Are you planning on selling your home this spring? You shouldn’t wait until prime time to get your home ready, here are some tips to help you get your home ready to sell now.
Sooner than Later
Find a Real Estate Agent: Finding the right agent to work with is an important process. Look for a agent who you trust, who will go out of their way to give you the best in customer care, take you through the home selling process with ease, and who will work tirelessly to give you the best possible financial results on the sale of your home with proper marketing and negotiating skills. You should also pick an agent who is positive, motivates and communicates well with you throughout the selling process!
Make a Plan: Once you have found your agent, you will need to create a plan. Before you get to work, it is good practice to make a list of all the things you want to accomplish. This will help you keep your to-do list organized, so you don’t get overwhelmed. If applicable, work with your agent to sort through your list and help guide you.
Store/De-Clutter: As hard as it might be, it’s important to pack away rarely used items that may be simply cluttering your home and store them away until your home sells. You may want to put these items away in a basement storage area or possibly rent a storage unit if necessary. Buyers are more likely to get a clearer picture of what they’re buying when there isn’t a lot of clutter and distraction of personal items laying around.
2-3 Months Before Listing Your Home
Home Issues: Getting your own pre-sale home inspection may be a good idea for some sellers. It helps address potential problems you may want to deal with before your potential buyers find them. Being proactive allows you to recognize and address possible deal breakers ahead of time and may help you adjust your timeline and budget accordingly.
Home Repairs/Improvements: It’s a good idea to handle home repairs before you officially put your home on the market. It’s often less expensive to replace or repair something ahead of time, than to wait for a buyer to negotiate for more than the replacement or repair might normally cost. This is especially true for a major fix like a new HVAC unit or roof or even something smaller, such as a missing handrail or step.
1-2 Months Before Listing Your Home
First Impressions: It is so true what they say about first impressions…They count and they count a lot! A potential buyer’s viewpoint as they walk up to your front door is extremely important! Pay close attention to curb appeal and grab their attention with porch flowers, a fresh coat of paint, and the tidiness of your home’s landscaping. Pay special attention to your home’s odor. As your listing agent, we don’t want to have to be the one to tell you that your home smells musty or nasty, but we will if we have to. It is better to have it come from your agent, than have potential buyers be turned off as soon as they enter your home or basement. You may also want to have your agent or their stager help you with some ideas on how to make your home more inviting.
1–3 Weeks Before Listing Your Home
Cleaning: This is one of the final steps you will need to do before officially putting your home up for sale. As mentioned, you don’t want your prospective buyer’s first impression to be of a dirty house, soiled carpets, or cat or dog hair (or smell). These are all a big turn off! I have seen absolutely beautiful homes that have had trouble selling due to some of these issues. We suggest cleaning carpets yourself or hiring a company to have it done to make each area shine and smell inviting. Try to keep your home in this condition while potential buyers are touring your house. Pets are a wonderful part of many families, but it is important that they be removed from the home during home showings and/or open houses. It is highly doubtful that a potential buyer appreciates having a cat suddenly running through their legs when they are looking at buying your home.
I encourage you to start tackling this list sooner rather than later to prevent the process of selling your home from becoming overwhelming.
Jen Humblet is a licensed real estate agent for Keller Williams Realty Diversified and a member of the Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association.