Preparing your home for sale can be a daunting task, especially if you have a non-negotiable deadline looming. Aside from the big renovations that add to the purchase price like kitchens, bathrooms and professional landscaping, what are the smaller items you can maybe take care of yourself over a couple of weeks?
Top Ways to Prepare Your House for Sale Quickly
Everything really starts with a good old declutter when you’re getting your house ready to sell. Taking care of this first will make all the other steps that little bit easier and create space for a stager to do their thing if you go down that route. Melissa at Simple Lionheart Life has some great questions you can ask yourself if you’re struggling to decide what to let go of - do you really love it so much that you want to deal with it again in your new home?
Once you’ve decided to sell, you can safely take all your personal items and photos and put them into storage. Whilst it can be difficult to distance yourself from a much-loved family home, removing all your photos will enable buyers to feel more of a connection for them and their family.
Address any minor repairs
Fixing any minor repairs will ensure you leave no room for negotiation on the sale price. A home inspection should highlight even the smallest improvements that can be made prior to listing but be sure to talk to an experienced realtor in the area first so that you’re not wasting time, effort and money on needless repairs.
Give a lick of paint to the areas that need it
A fresh, neutral paint job is one of the most inexpensive ways to spruce up a home prior to selling. It immediately makes a room look new and updated and shows that the house is cared for. It could be advisable to replace wallpaper with paint or cover up any bold colours with neutral to give broader appeal.
Use lighting creatively
Lighting can be used to bring warmth and coziness to a home or to brighten up an area that you really want to highlight. Generally a house should be well-lit throughout and kitchens and lounges can have different lighting sources to allow for multi-purpose use and bedrooms may be more softly lit. Don’t forget exterior lighting too - this can really enhance the natural charm of a home, particularly in evening showings.
Update the main entrance
Giving the front door a fresh coat paint, placing some brightly coloured flower planters and hanging a seasonal wreath are all fairly inexpensive ways to make the main entrance welcoming and homely.
Enhance the curb appeal
Psychologists say we make up our minds about a person within fifteen seconds of meeting them and the same can be said for prospective buyers. Improving curb appeal can be done quickly and make all the difference to your bottom line (potentially adding 7% more to the sale price). Whilst updating the front door, why not give the garage door a new lease of life too. Also, make any fixes and seal the driveway, power wash paving and clean siding for great first impressions.
Declutter the exterior
Just as you would indoors, outside spaces, garages and storage sheds can be cleared out to give the impression of an organized and roomy yard with space for all the buyers’ belongings. Get some inspiration online for clever garage storage ideas that get kids toys, bicycles and outdoor equipment off the ground.
Clear out closets and storage cabinets
Buyers will open closets and cabinets to see what storage is available to them so there’s no hiding that clutter in there. As part of the decluttering drive, get rid of unwanted clothes and old paperwork that’s been lurking for years. If your closets are not overloaded, the buyer is less likely to think that the home lacks storage.
Bring the outdoors in
A feeling of being in nature is thought to be calming so bringing in some natural elements to the home can create a relaxing environment. Introduce fresh flowers or potted herbs in the kitchen and potted plants and trees for an indoor oasis.
Consider some temporary storage
Most homes show better with a ‘less is more’ approach. If you have oversize pieces of furniture, it may be worth putting some pieces in storage to give the feeling of more space. Or, use the storage for that clutter you don’t want to let go of.
Get rid of any unwanted odours
Pets, kids and everyday life can cause unwanted odours to hang around in the fabric of the house. Have all curtains, carpets, cushions and area rugs professionally cleaned as needed. If you’re going to use a fabric refresher, opt for natural and don’t use anything that’s too strong as it can raise suspicions for a buyer that the scent is there to mask something.
Replace or remove items that you want to keep
There may be fixtures and fittings which you want to take with you to your new home; if this is the case, remove these before listing and showing and replace with something that suits the area. You don’t want to get hopes up or have to have difficult conversations about a dining room chandelier if it really has to come with you.
Find warranty information and have it readily available
Providing warranty information for large household appliances is a good way to provide peace of mind for buyers that the home is unlikely to cause them any unforeseen costs after their purchase. Dig any paperwork out early for your realtor to have on-hand.
Consider staging the important areas
If you have the budget a professional staging company can help you make the most of the key areas in the house and result in a higher sell-price and less time on market. Placing items and decorations strategically, appeals to buyers’ emotions by cleverly highlighting the best features while downplaying the less desirable.
Give everywhere a thorough clean
After all that work, you’ve hopefully now got a blank canvas, ready for the last hurdle before listing. Get every room sparkling and dust-free before the exciting first showing!
Not Sure Where to Start? Reach Out for Help Prepping Your Home For Sale
Not everyone has a vision of what they want to achieve and that’s fine; this is where a good realtor is essential. If your clutter has built up over the years and let’s face it, whose hasn’t? It can be overwhelming knowing where to start. I can help you identify what to prioritize for the greatest return and recommend local contractors and services where needed.
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