Prep Your Home For Sale: A Step-by-Step Checklist
Selling a home is a stressful, chaotic venture for many people. You have so much to do, and seemingly so little time to do it in. You might feel tempted to run around frantically, trying to tackle your important tasks with no strategy.
Recently, we spoke with a woman who told us: “I need to sell my house fast to relocate – what do I do?” First, it’s important to take a few deep breaths, and use a checklist to go over everything you need to do to prep your home for a fast and quick sale.
Start With The Front of Your Home
Your home could be gorgeous inside, but if it looks bad from the curb, no one will ever come through the door. If you need to repaint your home and replace your exterior doors, do so.
Remove any weeds, debris, or lawn tools from sight. Spread some grass seed, and put down a new welcome mat. Make people want to come inside first and foremost.
If you’ve lived in this home for a while, you’ve probably accumulated a lot of junk. It’s time to throw that junk away, especially if you don’t intend on taking it with you.
De-clutter your home. Donate or dispose of the things you don’t need, and pack the things you do need. Put the boxes in a storage unit, or somewhere else out of sight. You essentially want the home to look generic, yet presentable enough that another family can envision themselves living in your home. I’m sure you’ve walked through model homes before – this is the essence you should strive to capture when staging and presenting your home.
Take Down Your Personal Touches
Family photos and heirlooms are what make your house feel like a home to you. To a buyer, they’re the things that make your home feel like it belongs to someone else.
It’s okay to leave some art on the walls, as long as it isn’t too personal. You want a buyer to be able to envision photos of their own family on your walls.
You may think your bright pink bathroom is endearing, but buyers may think it’s obnoxious. Painting is relatively inexpensive, and it’s easy enough to do on your own. Give everything a fresh coat of paint. Opt for light, neutral colors.
Cream, tan, beige, and off-white look less bare than plain white walls, and they’re also inoffensive. They’ll make your rooms look bigger and brighter.
When it comes to cleaning, no stone should be left unturned. Clear out the attic, dust every corner, and remove all of the hard water buildup around your faucets. You want every countertop to shine. Unlike cars, homes are seldom bought new.
Buyers want to feel like the home they’re about to purchase is as close to new as possible, and the only way you can create that appearance is by thoroughly cleaning every nook and cranny.
Fix the Odds and Ends
If you’re ready to make the big sale, you’ve probably already tended to any major repairs or improvements that need to be done. It’s time to handle the small things.
Things like cracked switch plates and loose doorknobs probably won’t be deal-breakers to potential buyers, but it’s a small step you can take to make your home move-in ready.
Create a Welcoming Environment
One of our strongest senses is our sense of smell. If you have cats, for example, you’ve probably become so used to the smell of the litter box that it no longer bothers you. It will, however, bother people who are viewing your home.
Make sure your home smells fresh and clean. Many people like to bake a batch of cookies before showing their home, so the aroma lingers. Make sure your house is quiet and pleasantly lit.
Your main goal should be to create a space that someone would want to live in by providing them with a canvas that boasts unlimited possibilities. You want your home to feel warm and inviting, but you also want potential buyers to be able to easily envision how they would customize the space.
With a clean slate, eager buyers will be able to imagine themselves living there. You provide the basics, and allow the buyers’ imaginations to run wild.
When you buy a house, even if you like how it looks and how it is designed, you will surely want to make some changes. It doesn’t matter if the house really needs it or not, as many of these changes will be made just to make the house your own – infused with your preferences so that it can truly reflect you and your personality.
However, if the house is in need of some major changes, you could use the help of home improvement projects that can increase the value of your house and also offer you the comfort that you’re looking for. This is valid not only for when you buy a new house, but also for those times when you’d like to sell your house at a later time and you’re thinking about getting more money out of it. Let’s see what some of these projects could be.
Updating the Roof
The roof is one of the most important items (if it can be called an item) for the whole house – it protects what you hold most dear and it has a functionality that can’t be overlooked. That’s why if there are problems with the structure of the roof, you’re going to need to have it repaired or changed entirely. If you do this, not only will you increase the lifespan of the house, but a new roof will also increase the value of the house by at least 20%.
The lifespan of a roof is about 20 or 25 years, so if the house is pretty old, you might want to think about having the roof replaced. It is a costly investment, but the outcome will be more than worth it and you will likely net more on resale. Overall, it’s a very sound investment to make especially if you’re thinking of selling the house at a later time.
Adding a Room
Usually, people think about adding another bedroom, and it’s a great thing to do – not only will you increase the living space, but you’ll also gain great functionality from the whole space. Depending on the space that you have available, you can turn a very big room into two smaller rooms, and it’s a great thing to do especially if you have children and you want them to have their own space.
If you plan to build a new part for the house – a room that is adjacent to the existing structure – you’re going to need to have a building project and building license and, of course, you’re going to have to talk to an architect and a construction company. It will be worth it, of course, but the price can be higher than just splitting a room in two. So it’s important to leverage and balance your costs.
Remodeling a Bathroom
Last but not least, remodeling a bathroom is another project that could increase the value of your house. Usually, in an older house there is a plain design in the bathroom, with regular showers or bathtubs and old cabinets. If you want to increase the value, you could change all the appliances and add a marble tub or a very fancy shower.
Everything being new and following the trends will definitely increase the price of the house – this is because people consider that the bathroom is one of the most important rooms of the house because it’s where they start their morning, and they should get a fresh feeling every morning.
The truth is that there are also other projects that you could do for home improvement and for increasing the value of your house. If you’d like to have access to more ideas, you could look online or talk to a professional in this area, and you’ll definitely get the needed help in this situation.