So you are about thinking about putting your property up for sale. You have been keeping your property maintained, right? Good, because if you haven’t some of the neglected repairs will come up during an inspection. You don’t want to give the buyer a reason to wiggle out of the contract, and you surely don’t want to re-negotiate the selling price, if the repairs exceed 2% of the negotiated price.
It is just a suggestion, but you may want to pay for an inspection, so you know where you stand and what your buyer’s will be facing. If your confident your property is in good shape, skip the inspection and start the staging process. Most people don’t do inspections prior to listing the property and it is only suggested here if you are proactive a want to correct some of the unknown problems, if there are some major problems you may realize that you should price the property accordingly and list it “as is” depending on the condition.
Ok, you want to start sprucing up the property and your mind is going in many directions. Lets start from the outside and work our way in. On the whole a lot of work may need to be performed, so the best way to approach this is to itemize things that need to be done and after the have made a complete assessment, then decide which ones to attack, hopefully the ones that will give you the most bang for the buck or in this case the most bang for the effort.
You may not address all of the items on your list. But make a complete list as a starting point. When you are creating your list try to look at your property though buyers eyes, if this were not your house how would it appeal to you? The list is just a set of questions that you are asking and answering (e.g. the house need painted? Y/N). Make sure your spouse or partner agrees too.
This is first thing that will attract or turn off potential buyers. Lets make a good first impression for anyone looking.
Does your home need painting?
Is your roof clean?
Landscape need to be freshened up? You may want to plant some colorful annuals.
Do you have weeds in the garden?
Does you grass look healthy?
Is your sprinkler system in good working order?
Make sure the entrance it clean, sweep, repaint the front door or wipe it down. Pressure cleans the walkway, to remove dirt and mildew.
De-clutter your home
This should be at the top of your list. You will need to remove clutter from your house. Start by going from room to room and remove anything you haven’t been using for the past year. Don’t forget the garage, you will want a clean garage, you may want to paint to floor too. Get rid of junk, trash, paper, old clothing, expired food, medicine, broken or old electronics and magazines. Some of the items you may want to put them in the garage and hold a garage sale. If these items do not sell, take them and donate them. If they still have value and you can’t bring yourself to throw them away or get rid of them, how about listing them on Ebay. Another alternative you may want to entertain is renting a storage unit and start moving items from your house to the storage unit.
Buyers want to see an open space where they can envision their own belongings.
Have the inside of your property professionally cleaned or if you have the time and energy do it yourself. Are your windows clean, grout, bathrooms, showers, does the carpets look clean, have them cleaned or replace them.
Think about putting a fresh coat of paint on the inside, use neutral colors. Your kitchen should be clean, sink, counter tops, put your appliances away, you don’t want buyers to see what your eating for breakfast. Store your food in the pantry.
You may want to remove photos, so the buyers will start picturing themselves in your space. If you have too much furniture you may want to remove or rearrange it to open the living space up.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, ask your realtor for advise. Your realtor will usually have many good suggestions on prepping your property. Another alternative is to have your property professionally staged. This may be pricey, but depending on the listing price this option may make sense.