How to Get Your House Ready to Sell
Selling a house can be stressful. If you are like most people, your house is the largest single investment that you will ever make. It is both a matter of pride and practicality to ensure you get the best price.
It is not enough to just post a price and wait for buyers to come through the door with a checkbook in hand. What you need to know is:
- Your home’s value
- The local market prices
- The best way to sell your house
- How to present it so that it sells quickly at an attractive price
This is a very difficult task that has a lot of variables and requires patience and perseverance. It’s a good idea to keep a list of tips and tricks that you can refer back to when needed. This way, you can refer to the list whenever you feel stuck and help get things moving again.
These are 9 tips to help you sell your house.
1. Get in on the Action
When it comes to your home, you probably have a price in place. Everyone does. Research is the difference between those who achieve what they want and those who don’t.
Your home is not in a vacuum. Your home exists in a marketplace, which will determine its price range. Find out what similar homes are selling for in your area and set your price accordingly.
How can you research the competition? It is not as hard as you might imagine. These are the two best ways to win.
- Open Houses – Attending open houses will give you a realistic idea of the homes that are being sold and how much they cost. You will also be able to see how other homeowners present their homes. You might even be able to hear what potential buyers have to say about these homes.
- Browse Listings Online – The internet is the best information resource. Make the most of it. Each year, approximately five million homes similar to yours are sold in America. Nearly all of them are available online.
You can start your online search by simply going to Google.com, and then entering the area you’re interested in buying a home. That’s it. No matter where you live, there will be numerous listings in your local area. Once you have found them, spend some time looking through them and make sure to take down notes.
Use What You Have Learned
Open houses can help you determine a price but it will also help you create a better presentation for your home. You may have to sacrifice some of your weekend activities. It’s possible, but it will be a better decision in the end.
2. Hire A Handyman ASAP
People tend to let things slide the longer they live in their homes. Potential buyers won’t be impressed by leaky faucets and creaky doors. It is your responsibility to hire someone to fix it or do it yourself. An example repair/refurbish list might include:
- Fresh Paint – We don’t realize how dirty our walls have become. So we decide to move old paintings. Yikes! Now is the right time to paint your home if you’re looking to sell it. A distraction can cost you a sale.
- Repair Broken Items – While you might find the squeaky door charming, others see it as a sign that you haven’t maintained your house properly. While you might not take the smelly basement as an indication of a leaky foundation, potential buyers will see it as a sign that the foundation is leaking.
- Remodeling the Cabinets – Over time, kitchen cabinets can look tired. It is possible to make your kitchen look newer by painting it or changing the hardware. Many websites can help you with the process of replacing your hardware.
It is important to get rid of all distractions and anything that might suggest neglect. Each light switch must work. Every light bulb should work. You want the walls to look attractive and fresh. The carpeting must be spotless and clean. Cabinets should not be a burden.
3. Perform a Deep Cleaning
This point has been covered up, but now it is time to highlight the importance of deep cleaning the whole house. Deep cleaning is more than vacuuming and dusting. It should include a thorough cleaning of every room in the house, from the attic to the basement. This includes:
- Steam Cleaning Carpets – A standard vacuum cleaner will often cause more damage than it solves. You should hire a professional carpet cleaner who uses a truck-mounted steaming system.
- You can remove pet (and people) odors. Pet owners may not always notice the odors of pets because they are so familiar with them. However, others will. Many odors can be removed by steam cleaning carpets. You might also want to clean the upholstery. Closets can also be odor factories. Make sure to clean them thoroughly.
You should also include the following items on your deep cleaning checklist:
- Windows – Clean windows from the inside and outside.
- Garbage cans: Clean them well to get rid of any odors.
- Stovetops and ovens – Ovens can be a source of unpleasant odors.
- The fridge – clean it thoroughly. It should be thoroughly cleaned. All soiled items should be thrown out.
- Dishwasher – Clean and disinfect the dishwasher’s interior.
- Mold can grow in bathroom grout Grout often gets moldy. Make sure to clean grout.
- Shower stall and curtain: Clean it from top to bottom, and then buy a new one.
