Getting Your House Ready to Sell,
A Realtors Point of View
As a realtor, I understand what it takes to get your home ready for the market. Seeing things from inside the real estate world, I know exactly what I would do if I were to sell our home. I’ve thought about this often enough and have seen first hand what sellers do right and what they do wrong but, with my job, it’s easy to see. However, seeing and doing are two totally different things. It’s simple for me to tell someone what to do but, actually doing it is another thing. For me, it would be about finding the time and I’d need a lot of it…at least 6 months. That may be a bit of a stretch.
Personally, the first thing I’d do would be to hire a home inspector to inspect my house. Then I’d make all the necessary repairs. Keep in mind, my husband and I have done a great job keeping up with our house so the repairs should be minimal. I don’t want to hold a sale up do to buyer or lender required repairs. As a realtor, I know that government home loans (VA, RD & FHA) look for health and safety concerns in a home such as GFI’s by all water sources, smoke & CO2 detectors, chipping and peeling paint, proper handrails etc...I’d address those area’s as well.
With country living comes a septic system and a well. So, naturally knowing what lenders and buyers look for, I’d have our septic tested for compliancy and I may even consider a water test. If my septic was noncompliant then I’d have it updated to meet compliance. I really want a septic compliance certificate in my hand. This is just one more thing that can hold up a sale. Keep in mind that the septic can be negotiated in a sale and monies can sometimes be held in escrow to bring the septic to compliance.
On to the interior of my home..the fun part! I’d begin with one room at a time, starting the declutter and organization process, storing away or getting rid of all things that I don’t need and the things that just add clutter. Clear away ALL clutter (family photos, knickknacks)!! I want the buyers to see the space in my home not my personal belongings. Simple is more!! Keeping in mind that the walls and flooring need to look fresh and clean as well. Yes, that means cleaning out the closets too!!! NO CLUTTER!! CLEAN! CLEAN! CLEAN! You may need to clean/replace the carpets and paint the walls. A big NO to old dirty carpet and scuffs or holes in the walls. Always use neutral colors to make the rooms look clean and fresh. Do the same for each room in your house. At the same time you should be cleaning, making everything sparkle..bathrooms, kitchen, windows, hardwood floors, appliances, don’t forget kitchen cupboards & under the sinks, Uffda! Sounds like a lot of work doesn’t it?? That’s because it is!!
Next on my to-do list…Furniture arrangement, I want to showcase my home. To do that I’ll remove extra furniture, knowing that my goal is to show the space of my home, I’ll keep the furniture minimal and arrange it so it flows nicely. Again, less is more. If you need help, look at home style magazines or watch HGTV. Or, ask that one friend whose house always looks great!!
Odors... Does your home have an odor? If so, get rid of it. Nothing worse than a buyer walking into a smelly home or one full of dog/cat hair. Do what you can to make it fresh. With all of the cleaning you should have done, your house should smell clean too. It’s always a good idea to open windows and let the fresh air in.
The exterior of my home will be of great importance. Potential buyers will drive-by before deciding they want to look at the inside. Make sure the curb appeal is clean and inviting. Clean up the yard of any debris, keep the grass cut, plant flowers, paint or replace your front door, replace any broken siding or sand and repaint any peeling or chipping paint.
1. Make a list of all the things that need to be done and tackle one things at a time.
2. Purge! Purge! Purge!
3. Paint if it needs a fresh look (always neutral colors)
4. Replace dated light fixtures
5. Make your hardwood floors shine
6. Make your bathroom look like a spa
7. Make your kitchen look great. Counters should be free of clutter, cupboards cleaned. (your kitchen is a huge selling point, make it count)