7 Tips to Selling Your Home Checklist for this Spring
The real estate market has changed drastically in the last few years. Inventory is down and existing home prices have risen dramatically. Sweat equity doesn’t have the same appeal now that real estate prices are high; if you hope to receive a great offer on your house you need to offer a great house to the buyer. Here are the 7 Selling Your Home Checklist tips to prepare your home for this current market:
1 Make the Necessary Repairs Some repairs are “must fixes.” If you leave these for the buyer, they will be flagged during the inspection. You end up paying for the repairs with a reduced price, or worse, lose potential buyers. Consult with your real estate agent to identify flaws that buyers will notice, determine which repairs are needed, and avoid wasting money on unnecessary projects.
Consider hiring a handyman to make several small repairs and keep his contact information should the inspection uncover different problems. A seller that is willing to complete needed repairs is attractive to buyers.
2 Determine Beneficial Upgrades. Get online and research the upgrades most desired by home buyers. Talk with your real estate agent about local trends and determine which home improvements are a safe return on investment. As a seller, there are some things that you cannot change—you cannot move a house at the center of the block to a cul-de-sac.
There are some changes that require swallowing your pride to see your individual flair and style covered by a neutral color paint. Repair marred walls. Replace worn or stained carpet, old, faded drapes, and tired furniture. Make expensive remodel decisions very carefully—it might be the first remodel decision by the new buyer.
3 Improve Curb Appeal. Savvy home buyers receive notice of listings online, but many make a drive-by visit before expressing interest. The lawn, landscape, and exterior appearance contribute to the first impression during a drive-by visit and that first impression is made in just a few seconds.
- Make sure trees and shrubs are trimmed
- Replace dead grass and plants
- Water the lawn, keep it mown and trimmed
- Remove weeds from flower beds and use them to add pops of color
4 Minimize. Potential buyers are trying to visualize living in your home. Make it easy by removing anything that will detract from that vision. Remove clutter, collectibles, and items that are personal leaving just a few for a homey touch. Closets should seem spacious. You know they will fill the closet to overflowing, just as it is now; but they need to imagine their “stuff” rather than seeing your “stuff.” This might entail:
- Decluttering once, then decluttering again and again if necessary
- Tossing some things—donating others
- If you are still living in the home, it may require placing some belongings in small storage space. Filling the garage is not a good option.
5 Make It Sparkle. If the lawn and exterior make a first impression, the cleanliness of the interior makes the second impression. Before you post your house, give it a good “detailing.”
- We have already mentioned replacing worn or damaged carpet; the same is true for unsightly or damaged hardwoods or tiles.
- If your flooring is in good condition, consider having flooring professionally cleaned to remove odors and brighten the nap.
- The potential buyer is envisioning cooking meals in your kitchen, so it must be squeaky clean and uncluttered. Countertop decorations and appliances are distracting; the buyer is looking for space. Every surface—countertops, cabinet doors, shelves and drawers, appliances, under appliances, and behind appliances—should be immaculately clean.
- The potential buyer is envisioning showering, shaving, and putting on makeup in your bathroom; so they must be squeaky clean and uncluttered. Everything about the toilet, bathtub, and shower needs to be clean and unstained. Bad odors and musty smells must be eliminated.
- You cannot guarantee that a new buyer has a pet. Take care to reduce/remove evidence of pet beds and litter boxes. A pleasantly scented candle can help mask odors.
- Make sure windows and doors are clean, inside, and out. A pressure washer can help you reach upper story windows.
6 Stage Your Spaces.
- If you are living in your home during the sale, take the same “declutter” approach to furniture and home furnishings. Removing some of your furnishings will add to the spacious appearance of your home. Keep only the items that are necessary for the home and store the rest.
- An empty home can seem cold and uninviting, so consider leaving a few pieces of furniture to spark the imagination. If using your own furniture is not possible, consult with your real estate agent; he/she can point you to firms that rent staging furniture.
7 Get a Home Inspection. A home inspection will be a part of the process, so consider completing the inspection before the sales process begins.
- A pre-sale home inspection should uncover potential problems and prevent surprises during later phases.
- The buyer should appreciate the attention to detail you have taken.
- If the buyer desires a second inspection, it will be a buyer’s expense.
Once you have prepared your home for sale and completed the Selling Your Home Checklist, connect with your real estate agent to put the house on the market.
This will include showing the home in a variety of methods:
- Listing the house online with links to multiple applications
- Preparing showing photos or virtual tour videos
- Scheduling viewings and an open house
Selling Your Home Checklist – How Can We Help?
With over 5 decades of experience in the Houston Housing Market, The Matthews Team is ready to help you complete your Selling Your Home Checklist. If you have any questions, give us a call at 281-440-7900 or send us an email. We’re happy to help!