- Basement – Perform a wall-to-wall cleaning. Remove mold and seal cracks.
It is a good idea to have someone come in and clean your dryer vents and air ducts. Dirty air vents can collect pollen, dead skin, hair, and mold spores. It is possible to clean them and get rid of unpleasant smells.
4. Maximize Curb Appeal
Experts agree that curb appeal is a key factor in the sale of a home. Potential buyers will be turned off by a dull exterior. You will need to make sure that your exterior looks good before you put your house on the market. Here are some ways you can do this:
- The Front Door and Porch are the most important. You only get one chance to make a first impression. The porch should be freshly painted and cleaned. There should be no loose boards, no areas of decay, and no creaky stairs. The front door should look attractive, be substantial, and be well-framed.
- Fresh Mulch and Flowers are a great addition to your home. When it comes to curb appeal, dead flowers and lifeless mulch are no good options.
- Maintain a clean, neat lawn. It gives the property an organized aura. It not only gives the property a cohesive appearance but also adds a pleasant scent to the air.
- Cut Back Shrubs and Trees – Trees or shrubs are wonderful, but they should not be wild, especially if the rest is well maintained. Hire a professional landscaper to trim the shrubs and trees. You may make a sale.
- Walkways up to speed – A cracky driveway is an eyesore. The same goes for walkways. It won’t be expensive to replace old concrete with interlocking pavers, but it will increase curb appeal.
- Replacing the Mailbox – Although traditional mail is losing ground to digital media, it’s still very relevant. Spend a few dollars to replace a mailbox that is more than a decade old. These are often the details that make a difference.
5. Find out the local real estate prices
This is something we discussed earlier but it’s worth a closer examination. It is not possible to simply pull the asking price of your house from the internet. It should be grounded in market realities. This means that you must research the local market.
- Active Listings – These listings show what people are asking for in properties that are similar to yours. While your home might have unique features that increase its value, active listings can help you determine the range of price your home will be selling for.
- Sold Listings – Sold listings are a real-world indicator of buyer sentiment. It is a sign of a healthy market if most sellers in your local area achieve their asking price. It can help you set a price range limit.
Remember that home prices can be affected by many factors. Some factors are under your control, while others are out of your reach. Listings that are active and sold serve as context. They do not guarantee anything.
6. Decide on FSBO or a Real Estate Agent
There are two options when it comes to selling a house. There are two options when it comes to selling a house. You can either hire a real estate agent or go the FSBO route. FSBO stands to “For Sale By Owner.” Let’s take a look at both the benefits and drawbacks.
- No Commission – This is why most people choose FSBO. This is understandable, as commissions can be significant, especially for million-dollar homes.
- Allows for more competitive pricing – Once the substantial commission is paid, you can lower the price of the home. This is particularly useful in a highly competitive market.
- Many Helpful Resources – Although this wasn’t always true, the rise in internet access has led to a proliferation of resources available for those who want to follow the FSBO route.
- Total Control – You can pitch your house the way that you like.
- Paperwork – Property sales require a lot of paperwork. You’ll be surprised at how much if you choose to go FSBO.
- Lower profit – Many homeowners aren’t skilled at selling. Consequently, most homeowners who choose to sell their homes by themselves end up with a much lower selling price than if they hired an agent. This is why flat fee MLS listings are so important! Check out the below…
- Time – You will need to arrange home tours for an FSBO sale. Selling your house can be very time-consuming.
Real Estate Agent Advantages
- Expertise – Experienced real estate agents know what it takes to succeed. They are able to quickly assess a property and create a sales strategy.
- Connections – The most successful agents have access to many potential clients. Your network will speed up the selling process and ensure that you get a better price.
- You save time – The agent handles all the paperwork and tours so you can focus on other things.
- Higher Sales Prices – If FSBOs result in lower prices then the reverse must also be true.
Real Estate Agent Disadvantages
- That Commission – Real estate agents are busy behind the scenes. People wouldn’t complain if they knew how much the commission was. However, commissions can still be significant.
