Your Question: I Want to Sell My Home.... Where Do I Begin?
Professor Tate Answers:
Well you’ve decided to sell your home. Now where to begin? There are a few things you’ll need to do just to get your home ready for sale. Follow these steps, and your home is ready for the market!
It’s important to keep in mind that your home will be competing with other homes. Because of this, you need your home to be exceptional. Competing with model homes, your home really has no room to be anything less than a model home itself.
First of all – you want to get Buyers in the door! The exterior of the home should make a great first impression, leaving the consumers wanting to see more. Make sure the exterior is in good shape in all respects. Clean the gutters. Maintain the lawn. Edge the walks. Perhaps plant some flowers. Touch up the paint on the house where necessary. Make needed repairs to the fence and touch up the paint where needed. Polish the house numbers or consider updating to a newer, fresher look. Polish or replace the door handle. Place a couple of pots of brightly colored flowers near the front door. Consider getting a pleasant looking door mat for the front door too. The home should have good curb appeal and pique the interest of Buyers!
Good – now you’ve got them in the door! What should they see when they walk in?
The inside of the home should make a great impression, too! Keep the house extra clean. Clean the curtains and the upholstery. Consider renting a carpet cleaner for the carpets. A stained carpet is a major turn-off to Buyers! Polish the kitchen appliances. Just keep everything clean!
Get rid of clutter. Clutter doesn’t give a good impression, and it downplays the space in your home. Throw out or file away old magazines or newspapers. Take down your small decorative items. Clean out your closets and store away your out-of-season clothing. Rooms should not be overcrowded with furniture, as this also downplays the space in your home. You want Buyers to be able to envision how they can use the space and see their own belongings in it. It might be a good idea to have a rummage sale at which you could get rid of your belongings that are in good shape and that are no longer of any use to you.
Even minor problems in the home could make bad impressions on the Buyer, giving them the idea that the home hasn’t been well cared for. Be sure to make minor repairs, including fixing the leaky faucet or the gurgling toilet.
Lighting is very important in the home. Replace burnt out light bulbs and consider replacing light bulbs in darker areas of the house, such as the basement, with higher wattage bulbs for more light. Your curtains shouldn’t be too dark or heavy either, because you want to get as much natural light into the home as possible.
It’s also a good idea to de-personalize your home. As already mentioned, Buyers need to be able to envision themselves in the home and how they could use the space for themselves. Some of us might like lime green on our walls, but to most Buyers that would be a turn-off. You should paint over any “loud” wall colors with more neutral, light colors such as beige or off-white. This is more pleasing to the eye and will help in the sale of your home.
You asked, now you know!
-Professor Reel S. Tate