The decision to sell your home is certainly a difficult one. Depending on how long you have lived in the home, you have probably built up countless memories along the way – perhaps even getting married or welcoming children into the world. However, there comes a time when it just makes the most sense to move on, no matter how emotional the process might have to be.
Once you have made that choice and are getting your home ready to sell, there are a number of things you need to consider. In order for the selling process to go as smoothly as possible, and to get the best return on your investment, you want to make sure that your home is going to ‘show well’ and impress potential buyers who choose to take a tour with a real estate agent. Even by simply making a few changes, most of which won’t cost any money at all, you can position your home for a short stay on the MLS listings.
One of the first things you want to do in getting your home ready to sell is to limit the number of personal effects that you have on display. While you certainly love the pictures and other possessions that represent your family, a potential buyer will not have any connection with them at all. They want to picture themselves living in the house, not you. Therefore, do what you can to make the home more ‘neutral’ so it is easier for a real estate shopper to picture moving in and making the home their own.
Some homes that are technically 2,000 square feet feel like they are half that big, because they are cluttered with a ton of stuff. At the same time, a home that is only 1,000 square feet can feel downright spacious when things are stored away properly and the floor space isn’t packed full. If you were a prospective buyer, which would be more attractive to you? To start with, donate or throw away old things that you don’t need anymore. For the stuff that you want to keep, consider renting a storage unit for a few months while you are in the process of moving.
Just like when you are meeting a person for the first time, first impressions count for homes as well. If possible buyers pull up to your home and see that the yard is a mess, they are going to be turned off right from the start. Put in a little time (and money, if necessary) to clean up the landscaping and make the outside look as good as the inside.
Speaking of the inside looking good, make sure it is as clean as possible. A home that has been lived in for a decade or two (or more) is never going to look new, but it certainly can be cleaned. Have the carpets cleaned, make sure everything is dusted, and certainly don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink when the home is going to be shown.
You don’t necessarily have to get everything fixed in the home, but you should know about the problems and how much they might cost to repair. For example, if the home probably needs a new roof in the near future, that is an issue that will come up in an inspection – and a prospective buyer will want some concession in the final sale price in all likelihood. As long as you know how much a new roof would cost, you can go into the negotiations with the right information to make a fair deal.
Selling your home doesn’t have to be a complicated process, but there are a few things that need to be taken care of upfront to improve your chances of success. Make sure to give careful thought to the points above, and work with an experienced real estate agent who can guide you along from start to finish.