- Inattention – Real estate agents who are good at what they do are often busy. You are unlikely to receive anything that resembles “personal service” from top agents.
- Loss of control – People who want to be in control often clash with agents. This can cause a cloud to hang over the whole process.
7. You can rent a storage unit
Many homeowners accumulate items over time. These items, which are often not used immediately, can fill the basement, attic, and closets. A couple of reasons why renting a storage unit can prove to be a winning strategy during a sale are:
- It allows for de-cluttering. Clutter can be a visual distraction but also a reminder of who lives in your house. This is why clutter is a problem. Potential buyers want to feel at home in the house, as we’ll see. The owner must step aside in order to do this. You can remove years of clutter by stepping aside.
- It allows you to store extra furniture – Clutter typically consists of clothes, camping equipment, and books. Homeowners will often have more furniture than they need or that is aesthetically pleasing. This extra furniture can be moved to a storage area to open up the house and allow potential buyers to have more creative freedom.
- It can pay dividends going forward – Storage space can be addictive. Many people who have used them for years cannot imagine life without them. The storage space that was acquired during a move is usually a permanent fixture in the homeowner’s future.
It is an affordable investment that can yield significant benefits. Storage space is an essential component of any sales process if you are having trouble saying goodbye to items.
8. Staging to sell is not just for TV
Networks like HGTV have made home staging a very popular topic. Some people believe that the process was created for television, but it has been around for decades. According to the National Association of Realtors, home staging is one of the most important aspects of the selling process.
Home staging refers to the act of changing the appearance of a house in order to highlight its best features. Staging minimizes the impact of personal taste in favor of a neutral aesthetic. This allows potential buyers to be more involved with the home.
Basics of home staging
Home staging is a process that requires attention to several important aspects. This applies regardless of whether the homeowner or a professional staging your home.
- Don’t make it personal – Potential buyers want to see themselves in a house. You don’t want a home filled with personal belongings, such as family photos or sports memorabilia. This makes it difficult. The role of the stager is to transform the “home” into a “house”.
- Organize – To transform a home into one, you will need to impose a standard ergonomic system. Things will return to what most people expect. They are not where their owner is most comfortable.
- Lighting – Lighting can be a powerful tool to create mood, establish focal points and emphasize spatial relationships. A well-thought lighting scheme is crucial for effective home staging.
- Accentuate the Positive – Home staging should be about removing the owner’s personality from the space. You can focus on the practical and aesthetic strengths of your house by removing pets, family treasures, and quirky furniture.
According to Forbes, staging homes can make them sell faster and at a higher price. However, home staging may require homeowners to let go of their pride and put their furniture in the storage area. The homeowner will then rent pieces that can highlight different aspects of their house.
9. Professional Photos Are a Must
Although curb appeal is essential for attracting buyers it’s no longer the best. Curb appeal was a way people saw the house from the street. Although it still applies to some extent, curb appeal is now based on photos posted to the website of a realtor.
Professional photographers are being hired by smart sellers to take their homes through the Ansel Adams process, inside and out. Potential buyers can take a virtual tour of their house from their smartphones while they are at work, or in bed at night. This saves time and reduces hassle.
Pro Photos Will Help You Sell Faster and Nearer to the List Price
Professional photographers are well aware that customers who use their services for photography sell their homes half as fast and at a lower price than those who don’t. This assessment is also supported by most real estate agents.
A professional photographer for real estate is essential because:
- According to industry professionals, high-quality photos can lead to faster sales.
- Great photos attract more potential buyers.
- Curb appeal is changing. You can either adapt or lose.
- The potential benefits are so great that the cost of the service is almost nothing.
Don’t trust your smartphone photos.
In days gone by, the majority of people lived in one house for their entire lives. This notion is incredibly outdated today. Mobility is a hallmark of modernity. However, it can be tedious and complicated to move from one house to the next.
If you follow the tips above, you can reduce stress and anxiety during the selling process. You must be cautious, however, even then. There are many factors and forces that can cause things to go in unpredictable directions.
There’s no reason to be afraid. Be cautious, be open-minded, and you’ll be happy when you close the deal at the price you desire.