On Stuff That Matters
11 Things to Do Before You Sell Your House
It takes a lot more work to sell a home than to buy one. Anyone who has done it can tell you. If you know the most important steps to take before selling your house, your life will be a lot easier.
If you've never sold a house before, you might be surprised at how hard it can be to get your property ready to sell. From figuring out the right price to list to dealing with contracts, it's a long and tiring process.
Here is a quick list of everything that will be talked about below. You can use this as a guide to go straight to the parts that most interest you.
Here is a list of 10 things that Realtors will tell you to do before you put your home on the market. Every home is different, and different amounts of planning are needed for each one. Some of the things on the list below will need help from a professional to work right. As you go through the list, make sure to talk to your real estate agent to make sure you choose the right paint colors, flooring, etc.
1.Take down personal decorations.
When your house is for sale, many different kinds of people will look at it. Make the environment neutral to get the most feedback. To do this, get rid of any items that show your personal tastes and way of life. If a buyer can look around your house and tell what religion you are, how many kids you have, what you do for a living, and what your favorite alcoholic drink is, you may have a problem.
When a seller's lifestyle choices are front and center, it can be hard for some buyers to feel emotionally connected to a home. This is especially a problem when those choices go against what they want to do. Realtors say to get rid of anything that shows you live in the house.
Once you get rid of all of the above things, you will be ready to sell your home. It will also help you emotionally separate from your home and get ready to move on. Start treating your property like it belongs to someone else. When a buyer looks at your house and asks if anyone lives there, you've done a good job.
2.Hire a home inspector.
Before you put your house on the market, hire a home inspector.
Once you and a buyer have signed a sales contract, the buyer will hire a home inspector to check out your house right away. Why not do it before they do? Most inspections currently cost between $300 and $500. In the big picture, that's like nothing.
Fix everything up before you put your house on the market. You won't be surprised if buyers give you a list of things that need to be fixed after their home inspection.
Inspections are the number one thing that kill deals in this business. You can get rid of the whole problem if you take care of this right away. It might cost you some money, but that's probably money you'd be spending anyway.
When the inspection report is full of problems, buyers will think twice about buying the house. When buyers know that the house has been inspected and all repairs have been made, they are more likely to offer the highest price.
A friend recently worked on a deal where the owner hadn't been to his home in a few years because he had rented it out. He put this house on the market, and my buyer put in an offer.
We did a full home inspection and also checked the septic, radon, and well. All four of the tests were terrible. When we asked the seller to fix something, he got mad, but it was his fault. He wanted the best possible outcome, so he set himself up to be let down.
In the end, the seller paid some of the closing costs for my buyer to keep the deal going. After all the problems we had to deal with, the seller was lucky that my buyer still wanted to buy the house. If he had had these things checked out by a professional before putting his house on the market, the outcome would have been different, and he would not have been surprised.
3.Clean everything. Thoroughly
Everyone has a different level of "clean." What I think is "clean" might not be okay with you. Before you put your house on the market, it needs to be as clean as possible.
Pretend you're selling your house to someone who is afraid of germs. If you can afford it, hire a cleaning crew to come in for a day and do a deep cleaning. It's worth every penny. When a house is just a little bit dirty, it can be hard for people to fall in love with it, even if they are not clean people themselves.
It's funny that many people who buy a house expect it to be cleaner than the one they already live in. This is a fact that needs to be taken into account. A clean house gives the impression that it has been well taken care of and is unique and better than other homes on the market today. Before you sell your home, make sure everything is clean.
4.Remove any signs of pets and children.
Don't Let Pets Sabotage Your Home Sale
If you want to sell your home quickly and for the most money, you'll need to make it appealing to all buyers. Not everyone likes kids and animals. Even if your house has the perfect layout, price, and design, it might not sell if it smells like animals or is full of toys.
Some people won't even finish looking at a house if they see signs that animals have been there. If they see a litter box in the pictures of a place, they may not want to live there.
Don't forget that you can never smell your home the way a potential buyer would. You live there, so you know how it smells. Your real estate agent is the best person to talk to about this.
Mine is the friendliest city I've ever lived in when it comes to pets. People here bring their pets to breakfast, to get their hair cut, and even to the store. It seems like everyone in this town loves animals sometimes, but that's not true.
There are a lot of people who are allergic to pets, and one of them could be your ideal customer. Make sure your home is appealing to them. It could help you get more money at the end of the deal.
Pet odors are one of the most common reasons why a house stays on the market for a long time, according to statistics.
A house that has been messed up by kids can also be unappealing. Before you put your house on the market, make sure your kids don't hang out there too much.
5.Replace Fixtures that are too old
This is a simple fix that can make a big difference in how your house looks. If you have old door handles or chandeliers made of brass, you should get rid of them and get new ones. It makes your house look old and makes potential buyers think they have a lot of work to do before they can move in.
Home improvement stores sell a contractor pack of brushed nickel door handles for $5. Spend some money on designer door handles if you want to sell to wealthy people. If your light switch covers are old, you should also get new ones. You'll be amazed at how much it changes things.
Spend some time walking through your home and making a list of everything that shows how old it is. Before you sell your home, replace as many old things as you can. Be sure to mention essential updates in your listing description.
6.Carpets: Clean or Replace!
"Should I replace the carpet in my house before I sell it?" This is one of the most common questions home sellers ask Realtors.
