Get Your Home Ready To Sell!
A common mistake people make is to spend a lot of money – renovations, new roof, remodeling. While buyers will be impressed with these things, spending $5,000 on remodeling will NOT add $5,000 to your sale. Spend as little money as possible, and spend it on cosmetic, readily seen features like an updated interior painting job. The time to remodel is when YOU plan to stay in the house, not when you’re going to sell.
Thinking about everything that needs to be done to sell your house might make you feel overwhelmed or at least feel some anxiety. If you take one step at a time, one small task at a time, break it down to manageable-sized chores you'll feel not only less worry but also productive.
I know there's still probably some of you out there who still feel overwhelmed about all of this. For this reason, I've come up with a list.
Get Your Home Ready To Sell List:
1) Garage Sale- Whatever doesn’t sell needs to be set out for a Salvation Army donation free pickup. Once the clutter is cleared away, it will be easier to see what needs to be done. This is your first impression, so it had better be a good one!
2) Upkeep your front lawn- Edge, mow and fertilize the lawn regularly. Make sure it’s well watered and reseed any sparse areas. Trim hedges, weed lawns, and flowerbeds regularly. Cut back overgrown shrubbery that looks scraggly or keeps light out of the house.
4)Buy a new welcome mat. Often times this little detail is missed. You want the potential buyer to feel that they already are walking into their future home!
5) Do any maintenance needed for the house- This includes checking the foundation, steps, walkways, walls, and patios for cracks and crumbling, and reseal if possible. If you have siding or brick, power-wash it. If you have a painted exterior, consider repainting in a neutral shade which is more appealing. This is especially important if there is any peeling! Make sure the porch light works, clean and align gutters and downspouts. If you have a fireplace, inspect and clean the chimney. You want this home to be spick and span not only on the inside but also the outside because it will make the first impression of anyone who might be looking for their new home.
6) If the doorbell doesn’t work, repair or replace it- Also might be a good time to paint the front door and update the overall aesthetic of the front door. Spring for some brightly colored potted outdoor flower arrangements for the front yard near the entrance. A little goes a long way!
7) Keep driveway clear- If you’re selling in the winter or if you live in Chicago and get surprised with snow, keep walks neatly cleared of snow and ice. Otherwise, keep the walks and driveway swept.
8) Clean, clean, clean. If prospective buyers walk into your house greeted by the smell of cat litter, cigarette smoke, mildew or pet accidents, there is little chance that even a reduced sales price will persuade them to buy. This includes walls, floors, inside closets and cabinets – everything. If you must, hire a cleaning service to come in and do the job.
9) Get rid of clutter. Put away appliances you normally leave on countertops. This alone will make your house appear bigger and brighter. Clean out your closets, garage, basement, and attic. If you need some inspiration watch Marie Kondo's Netflix series Tyding Up With Marie Kondo. She really breaks it down and helps you feel inspired to declutter!
10) Paint the walls and ceilings a neutral color – off white or beige.
11) Repair cracks, holes, and damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint, and tiles.
12) Shampoo all carpets, scrub and wax linoleum, wash and wax wood floors.
13) Check to see that all windows will open and close. Replace broken or cracked windowpanes, moldings, and other woodwork.
14) Make sure every light switch works. Replace burned-out light bulbs. Use brighter light bulbs.
15) Thoroughly clean all appliances (especially refrigerator and oven).
16) Replace old toilet seats and shower curtains.
On Showing Days:
l) Keep draperies and shades open to let in the light.
2) Place fresh flowers throughout the house.
3) Have your home well-lit during showing.
4)At night, turn on porch light and outdoor lighting in back if you have it.
5) Set out colorful, luxurious towels in the bathroom.
6) Avoid having dirty dishes in the sink or on counters.
7) Keep any toys in the children’s rooms, bikes, wagons and skateboards in the garage.
8) Play pleasant music at low volume.
9) Spend the day of an open house away from home.
10) Leave pets outdoors.
l1) Unless you’re selling it yourself, let the agent show your house, and don’t tag along.