Getting Your Home Ready for the Market
What The Smart Seller Does
Selling one’s home is emotional for all involved. Getting the house ready takes time and in some instances money. Prior to putting the house on the market, I suggest to my clients that they are proactive rather than reactive. By this I mean there are things that they have control of prior to listing the home and in most cases spend less time and money if addressed before the listing.
1. Paint – interior and exterior if required. A touch up may be all that is needed. Neutral colors work best. Purple walls may have delighted your children, but they can be a turn off to a prospective buyer.
2. Repair any holes in the walls.
3. Make sure the plumbing is working properly – fix leaky faucets, toilets, etc.
4. Get an inspection for your heating and air conditioning systems.
5. Make sure all appliances are in working order (and be sure to clean the oven)
6. Out dated or dirty carpets – replace or clean. Again, neutral colors always work best.
7. Clean up the yard
8. Make sure the entry to your house is appealing – remove all the dust bunnies (as I refer to them)
9. Get a termite inspection. Almost any buyer will have this done prior to buying a house and some lenders require this. The importance of doing this before listing your house – of there are termites and repairs are required – you may be able to save money. You will still need to have the proper repairs completed and certified, but you have the option of selecting the contractors, etc.
10. Subscribe to a home warranty. This will protect you during the listing period from items breaking down or small repairs that need to be accomplished. Generally depending on the company issuing the warranty, you will not be charged until closing. No closing no charges. This is not a hard decision to make. Your real estate agent can help you with selecting a home warranty company.
My big tip (well maybe not so big). Get in your car, drive around the block – park in front of your house and look at it objectively. Take all emotions out. Look through the eyes of a “would be” buyer. Walk up to the front door, and again look around as if you are not the owner but a prospective buyer. This is hard, you love your house, there are memories, but the question you need to ask, “do I want to sell this house and how serious am I”? When you can answer that question objectively, you are ready to move on.
- Esther Griffiths