Selling Your Home?

What should you do before putting your home on the market?

If you were selling a used car and wanted to get the highest possible price for the car, what would you do to get it ready for sale?  Ideally, you would get the car serviced, oil changed, and get it detailed so it looked the best it could possible look.  You might even get new tires installed and minor dents removed and paint scratches repaired.  You can’t do anything about the age of the car or the mileage on the odometer, but you want it to be a “creampuff” in the eyes of a potential buyer and you know a little elbow grease and a little money spent will get you a better price.

You should absolutely have the same attitude about getting your home ready for the market.  Unless your home is already immaculate and everything is in perfect working order, a little hard work and a little money spent will definitely get you a higher price.

Buyers often make up their minds within a few minutes whether a certain home is going on their “short list” or whether it goes into their “discard” file.  You won’t get a second chance to impress a buyer who was initially turned off because of the condition of your home.

You want to definitely deep clean everything,  then re-paint, re-grout and repair as necessary.  You want to de-clutter your home as much as possible—think of an immaculately clean hotel room with everything perfectly arranged.  You want the exterior and landscape to look appealing as the potential buyers walk up to your home—in fact, you should walk up your driveway and look at your home as if you were seeing it for the first time.  If you need some bushes trimmed or replaced, do it.  If you have driveway cracks, seal them and paint the driveway.  If your front door needs re-painting, paint it.  If your front door hardware is corroded, replace it.  A few hundred dollars spent may well return several thousand at closing.

Try to see your home as a potential buyer will see it.  Remember, too, that most buyers will get a home inspection.  Don’t think an inspector will miss the fact that your air conditioner hasn’t been serviced in years, that you have a leak under you sink, or that your septic system is full of sludge.  They will find most defective items and will note neglected maintenance, even if something still functions.  These are deal killers for many buyers.  When they see a laundry list of defects and neglected maintenance, they tend to quickly fall out of love with a home.

Most of our contracts allow a buyer to back out if they don’t like the inspection report.  If that happens, you have to put your home back on the market and hope for another buyer—knowing that the defects are still there.

With over 20 years of full-time experience and hundreds of homes sold in the local market, we know how to coach you regarding the preparation of your home.  We will give you an honest opinion as to whether you need to re-paint or replace carpets.  We don’t want you to spend any money unless it will help in the sale of the home.  We will also advise you regarding de-cluttering and staging, if needed.  We are experts in the sale and marketing of homes.  Call us—you’ll be glad you did.