Most parts of your home show wear and tear less than your carpets. It will probably be a problem if you have carpeting in your home. If the carpets are newer and don't have any stains, you might be able to get away with hiring a professional carpet cleaning service. If cleaning doesn't help, you'll have to buy new ones.
Most Realtors will tell you that it's hard to sell a house with old, dirty carpets. It's not as big of a deal if the house is a foreclosure or is priced below market value. But if you want to get the most money, you'll have to deal with this objection.
There is a lot of dirt and smell in carpets. When you show them, they must look and smell clean. If you can't get your carpets back to the way they were, measure the square footage of your home to get an idea of how much a new carpet will cost. A new carpet can do a lot to help you sell your home.
You can also add value to your home by replacing high-traffic areas with hardwood floors. For the best results, you should talk to your real estate agent.
7.Re-Paint or Touch Up
If it's been more than a year since you painted the inside of your house, you should do some touch-ups. If you still have paint from the last time you painted, use it to fix nail holes, scrapes, and handprints.
It's easy to touch up paint, and it makes your home look brand new again. If you don't have any extra paint, you can try peeling off the old paint or cutting a small piece of sheetrock (which you can repair later). Please do this somewhere that won't draw too much attention, like in a closet or behind a door.
Take the sample to a paint store near you and ask them to match the color. You might have to do this twice or three times to get the right color. Once you find a close match, use it to make your walls look like new again.
Fresh paint makes houses sell.
If you have bold colors like purple, burgundy, lime green, etc., in your house, it would be smart to paint them with a neutral color. I tell my clients that their home shouldn't have more than three neutral colors. The more colors you use, the more likely it is that someone will object.
If someone else doesn't like orange as much as you do, you shouldn't take it to heart. Remember that there are many different kinds of people, and you want to reach as many of them as you can. Neutral colors are the best way to make your home appeal to the most buyers. Even people who like bright colors won't always like what you choose.
You also need to think about how the buyer's furniture and curtains will match the colors of your house. There's not much chance that most buyers will like your unusual color choices. Because of this, good real estate agents will tell you to paint with neutral colors. People rarely say no to buying a house with neutral colors, but they often say no to a house with bold colors.
If you need to fix up the paint on the outside of your house, do the work outside. This step includes the mailbox posts, fences, storage sheds, house siding, and trim work. For a buyer to make a good offer, the outside of your home needs to look well taken care of.
Bonus Tip: Painting a house makes it smell fresh. People like to try out new things. Find a paint that matches the oil-based paint on your door trim and keep it on hand. Put a little bit of paint on the top of the door trim, where no one would put their hands during a showing, before you show the house.
Because of the smell of the paint, the house smells clean and new. Oil-based paint has a strong smell, so only use a small amount in three or four spots around the house.
8.Rent a storage space
If you live in your house like most people do, your closets are full and your garage is packed from floor to ceiling. This is fine. The problem is that some of the homes you'll have to compete with are empty or almost empty. The buyers will like these homes because they can see themselves moving in much faster.
It's smart to rent a storage unit if you want to get rid of all your extra stuff and stay in business. Start putting things in the storage unit that you won't need while your house is for sale. Put the things you are least likely to need in the back of the space.
More is better when it comes to putting things away. If you're asking yourself, "Should I keep this?" the answer is "Yes!" Start packing as if you already sold your house and only had a month left to live there.
The more you put in storage, the less you'll need because your home will sell much faster. Buyers love homes that look like they are ready to live in.
9. Freshen Up Landscaping
Landscape should be updated
Statistics show that landscaping is the best way to get the most for your money when you want to sell your home. We've all heard that "curb appeal" is important, and we all know how important first impressions are in real estate.
New mulch is the fastest way to make your yard look better. Put a new layer of it on all of your landscaping. This step doesn't cost much money and doesn't take much time.
If you want to make an even better first impression, plant some colorful flowers. This will make your new mulch stand out even more. Cut back any plants or bushes that have grown too big, and clean up your outdoor areas to make them look new again. This step is likely to make a big difference in your buyer's first impression of you and help them decide to buy from you.
10.Get advice from a real estate agent with a lot of experience.
Every property is different and has its own areas that need to be taken care of. Buyer's agents with a lot of experience look at a lot of homes each week. At a listing appointment, when a real estate agent walks through your house, they hear objections from buyers. Their knowledge is very helpful when getting your house ready to sell.
Realtors always hear from buyers about what they want. Every market is different, and each has its own set of strategies. A real estate agent with a lot of experience will tell you all the reasons why buyers might not want to buy your home. There will always be Sellers who don't want to listen, but this is valuable information, so make sure to take advantage of their knowledge early on in the listing process.
Some people will try to sell their house by themselves. They do this so they don't have to pay Realtors commissions. Most of the time, these homes don't get listed in the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), so fewer people walk by them. They aren't as likely to get more than one offer.
11.One Last Thing
How sellers feel when a good offer comes in
As you look at the list above, don't let the amount of work scare you. Make a list of the things you think are important for selling your home, and then make plans based on that list. If you do one thing at a time, your list will be done before you know it.
Once your house is ready to go on the market, you'll probably get an offer on it before anyone else. Some of the steps above are ones that many sellers will try to avoid. If you spend the time and money to fix these problems, your house should stand out from the rest and sell for the most money.
"You get out what you put in" is true when it comes to selling your home. Your hard work will pay off well.