How Can I Prepare To Sell My Home?
If you are considering placing your home on the market, it is best that you are prepared. Whether it is gathering the manuals and warranty paperwork from your appliances and HVAC system, or a fresh coat of paint, paying attention to details could be a difference of thousands of dollars.
There are a few easy tasks that can make your home more sellable, as some home buyers are interested in a "move in ready" property. However, if your home is in need of significant renovations, there may not be reason to do any work at all, especially if your budget does not allow for it.
Before putting your home on the market, consult with a real estate broker who can evaluate your property, and make suggestions that will benefit you both now and in the future. A knowledgeable broker will be able to discuss how, and if, improvements or changes will give you the best Return on Investment (ROI). In some cases, renovations will increase the value of your home, but there are many other factors to consider before taking on this considerable task. If you invest $20,000 to renovate your kitchen, it does not always mean that you will get $20,000 more for your home.
Here are a few suggestions to help make the selling process a little better:
Take a look at your home from the outside. Or better yet, have a friend take a look with you. Is your mailbox tilted, is there an outdoor fixture without a light bulb, or is it broken? Are there shingles missing from the roof, or a gutter that's hanging? First appearances count. If you are looking to get the most out of your house, pay attention to its curb appeal.
When it comes to your landscaping, remove dead branches from trees, pull weeds, and make sure the grass is manicured. Repair a broken fence, or paint it if it will improve the appearance of your home. If it is a nice time of the year, plant some flowers or pick up some planters and place them near the entrance of your home. Buyers consider these extra touches a good indication of how the seller cares for their home.
Decluttering is one of the best ways to make your home appear larger. If you haven't used something in your home for more than three years, just get rid of it. Sell it on Ebay, have a yard sale, give it to a thrift shop. Whatever it is, you don't need it. That is not to say that family heirlooms should be tossed. I am referring to items that are rarely used, like serving trays, old kitchen appliances, chipped vases, clothes that are too small (and have been too small for three years) and other things you will never use.
A good rule of thumb, get rid of 30% of your stuff in preparation of selling your home, and moving. It is liberating, and will reduce the cost of your moving expense. When showing your home put away extra chairs, storage boxes, magazines, old clothes, exercise equipment and small appliances stored on your kitchen counter. This will open up your rooms and make them look neater.
Don't forget the basement and attic. Buyers are usually interested in seeing every part of a home they are considering to buy. Having a cleared space provides them the opportunity to imagine how their personal touches or belongings can fit in a new space.
As you get ready for your home sale, try to depersonalize the rooms. That may require you to paint your home a more neutral color, or remove knick-knacks, or additional throws and pillows from chairs and sofas. What is sentimental and comforting to you, may mean clutter to someone else.
It may be time for a good cleaning. If it has been decades since you washed the blinds, moved the furniture or washed down the kitchen cabinets, consider hiring a cleaning professional. The cleaning process can get tedious and may require some additional assistance. A clean looking and smelling home is a good indication that it has been cared for over the years, and will not incite a more thorough investigation.
If you have pets, try to remove any odors or pet stains, and repair any damage they have done over the years. Make sure your air filters are changed or cleaned so that pet hair is not clogging your HVAC system. Some homeowners can consider a pet a deterrent when purchasing a home.
If there are cosmetic issues, like holes in the sheetrock, and chipped or peeling paint, fix it. Those small repairs can make a big difference when selling a home. Take a careful look in your bathroom, and remove any mold and mildew that may have built up. Consider replacing older, dirty shower curtains and bathroom mats, and re-grout or cork where there may be gaps in the tile. A little TLC can go a long way in the bathroom.
Not every realtor is for every home seller. Make sure you select a realtor that has experience with the kind of property you are selling, and is familiar with the area. Make sure you are comfortable with their personality and the commitment they have to selling your home. Your realtor should know your home as well as you do so they are prepared to have knowledgeable conversations with potential buyers.
Your home may be the most valuable asset you own. If you are considering selling it or have it on the market now, consider some of the items in this article so that your home gets sold at the highest price possible
Fran & Frank Reali, Owners BHGRE Safari Realty
(718) 442-5200 www.safarirealtyonline.com