You’re ready to get your home on the market and get it sold. But you’re not sure where to start! Taking time to make repairs and a few upgrades will go a long way in making your home attractive for buyers. Add some organization and staging and you can be sure buyers will be lining up to check out your home!
1. Look at your home objectively. After you’ve lived in a home a long time, you don’t notice the wallpaper or faded paint anymore. But buyers will! One way to give yourself fresh eyes is to look at listings online and compare your home to others. Try to look at your home through the eyes of a home buyer.
2. After you’ve taken a good look at your home, make a list of items you’re willing to repair and upgrade. Make a list for both the interior and the exterior. Then decide on what things you can tackle yourself and what you need to hire a pro for. Be realistic about your abilities and available time. Things usually take more time and cost more money than expected.
3. Once your lists are made, think about what is top priority and how much you want to spend. You don’t want to be over ambitious. It’s important to make repairs and upgrades, but to not over improve a property. There is the right balance between putting enough money into a home to get it to sell fast and for the most money, and putting too much money into renovations that you don’t get back right away.
4. Set up a consultation with your real estate agent. She should be very familiar with the housing market and what is selling. She can give you input on which projects are most important, suggest vendors, and review your lists to make sure you didn’t miss anything. This is a very important step to make sure you don’t overspend on your property.
5. Now is the time to work on details. If you’re painting, get paint swatches from the store and bring them home to see how they look in the light at different times of day. If you’re hiring a contractor, call around to get several quotes and also check on their backlog. If you’re doing repairs yourself, make a supply list and schedule the time to do the repair on your calendar.
6. Now that you’ve started on repairs and upgrades, call in the family to help declutter. This can be a big job depending on how long you’ve lived in a home and how much you’ve accumulated. It may help to make piles: throw away, donate, pack. Only keep out the items you need for the next several months as you’re in the process of selling.
7. As boxes and bags begin to accumulate, choose a space to store them. A basement or garage is often an out-of-the area that works well. Choose one location, like one side of the garage or along one wall in the basement, to store packed items. Buyers understand you are moving, but this will allow room for walking and keep clutter out of the rest of the home.
8. While you’re packing up items you don’t need, go ahead and de-personalize your home. Remove family photos, medications, jewelry, etc. from eyesight. Make sure to lock firearms or valuables away. Use general artwork to decorate walls in place of family memorabilia. This will help buyers to envision themselves living in your home.
9. Now that you’ve removed all the clutter, it’s time to add warm touches back in. Hang a throw blanket over the couch and accessorize with pillows. Put a new bedspread on your bed to dress up your room. Place a bowl of lemons on the kitchen counter for color, and replace old throw rugs and mats. Just a few touches will make your home feel warm and updated.
10. Lastly, check your lighting. There’s nothing worse than a dark and dimly lit home, especially in the winter months. Make sure your bulbs are all working. Add lamps to rooms with insufficient overhead lighting. Replace antiquated lighting fixtures with new ones or updated globes. During the day, open all your blinds to allow in the sunshine!
Getting a home ready to sell can be a lot of work, but a home is a huge investment and it’s worth it to put your best foot forward!
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