If you’re getting ready to sell your property, here are my tips to prepare your property for sale:
- Remove the clutter. This is a great time to pack up what you know you want to keep, put it in boxes and put those boxes in storage or out of the way in the garage. Sell or give away the things you don’t want or need anymore. The goal is to make the house look as big as possible by removing as much stuff as possible. Put away your personal things like family photos so a new family can envision themselves living there.
- Clean well and keep it clean. Do a thorough cleaning, paying attention to little things like mildew on caulking in showers. Make beds, do dishes and keep kitchen counters free of clutter. Your property should be ready to show at any time.
- Tackle any funny smells. It’s easy to go “nose blind” to smells you live with every day. If you’re a smoker, please smoke outside. Do your best to tackle pet smells. Keep litter boxes clean. Don’t use room deodorizer to mask smells.
- Take care of simple repairs. Call in a handyman to do minor repairs, touch up paint, clean the carpets, oil squeaky doors, etc. There is no need to do major repairs, just disclose what you know needs fixing. If you are able to do the major repairs, you can expect to get more for your property.
- Put valuables away. Your property will be shown to strangers who will be with their professional Realtor. Don’t take any chances. Put jewelry, small electronics and other valuables away in a safe place.
- Consider some updating. Remodeling your kitchen and/or bathrooms will give you the best bang for your buck, but your taste may not be the buyer’s taste. So remodeling isn’t always a good idea if you’re only doing it to increase your sale price. Hot items these days are stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops and nice tile back splashes. Even just updating lighting fixtures, cabinet handles and drawer pulls, or faucets can make a big difference.
- Consider an inspection before listing. Hiring a professional inspector to do a mini inspection can give you an idea of any issues you might face. The main, high dollar items to look out for: roof condition, A/C condition, electrical boxes and wiring, and plumbing. If you have aluminum wiring, Federal Pacific breaker boxes or polybutylene plumbing, they will definitely be noted by an inspector and may present problems to a buyer as far as obtaining homeowners insurance. You don’t HAVE to make all the noted repairs, just know you have to disclose the things you know about that can materially affect the property. You could offer a buyer a closing cost credit rather than make any costly repairs.
- Clean or replace carpet. I find most buyers these days don’t like carpet. If you have carpet and it’s in decent shape, have it professionally steam cleaned by a company who has a truck mounted machine. If you have the budget, replace the carpet with tile.
- Consider curb appeal. The first glance when the buyer drives up to the property is worth a million bucks. If they get turned off right from the start, it will be an uphill climb to get them to fall in love with your property. Pull some weeds, keep the grass and shrubs looking nice, add some colorful flowers, and maybe touch up the paint.
- Keep receipts and consider a warranty. If you’ve recently had the septic tank serviced, the A/C cleaned or any other type of professional service, keep the receipt for the new buyer. Also, consider offering a home warranty. I find it helps to sell a property faster because it gives the buyer peace of mind for that first year.
For more information and to schedule a free, no obligation consultation on listing your home, please call me at 407-236-6559.