Cheryl Deschenes' Blog
It’s a competitive market for home sellers right now. That means it’s more important than ever to make your house stand out from the competition and draw visitors to your listings and open house, as well as attracting interested buyers with excellent curb appeal.
All of these preparations take time and planning. However, if done correctly, you’ll not only bring more potential buyers to visit your home, but you’ll also be able to increase your asking price based on a few key aesthetic upgrades.
In this post, I’m going to fill you in on some of the most time and cost-effective ways to prepare your house for sale to bring the most number of potential buyers.
Make a revitalization budget
Before you start spending on your home upgrades, take the time to make a budget for the things that are the most important to making your home look and feel great. This budget will help you keep your spending in check and get the most out of your sale preparations.
Start working on curb appeal
Without spending much money, many homeowners can drastically increase the curb appeal of their home. Pressure washing the siding and sealing and sweeping the driveway is a great start.
Before taking photos or receiving visitors, trim and edge the lawn and lay down some fresh mulch. You don’t need to spend hundreds on flowers to make a substantial difference on curb appeal.
To make your home stand out and look up-to-date, apply a fresh coat of paint to your front door. Choose a color that complements your home, but one that also “pops” and grabs your attention.
Declutter and organize
Preparing your home for sale also happens to be a great time to start packing away some personal belongings. Family photos and other items that are unique to your family are best left out of your photos and distract viewers from being able to picture themselves in your home.
Since our homes are built to live in, many of us keep our things in convenient places rather than tucking them away. Now is a good time to try and find ways to integrate some minimalism in your home so that visitors don’t feel crowded by clutter.
Spend money on the right items
Some home upgrades just aren’t worth the time and money they’ll take to perform before selling. So, it’s best to prioritize the things that will have the most impact on visitors and viewers of your real estate photos.
A new welcome mat and cabinet handles are a great example of inexpensive upgrades that can make a home feel new again.
Take a look around your home and find the accessories that look dated or worn and see what you can accomplish on your budget.
If you're anticipating putting your home on the market soon and want to sell it as quickly as possible, you're probably thinking that the best way to accomplish this is to accept a major drop in price. Although it's true that price points can affect how quickly a property sells, you don't have to dip much, if anything, below market value to facilitate a fast sale as long as you live in an area with a moderately healthy real estate market. Following are five proactive ways you can help your upcoming home sale go quickly.
Declutter and Depersonalize
One of the key components of a successful home sale is creating an environment where potential buyers can easily envision themselves and their family enjoying a pleasant life. Too many family photos and general clutter takes away from this. Renting a storage unit helps by providing a place to keep things and also gives you a head start on your move.
Homeowners who limit when the house can be shown are missing out on a lot of potential buyers. Although it's a hassle to always have to be available, you can make it easier on yourself by doing a general quick cleaning every morning and by using the above strategy of keeping clutter to an absolute minimum. If you simply can't guarantee availability for last-minute showings at all times, at least try to do so on weekend because that's when most people are looking at homes.
Have Professional Photos Taken
Professional photographs that show your home in the best possible light make it more likely that prospective buyers will ask to see your home. Don't settle for just any local photographer, though -- ask your real estate agent to recommend someone who specializes in home photography.
If you move out of the home, you and your family won't have to endure the inconvenience of people coming in and out, and your real estate agent will be free to show the property at literally any time.
Paint Your Home in Neutral Colors
Now is the time to make your home look as much like a blank slate as possible without sacrificing any of its charm. Neutral colors don't clash with anything, so buyers are therefore less likely to pass on your home due to aversions to certain colors, and there's something really appealing about a fresh coat of paint.
You'll also want to amp up the curb appeal of your home to make it more attractive. Because people are often blind to the faults of their own environments, ask a trusted friend or relative to look at your home exterior from the critical eye of a potential homebuyer and add improvements from there.
If you plan to sell your house in the near future, now may be a great time to host a garage sale. That way, you can get rid of excess items, declutter your house and earn extra cash at the same time.
Ultimately, hosting a successful garage sale can be easy – here are three best practices to help you get ready for a garage sale.
1. Organize Your Inventory
A garage sale provides an excellent opportunity to sell a broad range of items – everything from kitchen appliances to gym equipment. As such, you'll want to sort through your belongings and separate must-keep items from those you can live without.
Organize belongings based on where they go in a home – you'll be glad you did. This will enable you to plan ahead for how you'll showcase various items during your garage sale.
Moreover, if you find some items are no longer usable, you should get rid of them altogether. Dispose of any damaged items, and you can immediately remove clutter from your residence.
2. Price Your Items Competitively
One person's junk is another person's treasure, and if you understand the true value of your belongings, you'll be able to price them competitively during a garage sale.
If you plan to sell electronics, jewelry or other high-end items at your garage sale, it often pays to perform research to learn about the true value of these items. Performing an online search of an item will help you see how various sellers around the globe are pricing the same item. Or, you can always contact local retailers directly for expert pricing insights as well.
