Preparing Your Home for Sale in 3 Easy But Crucial Steps
Home selling season is upon us and the thought of putting your home on the market and making a move may have breezed through your mind. However, don’t get the cart ahead of the horse. Benjamin Franklin said that “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Taking the time to prepare your home and have a plan will ensure you have the success in meeting your goals.
The coming months are an ideal time to list your home, so now is the time to prepare. Those considering listing their homes should consult with a real estate sales professional and have a checklist ready – and that checklist is easy as 1, 2, 3.
First, a real estate sales professional will provide you with a sales marketing plan including a pricing strategy taking into consideration competing homes, current inventory levels, time on market and condition. The plan will also outline the online marketing approach and the initiatives you need to complete as a homeowner to ensure success.
Second, sellers should clean everything and prepare for success! If you were selling your car, people will often have the car detailed in order to show its best. Selling your home should be no different. Ensure your home has optimal curb appeal as this is the first impression a buyer has. Studies have shown buyers formulate their opinions about your home in the first 10 – 15 seconds of arriving at your home. This opinion is formed then often before they even enter your home. It is important to factor in the time of year you put your home on the market. Curb appeal is different in the winter months than it is in the spring or even the summer for that matter. Ensure drives and sidewalks are clear of snow in the winter, lawns are mowed during the spring and summer, clutter is removed, trash bins are hidden from view, exterior paint is fresh and no roof tiles are missing. Your entry and front door should look their best…it is show time. It is also important to make sure your driveway is free of cracks and oil stains. Remember the most critical time for a buyer is the first 10 – 15 seconds after arriving. You only have one chance to make the best first impression.
Assuming the prospective buyer has a favorable first impression as they enter the home, you want to ensure you don’t lose the buyer with the interior. Cleanliness is king when it comes to showing your property to prospective buyers. Make sure to clean your windows inside and out, vacuum carpets, mop floors and clear all the dust that accumulates in exhaust fans and lighting fixtures. If deep cleaning is not your forte, you can hire a professional cleaning service to scrub down your home. This may cost a few hundred dollars, but it’s well worth it.
It is equally important to declutter and “neutralize” your home and its interior spaces. They not only tend to show the best but they also allow prospective buyers to envision themselves living there. There is nothing worse for a buyer than walking into a cluttered space and being overwhelmed with stuff that they decide against the home.
It is important to maximize square footage and this goes beyond just floor square footage. Be sure to minimize extra furniture and objects by renting a small storage space while you are in the process of showing your home. The small cost is worth the large return. Find ways to pack away items that are not used on a daily basis and reduce the clutter we all seem to accumulate.
Third, comfort is key. Again, in Colorado, we need to pay attention to the time of year we are selling. During the winter months, be sure the home is heated and comfortable. If it is safe to do so, have your fireplace turned on. During the warmer months, be sure to have your AC running at a comfortable temperature. If your home is not equipped with AC, make sure the windows are open and fans are running in the extra warm spaces. It is also a good idea to ensure that shutters and blinds are drawn until just before the open house to help keep out the heat.
When all else fails or seems overwhelming, remember the key component of step 1, your real estate professional!