Before you start any projects on your home, you should ask your Realtor to help you prioritize which projects are necessary, and which projects will give you the greatest return for your money. Your Realtor knows what buyers are looking for, and will be able to advise you on what you need to do to get your home ready for the market.
We highly recommend a pre-listing inspection of your home. It will cost you a few hundred dollars, but it could save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Most homeowners think they know their house well, but unfortunately too many sellers find out there are hidden issues after their home is under contract and the buyer’s inspection reveals problems they didn’t know they had. Now the seller is in the difficult position of coordinating repairs on the home in a short time frame, which can be costly because they don’t have the time necessary to get multiple estimates and choose the best contractor for the work. In addition, they now have to coordinate with the buyer who has an opinion on who does the work and how the work should be done.
A pre-listing inspection will allow you the opportunity to uncover any hidden issues, determine how best to address the issues without any time pressures, and choose which contractors provide the best services at the best price for you. It will also allow you the opportunity to disclose any issues upfront that a buyer might want to consider when they make an offer on your home.
Inspection negotiations are the #1 reason deals fall apart after a Purchase Agreement is signed, and this can be managed most effectively with a pre-listing inspection. Your Realtor can provide you with recommendations for good home inspectors in your area.
Your home is most appealing to buyers when it is clutter free. Buyers want to see the space and amenities your home offers. They want to picture themselves living in your home, and they can’t do that when they see all your stuff! You have to pack for your move anyway, so you may as well start packing early.
Consult your Realtor, you may want to consider a storage pod for packed boxes and excess furniture. Remember to remove personal items like family photographs and personal collections that may distract buyers while looking at the home.
It’s ideal for closets to be no more than ¾ full, and cabinets and drawers to be neatly organized. Don’t forget the garage. Buyers want to be sure there is enough room in the garage to hold their cars and store extra items like bikes and lawn mowers.
Buyers are extremely critical when it comes to the cleanliness of a home they are considering purchasing. It’s easy to overlook the small details when you live in a home, but buyers see it all! When a buyer sees a clean home they equate it with a home that has been well cared for. Consider these items as you clean:
Clean all baseboards of dust and scuff marks
Wash windows inside and out
Clean all blinds and window treatments
Remove all cobwebs in ceiling corners and on light fixtures
Wash all air vents and air returns
Wipe down all light-switch plates, outlet covers, and door knobs
Wipe down all walls and doors
Wipe down all kitchen appliances, including the top of the refrigerator
Dust all mechanicals – water heater, furnace, a/c unit, and change the filter in the
furnace while you’re at it!
Be sure all light bulbs are bright and working properly
Have all carpets professionally cleaned