In addition, consider the age and condition of an item before you price it. If an item looks brand new and performs great, you may be able to earn a significant profit from it. On the other hand, if an item shows signs of aging, you may want to lower your pricing expectations.
3. Promote Your Garage Sale to the Right Audience
Create flyers that you can post around your neighborhood to promote your garage sale. These flyers should include information about the date, time and location of your garage sale, thereby making it easy for those who see the flyers to find your event.
Don't forget to post details about your garage sale online too. Share information about your garage sale with family members and friends on social networks, and you should no trouble stirring up plenty of interest in your event.
Lastly, if you're planning to sell your house and need help getting your residence show-ready, you may want to consult with a real estate agent.
A real estate agent can offer expert tips to help you declutter your residence and ensure that your house is an attractive option to homebuyers. Furthermore, a real estate agent may even be able to help you prep for a garage sale, increasing the likelihood that you can make this event an instant success.
Believe it or not, home sellers may encounter many expenses after they list their residences. These costs include:
1. Home Cleaning and Maintenance Costs
Before you start showing your residence to prospective buyers, it often is beneficial to clean your house. As such, you may need to purchase assorted cleaning supplies. Or, you can always hire a professional home cleaning company to help you enhance your house's overall appearance.
Don't forget about home maintenance expenses too. Remember, you'll want to do everything possible to improve your house's curb appeal to ensure your residence stands out to potential buyers. And if you budget for the costs associated with fixing damaged home siding or performing lawn care tasks, you may be better equipped than ever before to find cost-effective ways to bolster your home's curb appeal.
2. Home Repair Costs
After you accept a buyer's offer to purchase your home, the buyer likely will request a property inspection. And if an inspection reveals myriad home repairs are necessary, you may be required to spend money to complete these repairs. Otherwise, you could put your home sale in jeopardy.
Oftentimes, it is helpful to conduct a property inspection before you list your residence. This will enable you to assess your home with a professional inspector and identify any problems. Then, you can perform home repairs prior to listing your residence and reduce the risk of possible home selling delays down the line.
3. Moving Costs
Once you sell your home, you will need to relocate your belongings from your current address to a new location. Thus, you should consider the costs associated with moving boxes and packing supplies and budget accordingly.
Furthermore, you may want to hire a professional moving company to help you transport your belongings from Point A to Point B. If you review the prices of local moving companies, you can find an affordable option that matches your budget.
There are many costs that you may encounter as you proceed along the home selling journey. But if you work with a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive property selling support. And as a result, you may be able to cut down on potential costs throughout the home selling cycle.
A real estate agent is committed to doing everything possible to help a seller achieve the best-possible results. Therefore, a real estate agent will learn about your home selling goals and create a personalized property selling strategy for you.
Plus, a real estate agent is happy to respond to any home selling concerns or questions. This housing market professional will go the extra mile to guarantee you can enjoy a seamless property selling experience. With assistance from a real estate agent, you can handle any potential problems that may arise during the house selling journey.
For home sellers, it usually is a good idea to budget for potential property selling expenses. If you put together a budget, you could boost the likelihood of enjoying a fast, profitable property selling experience.
As a responsible homeowner, home maintenance should be at the top of your list of important things to do. However, with a busy life and a lot to manage, certain home-maintenance tasks can be easily disregarded. While there are some things you may be able to get away with for a while, there are certain neglectful actions that can really hurt when you decide to sell your home.
Neglecting HVAC System Tune-Ups & Upkeep
There's a massive difference between what maintenance costs for an HVAC system and the cost of replacement. Since the HVAC system is one of the main operating units in the home, it is often one of the first things a buyer will want to know about. General maintenance checks by a professional technician will only cost you between $80 and $150; full-on replacement can be as much as $5,900 or more depending on the model. Buyers tend to shy away from homes that need major investments right after purchase, so do your part to properly maintain the unit.
Neglecting Adequate Window Maintenance
The windows bear a lot of responsibility in a home. They are openings for natural light, they (should) keep the cold and heat out and give dwellers a good view of the outside world. Windows should open and close freely, be efficient and be an attractive part of the house. Even something as simple as dirty windows can cause problems when a prospect visits the home for the first time. If the house gets inspected professionally by a prospect, they will check for:
If you've neglected your windows for a while, it is best to pick a day and whip them into shape—right down to cleaning the glass until its crystal clear.
Neglecting Small Gutter Issues
The gutters of a home are such a small, easy-to-neglect thing, but their purpose is oh-so-important. If one of your gutters is not draining, for example, it can allow water to slip down into the spaces between the exterior cladding and the interior walls. Issues with rot are common due to this simple act of neglect, and it is definitely an issue a home inspector will notice.
Work with a Real Estate Agent to Prepare Your Home for Sale
The more well-prepared your home is for the market, and the better it is maintained, the higher your asking price can be and look logical to prospects. Working with an experienced real estate agent right from the beginning will help you get your home prepared properly. Reach out to an agent to get industry insight into what helps and hurts a home for sale.