Selling your home can be very overwhelming and stressful, even if you’re not in a hurry to sell and move out. There are few very important steps to take before listing your home.
- Hire a professional– She/he can help you set up the best listing price by comparing homes in your neighborhood that are for sale, or have been sold in the past 3-6 months (called “comparables” or “comps”). Pricing your home properly will help sell faster. You’ll have up to 30 days to get your home ready for sale, and while it seems like enough time, you’ll never know if and how many setbacks you’ll have during that period (leeks, mold behind large furniture, etc).
- Make all necessary repairs- Paint the walls neutral color, change broken light bulbs, fix any leeks, squeaky door hinges, caulk around sinks and toilets, and if your budget allows, consider bigger improvements like new roof, electrical work, new appliances, carpet etc. By doing this step, you won’t steer away potential buyers who want move-in ready home, and you increase your chances of selling home faster. The investment will pay out, just make sure not to over-do improvements, you want biggest possible return on investment.
- Clean, organize, declutter- Clean home in buyer’s eyes is a well cared home. Messy or dirty home will steer potential buyers away. Clean and scrub everything, or hire a cleaning service to do it for you. Your house should be spotless, if not already. Keep the floors vacuumed and swept at all times. Windows should be washed inside and out. Purge and donate items you don’t need like clothes, toys, books, kitchen items, etc. Now is the perfect time for major cleanup, since you have to pack and move anyway. Sell or donate furniture you don’t need, it’ll make your space feel and look bigger. Buyers don’t like visual clutter, which brings us to the next step.
- Depersonalize your space- Remove family photos, children’s artwork, any excess decor from shelves, bookcases and walls, hide toys and paper clutter. Keep the kitchen counter clean from food, dishes and, if possible, keep small appliances in cupboards. Keep the area around sinks in bathrooms free of toiletries, make up and accessories. Your clothes should be neatly folded or hung in closets, and laundry bins closed and emptied regularly. Potential buyers like to imagine themselves living in the home, and it’s hard to do that in a too personalized space.
- Stage your home for showing- Aside from looking clean and clutter free, home should also look cozy and inviting. Add some throw pillows and blanket on sofa and set the dining room table. In colder months a fire in a fireplace is a nice feature. Let the light in by opening shades and pulling back the curtains.
It’s not necessary to spend ton of money by hiring professional staging service,your furniture can work very well if placed strategically to reflect the room’s true purpose. This is very important if room has multiple use (living room/play room, or guest room/home office).
Trust your agent that she/he will negotiate he best possible price for your home in current market, and wait for offers to start coming in.