Preparing your home to sell is a must, especially in a tight housing market. In many parts of the country, homes simply flood the market. If you’re not careful or if you don’t do your leg work, you can find your home sitting on the market with no buyer and no prospects for a year or more.
If you want buyers to be interested in your home and if you want to get as much as possible out of your home, there are some things you need to do before you even call a listing agent:
Review you interior décor. While you’ll probably hear a lot of advice about “curb appeal,” the fact is that your home’s interior is what’s going to close the deal. Spend some time examining your carpet, your furniture layout, and even your window treatments. Consider adding some new blinds to the family room and dining room, as those rooms in particular will benefit from fine window treatments.
Look for pests. You’ll want to have someone come out and professionally inspect your home for termites or other pests. A recent inspection on file will help with the sale process, and it will prevent hidden surprises.
Clean and/or paint your home’s exterior. The home’s exterior features are part of the aforementioned curb appeal. If you have siding on your home, power-wash it. If it’s starting to fade or is uneven, consider replacing it. Slap a fresh coat of paint on your home’s exterior to give it a shiny new look, too.
Clean the interior. You need to go way beyond surface cleaning. You need to clean your windows, molding, ceiling fans, and even dump all of the bugs out of your light fixtures. Appliances should all sparkle, and the home should just smell nice. Steam-clean your carpets, too.
Put away your stuff into storage. When a potential buyer walks through your home, she doesn’t want to see how you’re using the space; she wants to imagine how she will use the space. Don’t just throw all of your personal effects into the closets – buyers like to see closets. Instead, consider renting a storage unit, and move all of your clutter and personal effects into there.
Make the important rooms look better. There are two rooms home buyers notice the most: kitchens and bathrooms. Walk down your kitchen and your bathroom. Take note of everything that looks worn, out of style, dirty, or just simply unappealing. While you may not have the time, desire, ability, or money to completely remodel a kitchen, there are usually minimalist things you can do to make it look significantly better. Good examples of this include caulking in bathroom or replacing outdated knobs on your kitchen cabinets.
Devote some time to curb appeal. Throughout the sale process, one of the most important factors will be how good your home looks from the road. When you stick a “for sale” sign in the front yard, people start to notice the home. If the grass is overgrown, there are leaves in the gutters, or the hedges need trimmed, they won’t give the place a second thought. It’s ironic, of course, because these are things that are easily fixed. Consider adding some flowers and other plants to your yard, as well, to increase that curb appeal.
Replace your light bulbs. Having fresh light bulbs in all of your fixtures means that whenever someone comes to see the house, they’ll always have the light they need. Pay special attention to the bulbs you choose; try to go with brighter light bulb types, and bulbs with a “warmth” style that matches the room they’re being placed in.
Get someone else to look at the home. Consider asking a friend or family member to walk through the home, and make notes. Ask them to point out things that don’t appeal to them, or areas that seem like they could use a little bit of attention.
Consider staging. One thing that’s been proven to increase your home’s sale price is staging. A staging company will come in and decorate a room (or your entire home) for you. They’ll use furniture and accents that are appealing, and that will help your home sell.
How quickly your home sells and how much it sells for is, in many ways, something you can control. Follow these steps even before you list the home to maximize your home’s potential.
Nick Simpson is Social Media Coordinator at Blindsgalore, a leading provider of roman shades with different colors and elegant wood blinds. Blindsgalore is offering attractive discount cellular blinds at the moment.