As the weather begins to warm, the home selling market also heats up and home owners need to start preparing now if they want to sell their home this spring or summer. To get the most money for your home, careful preparation is essential and with this being a buyer’s market, sellers must do everything possible to prepare and stage their home for sale.
We sold our home in Tucson, Arizona in May after very careful preparation. Along with a top local Realtor, we were able to get a price we could be happy with, even in this difficult real estate climate.
The whole goal is to make your home look modern, neutral and stylish, something that makes buyers feel like they could move right in with their own stuff. Also to have everything new, clean, painted and working, whether your house is a year old or a hundred years old. You need to provide a turn-key house, they can move in and start enjoying. If you offer anything less, you just can’t and won’t achieve top dollar.
Buyers don’t want to see your personal collections or pictures or your taste in furniture, they want to see a blank slate, so they can easily imagine their own stuff in there. The easier you make it for people to do this, the faster your house will sell and the more money it will sell for.
First step is to clean the entire house, top to bottom. You may want to consider hiring a professional cleaning crew to do a serious, professional cleaning job. We hired a crew, and it took almost three full days and was far more thorough than anything we could have done ourselves.
Get rid of clutter, personal objects, anything visible. Use this as a good time to de-clutter your life. Throw away useless trash, donate clothes and furniture to local charities and sell valuable stuff on eBay. Anything you keep should go into boxes, into closets or basement or the garage. This will also prepare you for your move, as everything will be packed and ready to go.
Paint the whole house, inside and possibly outside too. Choose contemporary, neutral colors, again, think blank slate for the buyers, not demonstrating your personal taste. White is always a good choice. Fix holes in walls and other cosmetic details.
Review the exterior condition of your house and check into painting. Also consider steam cleaning or pressure washing, which may be a less expensive alternative.
Buyers don’t want problems. They want nice, new stuff. Fix and repair leaks, clogs, electrical issues, anything. It may also be a good idea to replace all the faucets and hardware with something new and stylish.
If your refrigerator, dishwasher, stove and other kitchen appliances are not new, consider replacing them. New units are not too expensive and can greatly improve the look and feel of your kitchen. Also consider updating the washer and dryer.
We had been considering replacing our central air conditioning system for a while, so now was the time. We got a new one with a full warranty, and this became a positive selling point.
It’s all about curb appeal, so renovate and renew your exterior landscaping. Consider hiring a professional landscaper to come in and do a overhaul. The landscaping is the first thing potential buyers experience, so make it an inviting, positive one.
On the advice of our Realtor, we hired a professional team to come in and redo our garden. They knew it was just for selling the house, so they kept the budget low, but the impact was great. They added new plants, cut back and trimmed existing ones and just made it more like a fancy hotel garden.
Either on your own or with a professional designer, you want to add selective pieces of furniture, lights and accessory pieces. Do not try to make your existing stuff work, start from scratch.
Look into furniture rental options or cheap, yet stylish pieces from Ikea. Even borrow items from friends and family if they will work in your space. You want enough pieces so it doesn’t look bare and empty, but not too many things that it seems busy and prevents people from imagining their own stuff there.