs fixing, painting, cleaning?
- Any problems you’ve learned to live with that now need to be addressed?
Whether you paint your house or fix up the yard, your efforts don’t need to be costly. Often a coat of paint or minor repairs can go a long way in attracting serious buyers. To make things easy, I’ve created a checklist you can follow to get your home ready to put on the market.
Buyers expect a spotless house, inside and out. So clean everything, especially windows and windowsills. Scrub walls and floors, tile and ceilings, cupboards and drawers, kitchen and bathrooms. Wash scuff marks from doors. Brush away cobwebs in entryways. Clean light fixtures, replace burnt out bulbs. Sweep out the fireplace. Don’t forget the laundry room, including cleaning the washer and dryer.
Cut the Clutter & Remove Personal Items
People are turned off by rooms that look and feel cluttered. Remember, potential buyers are buying your house, not your furniture and decorations. Help them paint a picture of themselves with their possessions in your home.Keep furniture to a minimum so your rooms feel large, light, and airy. As you clean, pack away your personal items, such as pictures, valuables, and collectibles. Discard or store surplus books, magazines, videotapes, extra furniture, rugs, blankets, etc. Consider renting a storage unit or portable pod to eliminate clutter in your home, backyard, garage and attic. Don’t let anything detract from making your best first impression.
They’re an important consideration to many buyers. Remove as much clothing as you can as it will make your closets look spacious.
A new coat of paint can do wonders. It makes everything look bright and new. To make rooms look larger, choose light or neutral colors (like beige or white).
Check its condition. If it’s worn, consider replacing it. It’s an easy and affordable way to help sell your home faster. Again, light, neutral colors, such as beige, are best. If you don’t replace it, get all carpets and hardwood floors professionally cleaned.
Repairs and Renovations
It’s best to avoid making major renovations just to sell your house; it’s unlikely you will recoup all those costs from the selling price. Make minor repairs to items such as leaky faucets, slow drains, torn screens, gutters, loose doorknobs, and broken windows. Make sure repairs are well done; buyers won’t take you seriously if your home-improvement efforts look messy, shoddy, or amateurish.
Leaks and Moisture
Water stains on ceilings or in the garage alert buyers to potential problems. Don’t try to cosmetically cover up stains caused by leaks. If you’ve fixed the water problem, repair the damage and disclose in writing to the buyer what repairs were made.
Don’t discount the “Wow” factor. You want to make a good first impression. Drive through your neighborhood to get a sense of what others are doing to keep their homes looking attractive. Then approach your own house as if you were a potential buyer. How does it look? Does it “wow” you? Will its curb appeal attract buyers? Note what needs improving, such as trimming trees, planting shrubs, or painting gutters. Little details will convey that you’ve cared for your home. Remember, this is your opportunity to “sell” your home to its best advantage. Do what you can to make it someone’s dream home.
If the exterior paint is peeling or blistering (or if you can’t remember the last time you painted it), your house needs some attention. That also goes for stain that is significantly faded. A newly painted or stained exterior will help sell your house faster. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, you’ll increase your home’s curb appeal and value.
Grab people’s attention by enhancing your yard and landscaping. If your house looks inviting and well-maintained from the street, people will imagine that it’s attractive on the inside, too. You’ll want to prune bushes and hedges and trim trees. Keeping your lawn looking healthy and green can be a challenge due to California’s drought. If you still have lawn, keep it mowed and the edges trimmed. Or, replace water-thirsty grass with native plants that require less maintenance. Mulch and colorful flowers can spruce up any front or backyard. Lastly, be sure your fence is painted and in good condition.
Keep your driveway and sidewalks free of leaves. Be aware that buyers may visit in the evenings after work, so make sure your walkways are well lit. If you store firewood, keep the stacks orderly. Clean-out any standing water in birdbaths or fountains.
The Front Door
An attractive entry catches a buyer’s eye and says, “Welcome.” Highlight this area of your house with decorative touches, such as a wreath on the door or new shrubs and flowers around the steps. For an even grander entry, clean and paint your front door. If necessary, replace it. Don’t forget to fix and polish doorknobs, and repair torn screens. Put the finishing touch by putting out a new welcome mat.
Keep yourself organized with the following checklist:
Clean and Maintain
_ Windows, sills, and screens
_ Walls and floor
_ Cupboards and drawers
_ Light fixtures
_ Ceiling fans
_ Carpet and rugs
_ Laundry room
_ Replace furnace filter
_ Dust furniture, TV and computer screens
_ Remove clutter
_ Pack personal items
_ Leaky faucets and plumbing
_ Torn screens
_ Slow drains
_ Loose doorknobs
_ Deck boards
_ Broken windows
_ Electrical fixtures
_ Water stain damage
_ Broken appliances
_ Damaged walls and ceilings
_ Worn carpet and rugs
_ Damaged sidewalks and steps
_ Stain or paint deck
_ Store tools
_ Roll up garden hose
_ Paint or stain exterior
_ Prune bushes and hedges
_ Trim trees
_ Mow lawn, fertilize, edge, and trim
_ Weed gardens, plant flowers
_ Clean driveways
_ Stack firewood
_ Clean out birdbaths
_ Caulk windows and doors
_ Repair and paint fences
_ Seal asphalt driveway
_ Make sure doors close properly
_ Enhance entryway
_ Replace welcome mat