Taking the time to do some basic maintenance and repairs on your home can make a big difference in the final price. Listing agents tend to recommend starting as early as possible with this process.
In an ideal situation, an average seller should expect it to take about six months to get their home ready. Houses that are already in excellent condition may be ready to be put on the market faster.
Start taking these steps as soon as you know that a move is on the horizon, and you’ll be proud to offer it to potential buyers.
It is easy to overlook things that might stand out to potential buyers when you’ve lived in a house for years. A pre-listing inspection gives you an idea of how much work your house needs.
The results of the inspection should include major issues that may need to be disclosed to potential buyers. For instance, water damage from a roof leak may need remediation. Finding hidden problems help you to avoid potential discoveries during a home tour that could scare away buyers.
Your home inspection may also reveal minor things that you can easily fix. That door that always sticks might be a quirk that you got used to, but it might be a sticking point for buyers.
Go through the house and make a checklist of minor things to repair. Patching up nail holes, straightening a curtain rod and fixing a running toilet are all simple things that make a big difference in a buyer’s first impression of your home.
Most homes sell for a higher price when they are freshly painted. A new coat of paint disguises smudges and chips that occur over time.
The current recommendation is to choose neutral colors for the house paint. Soft beiges, grays and off-white shades create a canvas that appeals to the majority of buyers.
A clean and decluttered house instantly sends the signal that you’ve taken care of your home. Removing clutter also helps each room to feel more spacious.
If necessary, move some of your items to temporary storage until you are ready to move. A professional carpet or hardwood floor cleaning can also improve the attractiveness of your house.
Home staging involves two main steps. First, you will need to depersonalize your home. Take down family photos, awards and any other pieces of memorabilia that may not resonate with buyers.
Second, replace anything that you removed with neutral objects. A framed photo of a nature scene on the wall softens the room, and a lamp placed on a table could help a room to seem brighter.
The outside of the home is the first thing that buyers see. Clear off the front porch and add one or two simple touches that make the outside more attractive. Planting some flowers or painting the front door makes the house more inviting from the very beginning of a showing.
Once your house is ready, consider hiring a professional real estate photographer to take a few photos. Many buyers search online for virtual tours that help them narrow down their options. Then, work with your agent to create a plan for in-person showings. Maintaining all of the work that you have done helps you get the best price for your home.